Official Seal


Committee on Papers and Publications.
Charles F. White.
Charles F. Read.
The President, ex officio


JANUARY 31, 1929

The twenty-eighth annual meeting of the Brookline Historical Society was held in the Edward Devotion House, Brookline, on January 31, 1929, at 8 p. m., President William O. Comstock in the chair.


Members of the Brookline Historical Society and Friends: -

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this Annual Meeting of our Society. Our membership is as follows:
Annual members: 119
Life members: 23
Benefactors: 3
Total: 145

We welcome the new members of 1928. They are as follows: Arthur B. Brooks, Miss Louisa M. Hooper, and Eugene Jackson.
The following seven members have died:
Edward W. Baker, died January 26,1928.
Miss Susan E. Withington, died January 29, 1928.
Charles H. Pearson, died February 10, 1928
Mrs. Mary P. Kay, died March 25,1928.
Dr. Frederick B. Percy, died June 15, 1928.
William Whitman, died September 20, 1928.
Mrs. Lora Littlefield, died December 28, 1928.

This report can give but a short and inadequate word in regard to these members whose loss we feel, as does Brookline, that was greatly benefited by their lives.

Edward Wild Baker, our beloved treasurer, died on the evening of our last annual meeting, and in our last report was printed a slight appreciation of him with a beautiful portrait. A History of Brookline will be published as a memorial to him, and all feel that no more fitting tribute can be given than a beautiful volume that all may read of the growth of Brookline, whose greatness he did so much to develop and whose early records, both in manuscripts and photographs, he so carefully preserved. He had always lived here except during two years that he had spent in Washington as Secretary for Mr. Sprague, the representative in Congress from this district. At one time he was employed in the Boston office of the Mexican Central Railroad. At the death of his father, who had served the town of Brookline for forty-eight years, Mr. Baker succeeded him, as Town Clerk. His services to our Society have been of inestimable worth and we all miss him greatly.

Miss Susan E. Withington was the daughter of Moses Withington, the town treasurer for many years. During the later years of her father's service she was his assistant, and after his death she continued her work as assistant to Mr. Worthley. She had a bright, genial disposition and was beloved by all who knew her.

Mr. Charles H. Pearson came to Brookline about forty years ago, and always was interested in town affairs, serving as a selectman and on many committees, and becoming a Representative and Senator in the General Court.

Mrs. Mary Prentiss Kay was the widow of J. Murray Kay of the firm of Houghton, Mifflin and Company and had lived in Brookline for many years. She was a very charitable lady, much interested in good works, and a most helpful member of the First Parish.

Dr. Frederick B. Percy was a very well-known and kind physician and had been identified with the town for many years. At one time he was a member of the School Committee. His loss is felt greatly, and the cheer and courage that he brought to the sickroom wiII never be forgotten by his patients.

William Whitman was well known in the textile business, and was the head of his Company, which was closely connected with the Pacific MiIIs. He came to Brookline about forty years ago, living first in the Dr. Wild house adjoining the Blake Estate, and later in the large Hartt Estate on Goddard Avenue.

Mrs. Lora A. Littlefield, a life member of our Society, was the widow of James P. Littlefield of Beacon Hill. Mrs. Littlefield was very hard of hearing, which probably occasioned her being killed by an automobile on Beacon Street. During 1928 the Society held its four regular meetings in the Edward Devotion House, in January, April, May, and November.

The Annual Meeting was on January 26 at 8 p. m. The Secretary's report was read and Mr. Baker's treasurer's report, and Mr. Comstock read his annual report. A vote of sympathy was passed to Mr. Baker and Miss Dunbar on account of their illness. Miss E. M. Eustis was elected clerk pro tern. The Nominating Committee's report was accepted and the officers elected.

The Vice-President, Mr. Read, gave an interesting report of a journey to Boston, England.

The April meeting was on Thursday evening, April 12th, at eight o'clock, thirty members and guests were present. The following resolution was read by Mr. Stearns and passed by the Society: Resolved that the Brookline Historical Society expresses its great grief upon the death of Mr. Edward W. Baker, so many years its active and beloved member and treasurer. Mr. Baker has helped the Society in every way in his power through the twenty-seven years of its life and added much to its success and usefulness. His loss is greatly felt, and coming so suddenly upon us it has been a great shock to us all.

Be it further resolved that this slight tribute be placed upon our records and a copy sent to Mrs. Baker, with the sympathy of the Society.

Mr. Charles F. White was elected treasurer. The President reported that the Committee on a History of Brookline was at work.

The speaker of the evening was Mr. Charles F. White, who read a paper on "When Witch-craft came to Muddy River," illustrated by maps and photographs.

The May meeting was on Thursday evening, May 24, and the paper written by Dr. Carleton S. Francis was read by Mrs. George H. Francis. The paper was entitled "Colonial Brookline" and the thanks of the Society were extended to both the writer and reader.

The fall meeting of the Society was held on Thursday evening, November 15, at eight o'clock. At this meeting a paper was read by Mr. William R. Buckminster entitled "A Brookline Estate in Chancery." This paper was valuable as history and had required great research.

Noted on the records are thanks to the Society by your President for sending flowers to the funeral of Mrs. Madeleine Bryce Comstock, who died at Cataumet, August 27, 1928. Although she was not a member of the Society her best wishes were always with us.

After each of our meetings light refreshments have been served during a social half hour.

The following Nominating Committee was appointed: Mr. J. Francis Driscoll, Miss Elizabeth Eustis, Mrs. Rebecca W. Silsby.

There were four meetings during the year of the Bay State Historical League. The winter meeting was on January 28, at Lynn, with the "Lynn Historical Society" in their beautiful historical house. The subject discussed was "Unmarked Historic Sites in the State."

The spring meeting was on April 28 at Salem, held in Academy Hall in Peabody Museum, where the subject talked over was "Indian Relics of a New England Town." In this Museum we saw many examples of these relics, and some were shown at the meeting. We all visited also Essex Institute Museum.

The Annual Meeting was on June 30 in the hall of the Baker Memorial Building with the "Harvard Business Historical Association" and the subject discussed was "Preservation of the Records of a Town's Industries." At this meeting your President was succeeded as President of the League by Albert L. Haskell, president of the Somerville Historical Society.

The fall meeting was on October 13 at West Bridgewater with the "Old Bridgewater Historical Society." The subject . under discussion was the "Early Iron Industries of New England," which included the iron works at Bridgewater, Lynn, and Taunton.

The name of the "Roosevelt Day Committee" has been changed to "American Heroes' Day Committee" and a very instructive and popular celebration of Washington was held at the High School, on both afternoon and evening of February 16, that being the best day for the scholars to celebrate Washington's Birthday.

The Edward Devotion House was open as usual on the 19th of April and your President and members entertained the rider representing William Dawes on his ride from Boston to Lexington. It is always interesting to the rider and his escort to hear that they are in one of the houses whose people were undoubtedly alarmed by William Dawes in 1775.

Work on the celebration ∑of the tercentenary of Boston, including Brookline and other towns in the State, is going forward . A State government Committee is now at work in conjunction with the Tercentenary Celebration Committee on the problem of a proper celebration of 1930.

The work of publishing the "Vital Records of Brookline" is in progress at The Essex Institute in Salem, under direction of and aided by the State of Massachusetts.

The "Baker Memorial History of Brookline" is being written, under the leadership of Dr. Francis P. Denny, the chairman of the Memorial History Committee.

Brookline, January 31, 1929.

Colonial Brookline
By Carleton Shurtleff Francis, M. D.

This is about Old Brookline - about those good old days before Captain Candage discovered that we were the "Richest Town in the World." When our people were happy in knowing that we were a typical New England village and were content to let our reputation rest on that fact.

A person standing on one of the three hills of Boston, at the time of the early settlers, and looking towards the setting sun, saw stretched out at his feet, Charles River Bay. This Bay extended from Boston Neck to Cambridge, and from where Charles Street is now to beyond St. Mary's Street. This latter being a distance of about two miles. Beyond this stretch of water and shadowed by Corey, Aspinwall, and Fisher Hills lay the little hamlet of Muddy River, as it was then called, or what is now the Town of Brookline. This land was well wooded and the settlers of Boston used to row across the bay and cut the timbers with which to build their houses.

In 1628 a Patent was granted to Henry Rosewell conveying land including what was later the village of Muddy River. The jurisdiction over the area within the limits named in the Royal Grant had been conferred to the Company of Massachusetts Bay. This Patent conceded that the Indians had the prior right to the land.

As early as in 1629, before the settlement of Boston, Rev. Mr. Higginson reported that "The land around Charles River is very rich, as is shown by the growth of large thick grass and is it hard to be believed how cows, goats, and swine thrive there. Our turnips, parsnips, and carrots are larger and sweeter than those in England." Then he gives a list of fruits, berries, and flowers that grow there, including the damask rose. From the earliest days the inhabitants of Boston used to keep their cattle and swine on the lowlands of Muddy River during warm weather and take them back to town for winter.

Indians inhabited this land and hunted the wild beasts in the forests or putting out in their canoes, fished in the Charles River, Muddy River, or in the Charles River Bay where Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street are now situated.

In 1632 in the eastern part of Massachusetts including Maine, there were probably about 50,000 Indians. The Massachusetts tribe, consisting of about 3,000, under Chief Chicatabuck inhabited the land around Boston, his dominion extending from Charles River to Canton and Weymouth. This tribe was divided into minor divisions each with its own Sachem. One of these minor tribes inhabited the Great Swamp where Longwood is and built a fort on an elevation situated where the Amos Lawrence house now stands. This fort covering an area of about an eighth of an acre, was built of palisades and surrounded by a ditch three feet deep. Two years after the settlement of Boston, Governor Winthrop, being much disturbed by fear of Indians in the neighborhood, sent Captain Underhill with twenty musqueteers to discover their number and position. The Captain, however, while Roxbury, hearing that they had disbanded, returned to Boston.

is very evident that the English, soon after their arrival, commenced negotiations with the natives. They procured a deed of release to the land around Boston including Muddy River, from Chief Chicatabut. This sale seemed to be perfectly satisfactory to the Indians. Fifty years later Chief Josias Wampatuck, Chicatabut's grandson, confirmed this act of his grandfather in a very exhaustive deed in which he said "I am informed that upon the first coming of the English, my grandfather, Chicatabut, the Chief Sachem, under advice of his Council, did give, grant, sell, alienate, convey, and confirm unto the English, all the Neck known by the name of Boston and the outlands to the south and east of Charles River. Wherefore, I, Josias Wampatuck, as well for the reason above and in consideration of valuable sums of money in hand, ratify the sale of the Chief Chicatabut and leave the land freelly, peacefully, and quietly, coming without any reclaim, challenge, or contradition." The little trouble that the inhabitants of Muddy River had with the Indians was undoubtedly due in part to the teaching of the Apostle Eliot. He used to pass through the village on his way to Nonantum Hill and would stop and preach to the praying Indians who were located at what was later the Ackers Farm, just to the west of Chestnut Hill Avenue.

It is evident that the early settlers did not have perfect confidence in the Indians, because they built a block house near the corner of Walnut and Cypress Streets to which the neighbors might retreat in case of an alarm of an Indian attack.

The original boundaries of Muddy River differed in certain respects from those of the present Town of Brookline. That toward Roxbury, starting at Chestnut Street, followed High Street to about where Elm Place runs back of the old Friendly Building, then following this lane ran across Village Square to the beginning of Pearl Street, then followed Pearl Street and Emerald Street to where the latter joins Brookline Avenue, thence it followed the course of Muddy River to its mouth. From this point it extended to the north east, around the marshes, situated below St. Mary's Street, then up Charles River to the mouth of Smelt Brook which was well above Braves Field, and then south west, much as the line does now. Near the mouth of Muddy River, in the early days, were two landings, Aspinwall Dock and Cotter Landing, where bricks and lumber were shipped. In those days navigation was unimpeded above the old Longwood Station.

In 1633 the first bridge connecting Brookline with Roxbury was built. This must have been located about where the outlet from Leverett Pond flows under Huntington Avenue. A more substantial bridge was built by Roxbury about a hundred years later.

In the early years of our history the number of roads in Muddy River were few. Coming out through Roxbury from Boston at Village Square you came to the Old Sherborn Road. This was a very rough and unfinished way following the track of an old Indian path. It started where Walnut Street leaves Washington, following the course of the former to where that runs into Warren, then skirting the swamp, which was where the Old Reservoir now is, ran up Boylston St. to Heath Street and followed the line of this street to the Newton line. Almost all the people living on this road in the early days had their homes above Cypress Street. They never left their houses without taking their guns with them, because the woods were infested with bears and wolves.

The Old Watertown Road, or Washington Street, branched off from the Sherborn Road at Village Square. This was made in 1657 and later was extended to New Hampshire and Vermont. The Newton Road or Cambridge Road, later called Harvard Street, was built in 1662. School Lane ran off from this and connected it with the Watertown Road. In the latter part of the seventeenth century Chief Justice Sewall lived on this road. He is said to have designed the Coat of Arms of Massachusetts. He married the daughter of John Hull. At their wedding the bride's father gave the bride her weight in pine tree shillings. Judge Sewall was well known as the Justice who condemned the Salem witches to death. He lived to regret this act sincerely. In 1670 he wrote a tract called "The Selling of Joseph" which was the first Anti-Slavery document published in America. Chestnut Hill Avenue was laid out in 1671. Newton Street, connecting Newton and West Roxbury village, was made in 1692. This road ran through a wilderness which was unsafe for people to penetrate on account of the many rattlesnakes, bears, and other wild animals inhabiting it.

In 1719, by order of the Town Committee, New Lane, afterwards Cypress Street, was opened. This connected the Sherborn and Watertown Roads. The land through which the lane ran was swampy and after a hard rain storm became almost like a pond. Captain Crafts lived on the corner of the Watertown Road and New Lane near the estate of the late Mr. Desmond FitzGerald. He owned two chaises, an old one and a new of which he was very proud. Every Sunday morning he used to send his servant, Susie, the whole length of the Lane to see whether it was dry enough for him to drive his new carriage to church or whether on account of the mud it would be better to use the old one.

A Brook ran under the road where the railroad now crosses Cypress Street. After a heavy rain this would overflow its banks and inundate the land. One day after a storm,- Rev. Mr. Tappan who was going to preach at the First Parish Church, as the pastor, Mr. Jackson, was sick, not knowing that the Lane was almost impassable, tried to drive through it. When he reached the brook, he missed the bridge and he, his son, the horse, and the chaise fell into the water. The riders were nearly drowned but managed to extricate themselves. Mr. Tappan sent his son for help, while he, standing in the water, freed the horse. He then rode bareback to the foot of the Sherborn Road, then up that street to Mr. Jackson's house. Here he borrowed what clothes he could, but was unable to find any breeches which would fit him. In spite of this, dressed in his own wet small-clothes and a jacket and waistcoat much too small for him, he appeared at church, just after the time for reading the first prayer, and carried on the rest of the service. The chaise, which he had borrowed from Rev. Dr. Willard, President of Harvard College, was much damaged by the accident.

Besides these roads there were several private lanes. One lead from Newtown Road to the marshes of Longwood. It was probably through this lane that people went when going to the landing on Charles River where the shipbuilding yards stood. There was a lane connecting Newton Street and the Sherborn Road where Clyde Street is, also private lanes where Goddard Avenue and Cottage Street now run.

Up to 1633 Brookline had been part of the Town of Boston. In that year Rev. Mr. Hooker and his congregation numbering 47 people, were removed by order of the court from Mt. Wollaston to Newtown, now Cambridge. They complained of the lack of land in that town and sent messengers out as far as Connecticut to find a suitable place for them to settle. This colony seeming to fulfill their requirements, they petitioned the Court to be allowed to travel and settle there. The Court being undecided, a compromise was made and Newtown was granted what is now Brookline, Brighton, and Newton, except such parts as were already assigned to private individuals, for them to live in. By this act the whole of Brookline became a part of Cambridge and continued so for about three years. In 1636 Mr. Hooker and about 100 men, women, and children left Newtown, traveled through a tractless wilderness to Connecticut and arriving safely, founded the city of Hartford. Muddy River was then handed back to Boston and continued to be a part of that town until it became a separate municipality under its own government.

The first mention of Muddy River in the. Boston Records was in 1634 when a committee was appointed to assess a rate for the keeping of goats, swine, and young cattle in that district. In 1635 officers were appointed by the Town of Boston to layout an allotment and a farm for the teacher, John Cotton. In the same warrant it was agreed that "William Colburn shall have his proportion of ground near unto and about the house which he has there built." As far as is known this was the first house built in Brookline. The same year there was an act passed stating that the poor inhabitants, such as were church members, having no cattle should have their proportion of planting land laid out in Muddy River. Evidently these grants were given to promote settlement. It was also decreed that no one should fall any timber on their own or any other private allotment. Would that latter generations had been so far-seeing!

From 1636 to 1642 the records of Muddy River are almost exclusively given up to the granting of land to various families. These allotments varied in size from 4 acres to 250 acres. It was only permitted to have one house built on a lot, unless permission was obtained from the Town Overseers. Was this the forerunner of our present Zoning System? These grants were allowed to people living in Boston, but very few of them were built on, so we find almost none of the names of the old Brookline families among the grantees. Later we find this grant land bought up more and more by the old settlers and by 1667 the absent landlords had disappeared.

That Muddy River was beginning to develop and grow out of its infancy is shown by the fact that constables had to be appointed for preventing excessive drinking and disorder in private houses and to prosecute the owners of unlicensed houses of entertainment. Inhabitants were ordered not to entertain strangers within their doors. Undesirable people were ordered to leave the town. Surveyors and perambulators were appointed for visiting all the boundaries of the town. I t is interesting to read the names of the first Constables and Surveyors. Names so intimately connected with the history of the town, Jonathan White, Edward Devotion, Peter Aspinwall, Thomas Gardner, John Winchester, Thomas Boylston, and John Sharp.

In 1686 the inhabitants of Muddy River petitioned for the right to have their own school and maintain the same, themselves. In answer to this request the following Act was passed by Boston "That henceforth the said hamlet be free from town rates to Boston. That they maintain their own highways, poor and that within one year build a schoolhouse and supply an able reading and writing master." This order was accepted by the people who agreed to pay the schoolmaster 10 pounds per annum and to tax the people who availed themselves of the school for the balance necessary for his support! At the same time they abated in part or in whole, the school rates of the poor. A committee was appointed to decide just what was the center of the town, so they could locate the school there. They decided on the triangle west of the First Parish Church, where the monument now stands.

In March 1700 the inhabitants of Muddy River, perceiving the inconvenience of having their local affairs managed in Boston, petitioned to be set off as a town by themselves: To be able to elect their own town officers and the right to select a minister to hold service for them. This petition was refused by the Governor and Council and what was worse, the taxes, from which the town had been for sometime excused, were laid on again. This rejection did not dishearten the inhabitants and in 1704 another petition was sent to the Governor. This, in turn, was also turned down.

In 1705 still another request was sent to the Governor and Council, in Court Convened, and on the 13th of November, 1705, the petition was granted and the hamlet of Muddy River became the Town of Brookline. It is a mooted question where the name of Brookline originated. It may have received its name from the Sewall Farm, which was called Brookline Farm. This was located on Charles River, extending to the west as far as Smelt Brook, which was one of the boundary lines of the Town.

In accepting this Act of Incorporation, the inhabitants, on their part, agreed to build a Meeting House and obtain an able Orthodox minister within three years. Just when our Coat of Arms, showing the State House in the background and what looks like a rummage sale of farm implements in the foreground, was adopted I do not know.

During the early years of the new Town of Brookline much of its activity was centered around the old Punch Bowl Tavern. Just when John Ellis built the old hipped-roof building is unknown. But it must have been early in the 18th century. As time went on, old houses were bought and added to the original building, thus making a composite affair, the rooms being connected any-old-way and the passages were on different levels. This building occupied the space from a little above the Gas House, to what in my younger days, was Brown's provision store (still a market in Village Square). There was a seat running along the whole front of the building and here the neighbors used to congregate and swap yarns. The sign that hung in front of the portal of the old hostelry depicted a Punchbowl with a heavily fruited lemon tree above it; some of the fruit having apparently fallen off, lay around the bow!.

The Selectmen used to have their annual suppers at the old Inn; after one of these suppers the house was set on fire and was in danger of being burned down. The patronage of the Hotel was so large that often the rows of teams standing while their drivers stopped for refreshment extended from Brookline Avenue up to the location of the Brookline Trust Company. In the evenings parties composed of the belles of Boston accompanied by the town Beaux Brummels or by British officers would drive out over the Neck to enjoy dancing and festivities at this hospitable tavern.

Although the Town of Brookline, at the time of incorporation had agreed to build a meeting house within three years, our forefathers do not seem to have been in any hurry to carry out their part of the contract. Nothing was done until 1713. In March of that year, in Town Meeting, it was voted to appoint three men to find a site suitable for the church, near the center of the town. In December, 1713, Mr. Caleb Gardner, Jr., did "offer and bequeath, ratify and confirm unto the Town of Brookline a piece of land near his house, where on to build a Meeting House for the Worship of God." This land was just west of the present Parsonage. The gift was accepted, and it was voted that an edifice should be built having the same dimensions as the Meeting House in Roxbury.

In the year 1714 the Town Meeting voted not to send a representative to the General Court in Boston, because the charge of building the Meeting House was so excessive for such a poor little town. In 1715 the same vote was passed on account of the expense of finishing the Church.

The first Meeting House was raised November 10, 1714. The dedication sermon was preached June 3d, 1715, by Rev. Nehemiah WaIter, pastor of the First Church of Roxbury. There was a question raised as to the payment for the dinner provided for this occasion but the Town voted that it should pay the bill. The Church was gathered October, 1717, Reverend James Allen being the first Pastor. There were 17 male members and 22 female. The people were seated according to their dignity, age, and standing by a person appointed in Town Meeting. During Dr. Allen's ministration, certain members of his church left and followed the teaching of Mr. Jonathan Hyde, an illiterate layman of Connecticut and a follower of Rev. George Whitefield.

Dr. Porter was ordained in 1755. There is a bill still 10 existence which was rendered to the Town by Deacon Elisha Goddard, for the expense of this ordination. This includes the following items. Rum 1£, 14s, no pence. Sugar 1£, 10s, 6 pence. Turkeys 3£, no shillings, no pence. Fowls 1£, 10s, no pence. Pudding pans 1£, 5s, no pence.

We will now return again to the records of our Town, having digressed from our story to give an account of the First Parish Church. In Town Meeting 1712 it was voted to build two schoolhouses, and to maintain a good school Dame for half of the year at each school. That they appoint a Master to teach for one term at each schoolhouse.

Prior to this, there had already been two schools in Muddy River. The first, as we have already mentioned, was voted in 1686 and 12£ raised for its upkeep. No records remain as to the nature of this building. The second schoolhouse was on School Lane, as it was then called, or as we know it, School Street. This was a poor little building, situated opposite the present Pierce School. It was later torn down and replaced by a square hipped-roofed building, standing where the present schoolhouse now is. This latter was the school mentioned in the Acts of 1712. Tradition states that the lot on which it was built, was given by one of the Davis's to the Town to be used as a school lot forever. This school house was heated by a stove. In winter the boy pupils had to split and carry the wood for the school fire and bring live coals in an iron skillet from Squire Sharps house to start the blaze. One day one of the boys thought he could hurry up the splitting, by blowing up the wood with gunpowder, he therefore drilled a hole in the stick, filled it with explosive and touched it off. Result was that he was so lame that he could hardly walk, for many days.

Among the old-school masters was one who was very fond of taking stimulants. One day one of the pupils called out "Master, Master, your bottle is sticking out of your pocket!" This story reached the ears of the School Committee, who also were the Selectmen. They decided to call on the School Master in a body and remonstrate with him on the errors of his ways. He, seeing them coming, mixed up a large bowl of Punch and on their arrival passed glasses of it around, taking care that these were refilled as soon as emptied, meantime entertaining his guests with amusing stories. The Committee fully understanding that the Master had them at a disadvantage finally left the house without saying a word about his habits.

In 1713 it was voted at Town Meeting "That the inhabitants of the South part of the Town might erect a School house there at their own expense.!' Just where this was. located, it is difficult to say. There used to be a very old schoolhouse, afterward torn down, where the present little Newton-Street School is, and this probably was the original "South Town School."

In 1717 at a meeting of the inhabitants of Brookline a committee was appointed to procure a burying place to inter the dead. This committee agreed with Mr. Clark to purchase half an acre of land near the Meeting House for 8£. It was agreed that said Clark should have the herbage on said land, provided he maintain the front fence. The entrance to the burying-ground was by a wooden gate in the center of the fence, but carriages could not enter because there was no place for them to turn around. Many Revolutionary soldiers, not only those who lived in Brookline but also those who died in the barracks in the Town, were buried in the Walnut Street Cemetery. In the back part of the Burying ground was a Potters Field. Here lie two slaves of the Heath family Dinah and Ben Boston.

From 1730 to 1770 things seem to have jogged on quietly in Brookline. The minister's salary had to be voted on each year, the church questions had to be decided, the up-keep of the schools, the repairs to the highways, and the important subject as to whether or not hogs should be allowed to run loose in the streets, demanded attention. Among the officers who had to be voted upon in Town Meeting were, tithingmen, fence viewers, pound keepers, hog reaves, surveyors of hemp and flax, leather sealers, clerks of the market and perambulators.

Even in these early days the Town was not free from strikes. In 1759 Rev. Nathaniel Potter, the appointed pastor, applied to the Town for a settled annual addition of 26£, 13s, 4 pence, and 6 cord more of wood to his salary. On his first application apparently no notice was taken of his request. At the next Town Meeting the matter was brought up and immediately voted down. On being informed of this vote, Mr. Potter appeared in Town Meeting and begged to be discharged from his ministerial contract with the Town, offering to resign all or part of his settlement money. It was then voted that he be discharged from said contract upon his giving a good security to the Selectmen that he would pay, within three months, into the Town Treasury the sum of 133£, 6s, 8 pence. This sum was evidently cut down later as there is still in existence the receipt stating that in November of the same year Mrs. Potter, acting as Mr. Potter's attorney, paid to the Town 24£, 10s, 8 pence which the Town had agreed to accept as a whole payment of his indebtedness.

In 1762 Edward Devotion left to the Town a sum of money amounting to 739£, 4s, for the use of its schools. The amount was only fifty pounds less than the bequest of John Harvard to Harvard College and represented a fortune for those days. This money was borrowed by the State during the Revolution and when paid back to the Town, was paid in depreciated Continental currency. It was then put at interest and in 1845, when it had amounted to $4,531.01, it was appropriated for building the Town Hall, which was to have two school rooms in it.

I now come to a subject that ought to be of great interest to the people of Brookline, as the fight for inoculation for Smallpox was really started in this country by a fellow townsman. We of the present day cannot appreciate the prevalence of this disease two hundred years ago or how the dread of it was always present in the breasts of the people. For centuries, even before the dawn of history, the disease had raged, sixty percent of mankind were attacked by it and 10% died. In 1607 Smallpox appeared in the West Indies and soon spread to this continent. Cotton Mather stated that "two years before the New England settlement was made, that the Indians in these parts had been visited by a prodigious pestilence that carried off nine out of every ten of them, so that the woods were almost cleared of these pernicious creatures."

In 1721, two months after Lady Mary Worthly Montague had first introduced inoculation into England, Dr. Cotton Mather, having read the famous papers written by Dr. Timonious on Turkish inoculation and being intensely interested, decided to introduce this practice into Boston. He went to the most prominent physicians in Boston, Dr. William Douglas and Dr. Del Hond, and asked them to treat their patients by inoculation. They both refused. He then turned to Brookline and sought out Zabdiel Boylston, a young country physician, who immediately took up the work. On June 27, 1721, Boylston inoculated himself and two negro servants.

Dr. Douglas and his followers immediately rose up in arms and accused Boylston of being a rash and unscrupulous quack. They carried their protests to the civil authorities and the public press. Not content with that, they aroused the mob. The ministers denounced the practice but they were soon quieted by Cotton Mather. The press, headed by Benjamin Franklin, stated that death following inoculation was murder.

The Legislature brought in bills to prohibit the obnoxious practice. Two other intrepid doctors joined Dr. Boylston, Robey in Cambridge and Thompson in Roxbury. Family and friends offered their services to test the cure. Boylston could only visit his patients secretly, by night. Lynching was threatened. His house was attacked and a bomb thrown into it, but luckily his hiding place was not discovered. This violence continued for months, in fact as long as the 1721 pestilence lasted. In the first year after the introduction of inoculation there were 286 people received the treatment and of these only 6 died. Of these 6, three were said to have acquired Smallpox before their inoculation. Within the same period, 5,759 people took the disease in a natural way - of these 840 died. When these figures were established, the other doctors admitted their defeat.

The controversy still raged in London and Dr. Boylston went over, at the request of Sir Hans Sloan, the physician to King George First. He was made a member of the Royal Society - the first American to receive this honor.

Dr. Aspinwall continued the work done by Dr. Boylston. He erected two hospitals for the inoculation of Smallpox in Brookline, one on Aspinwall Avenue, between Toxteth St. and the railroad bridge, the other on the corner of Perry St. and Aspinwall Avenue. He continued the inoculation until the introduction of vaccination by Dr. Waterhouse of Cambridge in 1799, one year after the discovery of Cow Pox Vaccination by Jenner.

In 1767 we find the first signs of that hostile feeling toward the mother country which later was to lead to the Revolutionary War. In Town Meeting it was unanimously voted to take more prudent measures to promote industry, economy, and manufactures in the provinces and to take all legal measures to discourage the use of European superfluities. A committee was appointed to prepare a subscription against such imports.

In 1773 a special meeting was called to consider the Tax on Imports. It was voted "That the Rights of the Colonies were founded on the Laws of Nature, Divine Revelation, the British Constitution, and the Charter of the Province. That the infringement and violation of these Rights are great grievances and for re-dress of which petitions and remonstrances have been made in vain. That the raising of revenue within this Province by the British House of Commons and the giving and granting of such money, without the consent of the People, was repugnant to the first principles of a Free Constitution."

Voted that "the Representatives of this Town are instructed to use their utmost power to promote measures to speedily remove their grievances." Voted that "a Committee be chosen to write to the Committee of Correspondence in Boston and communicate the foregoing action."

In 1773 a meeting was called to consider the question of the large quantity of tea belonging to the India Company, hourly expected to arrive in this Province subject to an American duty. The Town unanimously made the following resolve. "That the Act of the British Parliament imposing a duty on such Tea was unconstitutional and had a direct tendency to bring the Americans into Slavery. That the grievances complained of by the Colonies, instead of being redressed, had been augmented by the Act passed for the benefit of the Tea Company. That Richard Clark and Company and Thomas and Elisha Hutchinson of Boston, who have brought themselves and others into contempt by their conduct, in the non-importation-time and are now fugitives from Boston, receive not the least favor or protection in Brookline."

It was voted that "This Town is ready in every way possible to assist the Town of Boston in opposing this dangerous Tea scheme. That whoever shall hereafter presume to import Tea, while it is subject to the odious duty, shall be treated as an enemy of his Country."

In 1774 the Representatives to the General Court were instructed as follows: "As we expect that soon there will be a dissolution of the House of Representatives, due to the faithful adherence to the Constitution and Charter of the Province by its members, we hereby empower our Representatives to meet the Delegates from the other Towns, at a Provincial Congress to be held at Concord or elsewhere."

In September, 1774, delegates were chosen to attend the Suffolk Convention at Dedham. This Convention adjourned to Milton, where, on the 9th of September, General Warren reported the Suffolk Resolves, which he had drafted. These Resolves, setting the British Government at defiance, raised the Standard of Rebellion and virtually set the Colonies in hostile array against the English Rule. At the Continental Congress at Philadelphia the approval of these measures was the first business in which they engaged and became the basis for their future action. [See Notes.]

In January, 1775, all the Towns around Boston were busy collecting ammunition for the War, which now seemed to be inevitable. Several hundred pounds of gunpowder were stored in an old house on the Goddard Place on Goddard Avenue. This was guarded by the family and a few volunteers. Later, as it was suspected that the Tories had heard about the powder, it was moved to Concord and was used in the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

Some Tories in the western part of the Town are said to have hidden some cannon which they intended to use to help the Royal troops when the opportunity offered. Their leader lived in the old Druce house, or Huckleberry Tavern, as it was then called, near Hammonds Pond. The house received this name from the fact that its owner used to make huckleberry wine which he sold to the neighbors when they gathered there on Election Night. From all accounts this wine was stronger than one-half percent. These Tories later had to flee to Boston and sailed away on the evacuation of that City.

On the 18th of April, 1775, about 11 o'clock at night, William Dawes started on horseback from Boston to alarm the Colonists and inform them that a British expedition was about to start to secure the powder stored at Concord. He passed through Roxbury and Brookline, crossed Charles River at Allston, and joined Paul Revere at Lexington. He evidently did not stop to arouse the people in this Town so they knew nothing about Gen. Smith's expedition against Concord, until word was brought that General Percy, with a body of a thousand men was about to pass through the Town, to reinforce him. The people at once rushed to arms; three companies immediately started for Lexington. One of these companies, consisting of 94 men, had already been organized and drilled by Captain Thomas White, the other two were made up on the spur of the moment. Thomas Aspinwall and Isaac Gardner were placed in command of the whole force. The road to Cambridge, being too circuitous, they hurried across lots, crossed the river, and joined the fighting colonists at North Cambridge. Forming behind stone walls, they fired on the retreating British, keeping up the attack and pursuing the troops until they reached Charlestown. Isaac Gardner, while watching the enemy in front, was attacked by a flanking party in the rear and fell dead, pierced by twelve bullets. He was the first man from Brookline and the first Harvard graduate to be killed in the Revolution.

We will now return to General Percy. He had left Boston at about nine in the morning, on April 19th, and marched over Boston Neck, up Tremont Street to the Punchbowl Tavern. He then took the old Cambridge Turnpike as far as Harvard Square, Brookline. Here he had to stop to enquire the way to Lexington. The only person in sight was a little boy, so he asked him which road he should take. The boy showed him and then said, "You inquire the way there, but I'll be damned if you ever need to know the way home!" Meanwhile the people in Allston, hearing of the approach of the British , removed the planking from the bridge, but as boards, at that time, were very valuable, and also being prompted by their New England thrift, they neatly piled the planks up on one side. Percy, arriving at the bridge, laid the flooring down again and marched over. After the troops had passed over, the people burned the bridge, so that they could not return to Boston that way. Had this been done at first, General Smith must have surrendered his forces to the Colonials.

Dr. Eliphalet Downer was one of the members of the Brookline company who was present at the Battle of Lexington and Concord. During the Siege of Boston he was with the Colonial Army under Washington, always seeking to be present where there was any danger. After the Evacuation of the City he joined the privateer "Yankee." Later he was put on board of a prize, with some other members of his boat, but the prize crew was too small and the prisoners rising up, retook the vessel. Downer and the rest were captured and thrown into a British prison. Inside of a year he escaped and made his way to France. He then joined the "Alliance" for a cruise in the British Channel and was with her while she took 18 prizes.

He then started for home, but the vessel he was on was captured after a fight of several hours, during which he was severely wounded by a cannon ball. He was then taken back to England and thrown into the Portsea prison. The prison could not hold Dr. Downer, however, as he and several others made a tunnel forty feet in length, under the prison wall and escaped. In all he had been in 14 prisons. He was then helped by some friends and escaped to France. He next served under John Paul Jones in the "Bon Homme Richard." Later he returned home and served as Chief Surgeon in the Penobscot Expedition against Canada.

On the 17th of June the Brookline men were scattered through three companies, but none of them saw service at the Battle of Bunker Hill. One company, under Captain Timothy Corey, was placed in the Fort at Sewalls Point, situated about where the old Cottage Farms Railroad station stood. This fort was very strongly built and mounted six guns. On July 31st, 1775, a floating battery sailed up the Charles and attack this fortification and a similar one on the Cambridge side of the river. After a number of shots had been exchanged, the enemy were repulsed. The only other fortification in Brookline was a small Battery of two guns on St. Mary's Street, where the schoolhouse stands.

Several houses in Brookline were used as barracks for the American troops; among these were the Davis house, at the corner of Davis Avenue and Washington Street, the Lee house on Boylston Street, and the Ackers house on Boylston Street.

After the Battle of Bunker Hill, John Goddard was put in command of the Wagon Trains by General Washington and given full power to impress into the service as many horses, oxen, and men as he needed. On the night when Dorchester Heights was fortified, he had three hundred men and wagons under his command. With this force, and in perfect silence not a word being spoken, he conveyed ammunition and cannon from Brookline to Dorchester. Even the Americans were surprised, the next morning, to see the fortifications that had grown over night.

After the Evacuation of Boston, the scene of War left Massachusetts. Brookline sent her quota to join the Continental Army, but the farther the active warfare receded from home, the harder it was to obtain volunteers. Enlistment committees were formed and larger and larger bounties offered, but in spite of all measures taken, the number of soldiers decreased. On July 3d, 1776, Captain White issued a Warrant, "that on the next afternoon at Town Meeting-, the Town's quota should be made up, by draft if not otherwise; any person that did not attend this meeting would be among the first chosen." Every man in the Town attended. In September, 1782, came the last call for men and five were hired by the Town. These were sent to Nantasket. Six months later the Town's arms and ammunition were given into the hands of the Selectmen and later sold.

On the 27th of February, 1784, the people of Brookline gathered on Corey Hill to see the fireworks set off in Boston to celebrate the conclusion of Peace. Brookline had ceased to be a colonial village and had become a part of the United States of America.
Many Indians were buried in the Acker's farm near the old Indian trail, where Reservoir Road runs. For many years after the tribe had left Brookline the Indians used to come back to visit the dead.

In 1639, 500 acres were laid out in Muddy River for perpetual commonage to the inhabitants of that town and of Boston.

The Block House had simply a door on the lower floor. The upper story extended three feet over the lower, with boards that could be taken up, so that the women could pour down boiling water on the Indians below.

In 1672 when the people of Roxbury built their church Muddy River was asked to pay one-fifth of the cost.

The first meeting house was forty-four feet by thirty-five. It had fourteen pews and several benches, with a gallery around the sides for children. There was no steeple and time was told by an hour glass on the pulpit. The men and women sat on the opposite sides of the church. While Mr. Jackson was parson the parsonage was badly damaged by fire, but his library was not burned.

In 1759 Mr. White deeded twenty acres of land in Needham to the town of Brookline to supply the minister with wood.
John Heath owned three slaves, Cuff, Kate, and Primus. Primus was asked which was heavier, a pound of lead or a pound of feathers. When he was made fun of for stating the former, remarked, "You put your head in the fireplace and I will go up to the top of the chimney and drop down on it a pound of each."

Ebinza Davisí Sambo was well known in his day. One time Mr. Davis overpaid a lawyer and the lawyer refused to pay back the change. Sometime later Sambo sold the lawyer a melon worth ninepence. The latter gave Sambo a dollar and asked for the change. The negro refused to return any as none had been repaid to Mr. Davis.

Reasons, in part, given by Committee appointed by citizens of Boston to consider the question of the separation of Muddy River from Boston, for refusing to grant the request of Muddy River.

"They (Muddy River) having been hitherto supported by the Town (Boston) while they were not able themselves to defray their necessary public charges now increasing upon us, and the body of ye town abounding with poor and such as are not able to defray but rather greatly increase the charges. For the inhabitants of Muddy River at such a time, and being themselves now grown more opulent and capable to be more helpful to the town, to be set from us seems most unreasonable and in them ungrateful, and may be a bad example to others to endeavor the like and so cut towns into such shreds as will best suit themselves without any regard to ye public interests."

In 1700 Dr. Daniel Stone was appointed to take care of and physic the poor for 12 months, for which he was to be paid 20 shillings out of the town treasury.

The old chocolate mill was on what used to be willow pond and was reached by a lane running in from Village Square. Later the power was used to run a trip hammer and during the war of 1812 cannons were cast here for the use of the army.

The Punch Bowl Tavern fire was probably due to tobacco ashes that were dropped onto the table cloth. This later burst into flames after it had been put away in the closet. The landlord jumped out of bed in his nightgown and threw a bucket of swill on the blaze. The children in their nightclothes ran out in the ice and snow to the neighbors. The proprietor, without stopping to dress, in spite of the cold, brought water in a bucket from the pump and directed the other helpers as how best to attack the conflagration.
These begin with a long preamble, stating that the country which had been won by the valour of our forefathers should be handed down free to future generations.

Then came the following resolves:

1. Acknowledged the right of King George III to rule the colonies.

2. Insisted upon the duty of the colonists to maintain civil and religious rights.

3 and 4. Affirmed that the Act of Parliament of blocking up the harbor of Boston and altering the established form of government in this colony was an unfriendly deed and no obedience was done to it.

5. Stated that Justices of the different courts appointed by other means than those which the charter and laws of the province prescribed are unconstitutional officers.

6. That the country will support all deputies, constables, and jurors who refuse to carry out the orders of such courts.

7. Recommended that all collectors of taxes, constables, and other officers, who have any public money in their possession refuse to surrender such money until directed so to do by the Provisional Congress.

8. Directed all persons, who have accepted seats in council board elected under the last act for regulating the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, to resign.

9. Stated that the fortifications built on Boston Neck are alarming the country and should be removed.

10. Claimed that the last act of Parliament for establishing the Roman Catholic Church and French Laws in Canada is dangerous to the Protestant religion in the Colonies.

11. Advised that the people should acquaint themselves with the art of war as soon as possible.

12. Affirmed that the Colonists were determined to act only on the defensive as long as they were able to. ,

13. It is understood that∑ it is contemplated to seize sundry persons who have been conspicuous in contending for the rights of the Colonists. If so, let the Americans arrest every servant of the government and hold them prisoners until our countrymen have been freed.

14. Resolved that the Colonists hold no commercial intercourse with England until their rights have been restored.

15. Advised that it is necessary for the Americans to encourage manufactures among themselves.

16. Stated that it is necessary that a Provincial Congress be called.

17. Expressed faith in the Continental Congress.

18. Urged people not to engage in riots.

19. Resolved that the Committee of Correspondence or Selectmen of the towns be empowered to send messengers to other towns to inform them if any act of the enemy made it desirable.
Captain Thomas Aspinwall signed this for Brookline.

March 7, 1774, the Committee of Correspondence in Boston wrote to the Brookline Committee: "We think it is our duty to acquaint you that a brigantine, Mr. Benjamin Gorham, master, is just arrived from London with a quantity of tea on board liable to a duty. We ask the favor of your company at the Selectman's chamber in Boston in order for a joint consultation. "

May 20th, 1776, Brookline advised its representative, Mr. John Goddard, "That if the Congress for the Safety of American Colonies declare themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain, that we said inhabitants of Brookline will solemnly engage with our lives and fortunes to support them in this measure."

Major Thompson's protest against forced quartering of soldiers in his domicile. In 1775 forty men under an officer marched from Watertown and entered his front yard. His house was situated on Harvard Street. Upon the major making a protest the officer presented a paper saying, "Capt. King you are hereby ordered to take possession of a house now occupied by a certain Major Thompson of Brookline for the occupation of your company and in case of resistance you are to enter by force." The owner locked the windows and doors and said the quartermaster had no right in his house. He would protest against any breaking open of said house as it was contrary to the sacred rights of every free man to the enjoyment of his own property and domestic security. He offered to pay the bill himself if they depart and spend the night at the nearest inn. The officer refused and ordered his men to break in the door. Meanwhile Major Thompson renewed his protest from an upper window, having gone into the house by the back door. The door was broken open by blows from the butts of the soldiers' guns. Major Thompson was surrounded by the troopers and put under guard. He was then forced to move his family and furniture into one room and occupy that.



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