Celebrating Hyde Park: Documents and Images from the City of Boston Archives

Description

In 1912, the Town of Hyde Park shed its independent identity and became a part of the City of Boston. Only forty-four years earlier, a group of men known as the Twenty Associates, had founded the Town of Hyde Park.  Led by Alpheus P. Blake, the Twenty Associates, purchased 100 acres of land on the Neponset River from Dorchester, Milton and Dedham to build their town.

Hyde Park grew quickly after its 1868 incorporation. The town’s picturesque scenery and proximity to Boston by rail attracted individuals and families interested in a more pastoral lifestyle. In 1887, 1500 individuals called Hyde Park home. By 1912, the year Hyde Park joined the City of Boston, the town boasted 15,000 residents.

These images and documents from the City of Boston Archives document Hyde Park’s rich culture and community in both its years as an independent town and its time as a beloved Boston neighborhood.

Credits

Exhibit by Marta Crilly

Sections

Town Founding

In 1856,  a group of twenty men know as the "Twenty Associates" bought land in the Fairmount section of Milton. Led by Alpheus Perley Blake, the men laid out Fairmount Avenue and built houses along it. Two decades later, in 1868, the men succeeded in incorporating their community as the Town of Hyde Park.

Maps

Hyde Park was formed from land formerly belonging to Milton, Dedham, and Dorchester. Hyde Park's location on the Neponset River and its picturesque views of the Blue Hills made it a desirable location for many families.

Town Government

As an independent town, Hyde Park was governed by a Board of Selectmen. A town hall located at River Street and Gordon Avenue acted as the seat of the town's government.

Annexation

In 1912, Hyde Park became Boston's last annexed neighborhood. By the early 1900s, the population of Hyde Park had dramatically increased due to an influx of immigrants attracted to work opportunities in Hyde Park mills. The City of Boston wished to capitalize on the tax revenues from those mills. The act of annexation wasaccepted by the residents of the town of Hyde Park on November 7, 1911 and annexation to Boston took effect on January 1, 1912.

Elections and Politics

Naturalized and native-born women and men voted in Hyde Park elections. Hyde Park's voter registers showcase the variety of immigrants who settled in Hyde Park and their investment in their new community.

Schools

Like many Boston neighborhoods, Hyde Park is home to several historic schools. Hyde Park High School was founded in 1869, only a year after the town's incorporation and awarded its first diplomas in 1873. Hyde Park High was followed by a number of elementary schools, includuding the Damon and Grew Schools in 1871,