Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Cabots Talk To The Lowells

Lowell house, Heath street (photo added 9/15/2011).

H. McIntyre, 1852 (BPL)

If you click on the above map, you'll see the exact location of the Lowell (of the City of Lowell fame) family home at Heath street. Today we call this area Jamaica Plain, but I'm sure the Lowells considered themselves residents of Roxbury. West Roxbury had seceded from Roxbury the previous year (1851), with this area remaining part of Roxbury. At the bottom left is the Misses Lowells' house, near to Centre street. Coming in from the top middle of the picture is Lowell street (now Columbus avenue).

Addendum: When I wrote this post, I didn't catch that along with the Misses Lowell house on Centre street, the house of J.A. Lowell also sat above on Heath street. The photo above, added at this time, shows driveways in the foreground that match well with those on the map. The photo also matches with the footprint of the house on the map.

A few more things to note. First, the railroad tracks had been built along the Lowell estate in the 1830s. Second, the Roxbury Chemical and Color Manufacturing Co. had a large factory just across the railroad tracks and Centre street. Third, notice Stony brook running through the area on its way to the Charles river basin. The Back Bay was yet to be filled in, and the Fens were still a tidal wetland. After two hundred years of relative quiet, this region was beginning to get busy.

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