Friday, November 2, 2007

The Keyes To The City

Sampson Murdock, 1888 (copyright © 2000 by Cartography Associates.)
David Rumsey Collection

When I started looking at old Jamaica Plain maps, one of the first things I noticed was that McBride street had been called Keyes street from its origin in the mid 19th Century until at least the early 20th Century. Charles Keyes was a lawyer who was listed in the 1873-4 Jamaica Plain/West Roxbury directory, and had an office at the Bartlett building at the Jamaica Plain (Green st) railroad station. I suspect that he or his father, like many other successful men of the time, dabbled in real estate. So why did one of the older settled streets in that part of Jamaica Plain change its name? A search through the Boston Globe archive provided the answer.

A small note: as in other Globe articles of the time, Centre st is spelled wrong. Given that Centre is one of the oldest streets in the region, the mistake is more than a little puzling.

Edit: 11/13/07 - In Alexander von Hoffman's book Local Attachments, he notes that a John Keyes had a tannery near South street in the 1700s. So perhaps John provided the name for the street in question.

Edit 2: 9/24/08 - It took me a while to trace down the source of the Keyes name. When the Loring estate was sold after the Revolution, it was not sold in one piece. Ann Doane/Greenough purchased the major part to the north, while John Keyes purchased the southern portion. The border between the two properties was just south of where David S. Greenough would put Keyes street 1850. A land plan of the time shows the area to the south of the Greenough property as "Keyes Farm."

Boston Daily Globe April 18, 1921

Name Five Squares For Service Men Rename Keyes St for Corp J.J. McBride

Veterans' Organizations, City and Church Officials Take Part

Hundreds of men, women and childres, with members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and representatives of the city, paraded through sections of Jamaica Plain yesterday afternoon and dedicated five public squares and renamed one of the oldest streets in the district in honor of as many Jamaica Plain young men who gave their lives in the war.

The marchers, led by Michael J. O'Connell Post, A.L. Sergt J. Edward Murray, commander, made their first stop at Keyes and South sts, where the name of Keyes st was changed to McBride st. The change was made in memory of Corp John J. McBride of Company A, 191st Infantry. Corp McBride was born on that street and died in France.

Tribute was paid to the name of the departed hero by Rt Rev Mgr Edward J. Moriarty, pastor of St Thomas Church; Brig Gen Edward Logan and Hon Thomas J. Lally.

At the Soldiers' Monument at Eliot and Center[sic] sts, Myron B. Whitcomb sq was dedicated in honor of the veteran of that name who was a member of Co D. 101st Infantry, and who died overseas. Here the speakers were Rev F.E. Heath and Col Thomas F. Sullivan.

The area at Green, Center and Myrtle sts was named for Sergt Edward F. Hicks of the 51st Pioneer Infantry. Mgr Moriarty, City Councillor Ford and Ensign Alfred J. Moore, spoke words of praise for the deceased.

At Center Moraine and Boylston sts and South Huntington av a square was dedicated in memory of William E. Canary of Co D, 101st Infantry. Here speakers were Rev M.J. O'Connor, who was chaplain of the 101st Infantry; Representatives Hugh J. Campbell and Cornelius Driscoll.

Frederick Kusmaul sq at Amory and Boylston sts was named for a departed veteran of that name who was a member of Co D, 60th Infantry. Addresses were made by the Rev E.W.C. Brueckner and Frank W. Seiberlich.

At Forest Hills and Washington sts a square was dedicated to Corp Jardan McPhee of Battery C, 76th Field Artillery. Rev Daniel Riley, Rev John P. Riorden and Ex-Mayor James M. Curley were the speakers.

At each place the parents of the departed veteran were introduced by Commander J. Edward Murray of the American Legion, the presiding officer. The children of Leo XIII School, Jamaica Plain, sang.

No comments:

Post a Comment