Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Historical Maps of Jamaica Plain - Online Resources

Here are some online maps that I've found useful. The titles in the links are not particularly useful, but when you follow the link you'll see what you get. I but them in order of age, with the first picture map being the exception. If you look through these you'll notice that some of them borrow from others. Whether it was plagiarism or authorized I don't know. You may also notice that the early maps are not perfect - the streets are represented, but not exactly following the correct paths. I think we have to be careful about relying too much on these documents for accuracy. They tell us a good deal, but we can't be sure that they get everything right.

The later ward maps were made for the fire insurance industry, and give every building and the owner of each - very cool.

Bird's Eye View - 1891

Boston and its vicinity - 1819

Map of Boston and its vicinity - 1829

Map of Boston and its vicinity - 1858

Map of Boston - 1860

Map of the city of Boston - 1866

Boston and its environs - 1867

Map of Boston - 1867

Map of the city of Boston - 1867

Map of Boston and the country adjacent - 1874

Boston - 1888

Boston sheet, Geological Survey - 1890

Wards 19, 22, Bromley Park - 1895

Wards 19, 22, Hyde Square-Heath - 1895

Ward 22, Amory street - 1895

West Roxbury, Dorchester, Brighton - 1899

Ward 23, south of Forest Hills - 1899

Wards 22, 23, north Jamaica Plain - 1899

Ward 23, Forest Hills & Arboretum - 1899

Wards 22, 23, south Jamaica Plain & Forest Hills

Boston and surroundings - 1927

And don't forget the map page on the Jamaica Plain Historical Society web site. They were able to take pictures of fire insurance maps that are not available online.


  1. Spiff. Since my recent move to JP, I've been trying to figure out the mystery of why Washington Street mysteriously turns into Hyde Park Av at Forest Hills and continues on a parrallell street to the west. I figure that Washington St. was once connected and now I can check these maps to see how the street plan used to look.

  2. Washington street and the railroad tracks were there long before Hyde Park ave. When the railroad tracks went in, Washington street had to be routed across before going south to Roslindale. When Hyde Park ave was laid down, they just ran it north into Forest Hills until it met Washington street. On the maps from 1899 you should be able to see the island that was formed by the two streets. There were big buildings there before they were taken to allow elevated trains to be moved south to a repair yard between Hyde Park ave and Washington street.