Friday, March 28, 2008

Welcome To The Slaughterhouse

This segment of an 1858 map shows a slaughter house at the end of a lane between Centre street and Chestnut avenue. Look just to the right of center on the map.

It's really not as ominous as it sounds. Jamaica Plain was a farming community, and it did have at least one slaughterhouse over the years. The second short entry notes a fire at the slaughterhouse of Mr Goldsmith, and his name show up at the top of the above-mentioned lane on the map. The first article is dated 35 years before this map was published. The reference to the estate of Dr. Warren suggests that the site is the same, as Dr Warren lived near where Green street was later laid out.

Addendum: I just noticed that a Goldsmith place is now located right about where the lane to the slaughterhouse is shown on this map. I'm not familiar with Goldsmith place, and wouldn't have remembered the name unless I looked at a current map. It looks like the slaughterhouse would have been between the end of Goldsmith place and Enfield street. I hope there are no vegans living there now - they'd probably be haunted by nightmares and never know why.

Do you suppose there are any cow bones in the ground where the old slaughterhouse was located? I'd bet some digging in the right place would find some, if they weren't all found when the streets were laid out and houses built.

Columbian Centinel November 5, 1823

On Monday, Nov. 24, at 3 o'clock, P.M. two lots of Land, on Jamaica Plain, opposite the seat of John Hubbard, Esq. and adjoining the estate of the late Doct. Warren, being a donation given in care to the trustees of Eliot School, by the late Mrs. Abigail Brewer. One lot of about fifteen acres is bounded on the Main Road, about eighteen rods, being licensed for, and having a Slaughter house thereon. An opportunity now offers to young men who wish to establish themselves in that business, that does not often occur. This lot of Land is superior in quality, having two living springs that have never failed, and an interval that bears two crops a year without dressing.

The other lot contains about five acres, adjoining the river upland and meadow. Conditions liberal, made known at time of sale. For particulars inquire of

Committee of Sales

Jos Curtis,
Paul Gore,
Benj. T. Williams,

Roxbury, Nov 3, 1823

New Hampshire Sentinel December 27, 1849


On Friday night, shortly after ten o'clock, the slaughterhouse of Mr Goldsmith, Jamaica Plain, was discovered to be on fire, and was mostly consumed. It was the work of an incendiary.

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