About This Site
Welcome to Historical Boston.com. I hope you find this site engaging, and easy to use. If you would like to leave a comment, or have a question, please drop me a line.
I have always been interested in the City of Boston, and its history. There are many fascinating books on the subject, as well as many ‘ole timers’ I have met who will happily fill you in on the background of their particular neighborhood. I have also always enjoyed drawing, and making things, and one day it dawned on me that I could combine these two interests into one subject. This website, and the maps displayed here is the result of that epiphany while sitting at Brighton and Harvard with a cup of coffee one snowy evening.
Maps are wonderful things. Viewing a map can re-acquaint one with their past, as well as point on towards the future. Maps give a viewer a sense of place, and a reassuring sense of control over ones environment; the master, even If imagined, of all that they survey. Maps help us plan our world, and demonstrate that we have left our mark upon it. Many places on maps deserve marking, or special mention due to their historical, or present-day significance.
The City of Boston is rich in history. In fact, some of the stuff happening right now is pretty interesting too. Each of these maps represents an effort to accurately depict the neighborhoods of Boston, as well as inform the viewer on the significant events, facts, and places relevant to each one. Furthermore, I have gone to great lengths to include facts, and events that are not common knowledge. This has meant many hours in various libraries, coffee shops, and pubs with a notepad on my knee, but the effort has been well worth it. It irritates me to no end to think that many details of the development of this city are slowly becoming lost to the ravages of time.
Every image depicted on these map prints is either believed to be in the Public Domain as defined by the copyright laws detailed by the U.S. National Archives, (link) or permission has been granted by the owner for its use. If you feel any image on these maps is being used improperly, please let me know, and steps will be taken to either confirm its availability, or remove it.
Each neighborhood in Boston has been meticulously detailed and drawn as it appears today. Every effort has been expended to get this right! Each map print is rendered in a different color scheme to enhance the collection as a whole. The historical facts that surround each map have been thoroughly researched, by me, and recorded in detail where space allows. In order to finish these maps to my satisfaction, a good deal of time is needed. Each one takes several months to draw, research, assemble, proofread, correct, and clean up. As I finish more sections of the city, the neighborhoods will be filled in with the base color of each map. Please be patient!
Click on the neighborhoods to view the map you would like to see.
Downtown Boston served me with a problem. This part of the city has totally transformed itself from a thin peninsula resembling a wilted three-lobed leaf, into a metropolis with entire sections built on fill, and bulwarked old wharves. Also, there is so much history over the nearly 400 years of the city’s existence, that trying to jam it all in on one print would never do it justice. As a result of this dilemma, I departed from my established format, and detailed ‘Boston Proper’ in a series of seven prints, each one depicting a pivotal time during the development of Boston from a tiny settlement town, into a major American city. These prints are intended to be viewed as a set, but look equally nice on their own. Please click on the time period that intrigues you.