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Peabody Square was once thriving blacksmith area article by Anthony Sammarco
 Anthony Sammarco wrote an article on Peabody Square that appeared in the Dorchester Community News.

Click here to see the pdf version of the above title by Anthony Sammarco.


Peabody Square in 1923
Peabody Square 1923
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 Peabody Square looked a little bit different in 1923. The trolley lines were still in use, and point of land between Talbot Avenue and Dorchester Avenue was home to one-story commercial buildings with billboards on top. A three decker stood where the convenience store is today.

Charlie O’Hara wrote: With regard to this illustration: The one-story stores on Dot Ave. were there till the 1950s. The three decker which contained a hardware store is blocking your view of the fire station, the corner of which can be seen. Notice the unusual trolley track layout to prevent trolleys from running along the covered steam train tracks.

William Young: If you look carefully, however, you can see the fire house just to the left of the three decker, which seems instead to have stood on the site of the present convenience store. The low-pitched hip roof and arcaded second-story windows of the fire station are discernible. The Renaissance Revival-style building was certainly in place by 1923 as it was completed in 1895 to the designs of then City architect Edmund March Wheelwright, designer of many well-known and much-admired works throughout the city and environs (among them, Horticultural Hall at Huntington and Massachusetts Avenues; the Harvard Lampoon building in Cambridge; and the Longfellow Bridge).


Anothew view
Peabody Square blizzard no. 2
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 A closer view of the fire station beside the three-decker in a postcard showing the blizzard of 1920. The building in the left of the picture, sporting the Gold Dust billboard, is now the site of the Englewood Apartments.

Michael Stella points out that the building to the left of the fire station is still there, just covered in aluminum and maybe other materials.


Peabody Square Clock
Peabody Square Clock
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 The Peabody Square Clock was commissioned on 1909 with the description: "a twelve foot, four dial, post clock in the public square, known as Peabody Square, junction of Dorchester and Talbot Avenues, Ashmont. Each dial is to be thirty inches in diameter." The design of the clock was approved in October, 1909, and by August, 1910, the clock was reported to have been put in place. The clock was removed and fully restored in 2002-2003, and the clock was welcomed home in May, 2003.

View before clock
Peabody Square
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 Postcard of Peabody Square before the clock was installed. You can see the undeveloped site of what is now the Ashmont Chiropractic building next to the three-decker where there is now the Store 24. The overhead wires for the trolleys seem to have been stripped out of the photo, although you can see the track.

Postcard. Caption on front: Peabody Sq. looking down Dorchester Ave. Dorchester, Mass. Photo by J.V. Hartman. ca. 1910. On verso: Pub. by J.V. Hartman & Co., Boston, Mass. series 65.

J.V. Hartman produced a series of cards of this type--somewhat primitive looking in an era when postcards in color were very popular. Most of the postcards in color were printed in Germany, so perhaps the cards in this series were printed locally. Europe was more technologically advanced in printing postcards because the post offices there allowed privately-printed postal cards (as opposed to those issued by the post office) about 10 years earlier than the United States Post Office.


View looking south
Peabody Square
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 Postcard looking from the north, showing the island with the horse-watering trough but before the clock was installed. All Saints Church is at the left and the Peabody Apartment building to its right.

Postcard. Caption on front: Peabody Sq., Ashmont, Mass. Postmarked Dorchester Center Station, Feb 20, 1912. With one cent stamp. On verso: No. H 12665 The Robbins Bros Co., Boston, Mass. and Germany.


Related Images: showing 8 of 19 (more results)
Here are some images from the Atheneum archive related to this topic. Click on any of these images to open a slideshow of all 19 images.
Peabody Square no. 2Peabody SquarePeabody Square ClockBlizzard 1920 no. 3
Peabody Square 2Sleeping Moon SculptureJohn D Bussell Supply CoAll Saints Church
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Created: February 10, 2008   Modified: April 26, 2011