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Grove Hall
Grove Hall
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 Postcard. Caption on front: Grove Hall. Postmarked May 10, 1906. On verso: No. 531. Pub. by Boston Post-Card Co., 12 Pearl St.

The text below is found on the following webpage. What seems to be missing from this description is that Grove Hall was the name of Thomas Kilby Jonesí estate.

http://ksgaccman.harvard.edu/hotc/DisplayPlace.asp?id=11446

Grove Hall began as a crossroads. Wherever 17th century travelers ventured, they needed to cross the slender neck of land that connected Boston to the towns to the south. Grove Hall became the connecting point between Roxbury and Dorchester. Grove Hall took its name from Thomas Kilby Jones's mansion/estate.

Normandy Street in Grove Hall was the original boundary between Roxbury and Dorchester. Two men built their country estates on either side of this line. Boston auctioneer Thomas Kilby Jones built the first estate on the Roxbury side northwest of Normandy in the early 1800s, on land originally owned by Samuel Payson. The Jones estate included Puddingstone Park.

Marshal Wilder acquired his estate known as Hawthorne Grove on the Dorchester side (southeast of Normandy), formerly owned by the Sumner family. He moved there in 1831. Wilder was dedicated to horticulture. At various times over the course of his later years, Wilder was the president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, the Massachusetts Agricultural Club, and the Massachusetts Agricultural College. He built his home at the intersection of Washington and Columbia Road, as well as multiple 20- to 40-foot greenhouses where he grew a range of fruits for domestic use. After Wilder died in 1886, his property was divided up into multiple plots.

The name Grove Hall was later applied to a popular hotel or summer house that operated just east of the intersection of Warren and Blue Hill Avenue in the early 1800s.

From Grove Hall south to Milton and the Blue Hill, the Brush Hill turnpike was planned in 1805 and built by 1809.


Readers' Comments
 I have looked at several sources which say Jones built the Grove Hall house in 1800 - for example, Francis Samuel Drake's
The Town of Roxbury. Anthony Sammarco gives the date 1800 in his book on Roxbury, but c. 1810 in Dorchester, vol. II (103). Perhaps to be sure one might need to check some deeds, or other primary sources. The site was where the Kent Tavern operated until 1796 or 1797.

I have been researching Grove Hall history, and I have tried to double check info and press deeper in the research to substantiate information, but as you say sometimes misinformation gets passed on from one work to another.

- Rudy Mitchell, June 2009


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Created: April 26, 2011   Modified: April 26, 2011