Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 290

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feet in width. This dam encloses about' 600
acres of flats, over which the tide formerly flowed
from seven to ten feet deep. A partition dam
divides this enclosure, and forms, by the aid of
flood and ebb gates, a full and a receiving basin;
thereby creating at all times a vast hydraulic
power for the propulsion of machinery. The
partition dam also forms a fine avenue from the
main dam to Roxbury. This great undertaking
was commenced in 1818, and opened for travel
2, 1821. It cost about $700,000. The
proprietors of the Western Avenue claim a per-
petual franchise; but all the other avenues have
either become already, or will, at a given date,
hereafter become, the property of the state, and
free for the use of the public. The various rail-
roads are carried over into the city upon bridges
built expressly for their accommodation. There
are besides steam ferry boats which ply con-
tinually between Boston and East Boston, and
between Boston and Chelsea.

There are two rapidly-increasing sections of
the city, which have sprung up upon points of
land separated from the peninsula by portions
of the harbor. One of these is
South Boston,
which was set off from Dorchester, by legislative
enactment, March 6, 1804. The territory is
bounded South by Dorchester Bay, and spreads
out about two miles on the south of Boston
harbor, above the forts. It contains about
600 acres, and is laid out into regular streets
and squares. In about the centre of this tract,
and about two miles from the City Hall, are the
memorable “ Dorchester Heights," famous in
revolutionary history, which rear their heads one
hundred and thirty feet above the sea, furnishing
from their summits a magnificent view of Bos-
ton, its harbor, and the surrounding country.
One of these heights is now occupied by a capa-
cious reservoir of the Boston Water Works.
The natural situation and surface of this part of
Boston are highly picturesque and beautiful.

East Boston is on the margin of one of the
larger islands in the harbor, formerly known as
Noddle's Island. The original proprietor of this
island, in 1630, was Samuel Maverick, who lived
upon it as his homestead; at the same time that
John Blackstone owned and occupied the pen-
insula of Boston. The island contains about
660 acres of arable land, and a large body of
flats. It was purchased by an incorporated com-
pany in 1832, for the purpose of laying out a
section of the city there. It lies about 660 yards
north-east from Old Boston, and about the same
distance from Charlestown. Portions of its sur-
face are beautifully elevated, and are crowned
with buildings enjoying a fine prospect of the
cify and shipping opposite. The Cunard line
of steam ships from Liverpool have their wharf
here; and here the extensive wharves and ware-
houses of the Grand Junction Railroad have been
established. East Boston is becoming a place
of extensive business, especially in the various
branches of manufacture and ship-building.

Among the principal establishments at East
Boston is a very extensive steam flouring mill,
in which from
350,000 to 400,000 bushels of wheat
are annually converted into the finest flour. There
is likewise at East Boston an immense sugar
refinery, the buildings of which make an imposing

For a particular account of Boston Harbor, the
reader is referred to the description of

Rivers, Harbors, &c., p. 173. In confirmation of
what is there stated in regard to its freedom from
obstruction by ice, it may here be added, that du-
ring the uncommonly severe winter of
when New York and other southern harbors were
completely ice-bound, Boston Harbor, by the aid
of a little steamer, was kept free for the passage of
ships, and the ferry boats running across to Chelsea
and East Boston were not impeded a single day.

While the first inhabitants of Boston depended
chiefly upon the productions of their farms and
gardens for subsistence, they were obliged by
their narrow premises to seek for privileges in
the adjacent territory, for wood, pasturage, and
tillage. In this way it came about that the prin-
cipal islands in the- harbor were annexed to
Boston rather than to other adjoining towns.
Conant's Island, since called Governor's Island,
was granted to Governor Winthrop, for a nominal
rent, in
1632, and thus became a possession of
Boston. Before the end of
1636, Noddle's Island,
Deer Island, Long Island, Spectacle Island, and
Hog Island are recorded in the colony records
as having been granted to sundry inhabitants of
Boston. It is probable that the others which
now belong to the city, making the number twen-
ty or more in all, were, in a similar manner, oc-
casionally granted afterwards; as upon these
islands, together with the shores of Chelsea,
Brookline, and other places, portions of land
were allotted to every family in Boston, accord-
ing to its numbers and its wants.

The want of ample room upon the peninsula
for the growth of the city, especially before the
relief afforded by the railroads, led to such a
crowded occupancy of the limited area, that the
streets are in many parts narrower than would
have been preferred, and, with one noble excep-
tion,— that of the Common.—very little space has
been afforded in the older sections of the city for
public squares and pleasure grounds. In the
newer portions, which are building up on the
Neck, some spacious squares have been reserved
for public grounds, which are handsomely en-
closed with iron fences, ornamented with trees,
and with beautiful fountains in the centre. Two
of these are Blackstone Square and Franklin
Square, lying on opposite sides of Washington
Street. Louisburg Square, in the western part
of the city, extending from Mount Vernon Street
to Pinckney Street, and Pemberton Square, near
the centre, opening into Tremont Street opposite
the union of Court Street with Cornhill, are small
but beautiful grounds, surrounded by some of the
most stately private residences in the city. The
summit of Fort Hill, anciently occupied by a
fortification, has also been kept open for a public
ground, and affords a delightful promenade, with'
a lovely view of the harbor.

“Prior to 1640," says Snow in his History of
Boston, “ mention is frequently made of
in the Boston records ; and they seem
to have been enclosed by a general fence." The
following vote was passed on the 30th of March,
1640: “Henceforth, there shall be no land
granted either for house-plot or garden, out of
the open lot or common field which is left be-
tween the Sentry Hill and Mr. Colburn's end,
except three or four lots to make up the. street,"
&c. This was the origin of the
Boston Common;
which, scanty as their precincts were, the fathers
of the city, with a wise and disinterested care
for the public welfare, secured to the enjoyment

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