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The Town of Dorchester was one of the first towns established in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, being established in 1630. Among its claims to fame, it was the home of the first town meeting in 1633 and was the first town to have a free public elementary school, the Mather School. In 1870 it was annexed to Boston.
Annual Reports often went by different names. Earlier years were discussions of expenditures, while later years also had narrative.
Other Government Documents
This is by no means an exhaustive list of government information available on Dorchester.
Dorchester (Boston 200)- an oral history done in conjunction with the nation's bicentennial.
Dorchester/Uphams Corner District Profile, 1978 and 1979 editions
Dorchester/Mattapan Project Completion Report (Boston Landmarks Commission survey. More BLC materials can be found in the catalog.)
Books on Dorchester History
Death of an American Jewish Community by
Call Number: F73.9.J5 L48 1993x
Publication Date: 1993-03-29
In 1967, leaders of the Boston establishment decided to open the city's neighbourhoods by making mortgage funds available to blacks who wanted to build or buy houses there. But this goal was to be achieved by the private understanding that these mortgages would be available only in Boston's established Jewish neighbourhoods, such as Mattapan. This policy quickly wiped out the tightly knit Jewish areas in Dorchester and nearby Roxbury, once home to 90,000 Jews. Tragically, few of the new black residents of the area acquired adequate housing, security or education for their families, and the Jewish community was betrayed by its nominal leaders, at the cost of the destruction of historical neighbourhoods. In this book, the authors aim to provide insight into the reasons why this incident took place.
Urban Exodus by
Call Number: F75.A1 G36 1999
Publication Date: 1999-03-10
Across the country, white ethnics have fled cities for suburbs. But many have stayed in their old neighborhoods. When the busing crisis erupted in Boston in the 1970s, Catholics were in the forefront of resistance. Jews, 70,000 of whom had lived in Roxbury and Dorchester in the early 1950s, were invisible during the crisis. They were silent because they departed the city more quickly and more thoroughly than Boston's Catholics. Only scattered Jews remained in Dorchester and Roxbury by the mid-1970s. In telling the story of why the Jews left and the Catholics stayed, Gerald Gamm places neighborhood institutions--churches, synagogues, community centers, schools--at its center. He challenges the long-held assumption that bankers and real estate agents were responsible for the rapid Jewish exodus. Rather, according to Gamm, basic institutional rules explain the strength of Catholic attachments to neighborhood and the weakness of Jewish attachments. Because they are rooted, territorially defined, and hierarchical, parishes have frustrated the urban exodus of Catholic families. And because their survival was predicated on their portability and autonomy, Jewish institutions exacerbated the Jewish exodus. Gamm shows that the dramatic transformation of urban neighborhoods began not in the 1950s or 1960s, but in the 1920s. Not since Anthony Lukas's Common Ground has there been a book that so brilliantly explores not just Boston's dilemma but the roots of the American urban crisis.
Dorchester Newspapers on Microfilm
||Jul 29 1989-Dec 1991
||Sep 18, 1975- Dec 31, 1979; Jan 3, 1980+
||Dorchester Beacon (aka Boston Beacon, Dorchester News, Dorchester News Gatherer)
||Sep 27, 1873-Dec 29, 1960
||Dorchester Community News
||Jan 1974-Feb 10, 2007
||Dorchester Record (Dorchester-Roxbury Record, Suburban Record)
||Feb 27, 1941-May 15, 1969; [1941-43]; [1946-49]
||Sep 8, 1855- Aug 16, 1856
||South Boston Gazette and Dorchester Chronicle
||May 10, 1851- Sep 25, 1852
||Sep 18, 1975- Dec 31, 1979
||Milton-Mattapan News (aka Mattapan-Milton News)
||Jan 7, 1939- Jul 21, 1949