Brookline Historical Society
Put On Your Walking Shoes & Step Into the Past
Fall 2014 Walking Tours

Blake Park: History of a Neighborhood
November 2nd, 2pm - 3:30pm
Meet at the Brookline High School, 115 Greenough Street
In 1880, banker Arthur Welland Blake engaged Frederick Law Olmsted to draw plans for the subdivision into roads and lots of the Blake family estate on the lower part of Brookline's Aspinwall Hill. Olmsted's plans were never executed, and the estate remained something of an anomaly; a large tract of open land renowned for its landscaping in the heart of a community rapidly developing as a "streetcar suburb". Learn how the neighborhood of "Blake Park" finally emerged - despite failed plans, untimely deaths, and financial scandal - four decades after it was first conceived.
Please also note our self-guided tours of Brookline
Upcoming Event: The Annual Fall Program
Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880-1900
2 PM Sunday, November 23, 2014
Hunneman Hall, 2nd floor, Brookline Public Library
361 Washington Street, Brookline
Join author and bicycle historian Lorenz Finison for a look at Boston’s — & Brookline’s — role in the growth of cycling in late 19th century America.

Light refreshments will be served. A brief business meeting will precede the program.
Corey Hill Cyclists
Illustration from Harper’s Weekly showing bicyclists climbing Corey Hill in Brookline in 1886.
Welcome to the Brookline Historical Society
The Brookline Historical Society is a non-profit community organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Brookline's diverse history. The society's headquarters are located in the heart of Coolidge Corner at the Edward Devotion House, one of Brookline's oldest colonial period structures. The Society also maintains the circa 1780 Widow Harris House as well as the Putterham School located in Larz Anderson Park. Our membership program is active and volunteers are welcome.
Brookline Village, Harvard Sq.

We invite you to browse our growing online collection of over 350 historic photos, postcards, atlases and more.
Virtual Walking Tour
Click to Start Tour
Brookline's rich history can now take a virtual walking tour of the town via our new online map. The map presents pictures and descriptions (with links for more information) about homes, commercial buildings, churches and synagogues, schools, neighborhoods, parks, and other parts of the town.

Most of the sites marked on the map are in Brookline Village, Coolidge Corner, Longwood, and the area around the First Parish Church and the old Village Green. Other sites and other areas of Brookline are being added, helping to bring to light stories behind familiar and not-so-familiar places in town.
President Ken Liss Blogs on Brookline Past & Present
Final Fall Walking Tour: Blake Park, Sunday 2pm
In 1880, banker Arthur Welland Blake engaged Frederick Law Olmsted to draw plans for the subdivision into roads and lots of the Blake family estate on Aspinwall Hill. Olmsted and his firm drew numerous plans for the Blakes over the next 15 years, but they were never executed. The estate remained... full blog at