Carefully tucked in Boston, Massachusetts, the Jamaica Plain community is a neighborhood measuring approximately 11 square kilometers. It began as a farmland and part of Roxbury town occupied by Boston puritans. Later on, it seceded from Roxbury and became part of West Roxbury in 1851. Finally, in 1874 when West Roxbury town was annexed, it became part of Boston and that is what it is up to this day. In terms of population, the 2010 census reported a figure of 37,468.
A Historical Overview of Jamaica Plain
When Jamaica Plain became part of Boston neighborhood, it experienced tremendous growth characterized by triple decker houses and commercial blocks. There was an influx of people into Jamaica Plain for business and permanent residence.
Breweries were the major employers during the mid-19th century all the way to the early years of the 20th century. There were lots of Irish and German immigrants into this neighborhood most of whom had come seeking for jobs.
In the year 1900, a huge shoe factory billed as the largest factory for women shoes in the world at the time, set base in the Jamaica Plain. It employed about 5,000 workers and continued operating until 1976 when its operations ceased.
The Present Day Jamaica Plain
By the beginning of the 21st century, the Jamaica Plain neighborhood had a large community compromising political activists, college-educated professionals, and artists. There is a significant Spanish-speaking population from Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.
The real estate market stabilized in the 1970s and this saw the re-development of the Southwest corridor. Older homes in places like Summer Hill, Pondside, and Parkside have dramatically increased in value with some of them being converted into condominiums.
Structures that were formerly vacant are now being converted to residential use so as to cater for the bulging population.
Some of the neighborhoods worth mentioning in Jamaica Plain include:
- Egleston Square
- Forest Hills
- Hyde Square
- Jackson Square
- Jamaica Hills
- Sunnyside among others
Students who school in Jamaica Plain are under Boston Public Schools network which serves the entire city of Boston, Massachusetts. Also, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston runs a network of Roman Catholic schools in Jamaica Plain. There are also lots of private schools in the area responding to the different education needs of residents.
The Transport System in Jamaica Plain
The whole of Jamaica Plain is under the Massachusetts Bay of Transportation Authority which provides both bus and rail services.
The Needham line of commuter rail, the “E” Branch streetcar service, and the bus service which pries South Huntington Avenue, South Street, and Center Street, offer excellent transportation services to residents in Jamaica Plain.
There are lots of bicycle paths and municipal parking lots for those who prefer biking and drive private cars.
Jamaica Plain has lots of green spaces making it the greenest neighborhood in Boston. The Emerald Necklace Park system which was designed by Fredric Law Olmsted borders the community.