Forest Hills is a part of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Forest Hills is characterized by hilly terrain and wooded areas within and adjacent to its borders. In general, the area slopes upward from Hyde Park Ave and downward from Walk Hill Street.
Forest Hills is primarily residential, although a number of small businesses are located along Hyde Park Avenue. Single family homes predominate south of Walk Hill Street, but triple deckers dominate near the train station. As in the rest of Jamaica Plain, many of the multi-unit houses have been converted into condominiums. Spaced relatively close together, homes are generally well-kept and many have lush gardens, interesting architectural details. A variety of home styles are represented including Arts & Crafts, Cape Cod, Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Tudor Revival and Victorian.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Jamaica Plain Historical Society - '20th Century' Editor - - Woodbourne and the Boston 1915 Movement )〕 South of Walk Hill Street, Forest Hills is characterized by curving, tree-lined streets laid out in irregular patterns indicative of how the area was thoughtfully transformed from country estates into a streetcar suburb.
For much of the 20th century, Forest Hills was home to working class laborers on the streets adjacent to the train station, and middle class managers and professionals to the south, with neither public housing nor areas of affluence. In the last generation, this area has become not only racially integrated, but has also undergone a degree of gentrification. These changes have been fueled, in part, by the easy access to Longwood Area, Museum School, Mass Art, Northeastern, and downtown Boston by public transportation.
The first European known to have settled in Forest Hills was Capt. Joseph Weld (ancestor of former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld), the youngest of three immigrant brothers from England and a veteran of the Pequot War of 1637. For his efforts in that conflict and subsequent negotiations, the leaders of Massachusetts Bay Colony awarded him untamed in what is now the Forest Hills area of Jamaica Plain.
His descendant Col. Eleazer Weld, one of seven Weld family members who fought in the American Revolutionary War, bequeathed some of his land to fellow patriot Benjamin Bussey. His combined area was subsequently willed to Harvard University and become the basis for Arnold Arboretum.
In 1845, the Welds sold a large piece of land that would later become the Woodbourne area to William Minot, a fellow Yankee farmer. As the New England economy shifted from an agricultural base to a mercantile base, the Welds divided their land into smaller parcels for elite Bostonian friends and relatives. Some lived here year round; for others it was a rural retreat from Boston’s summer heat and seasonal cholera outbreaks.
The Weld family and families to whom they were connected—especially Guild, Minot, Perkins, Olney, Peters and Rodman—were associated with Jamaica Plain for generations. A number of local statesmen were drawn from these families, and many of them became wealthy or famous.
Richard Olney built what might be the first tennis court in Boston on what is now Patten Street. George Minot won a Nobel Prize. William Fletcher Weld (whose mother was a Minot) left behind a $20 million dollar fortune. Stephen Minot Weld, Jr. and George H. Perkins were Civil War heroes. Andrew James Peters (who married a Minot), became Mayor of Boston. A previous incarnation of Perkins School for the Blind stood atop Wachusett Street.
In the early 20th century, the arrival of public transportation brought increasing numbers of working-class people and rich Yankee families abandoned Forest Hills. Some returned to ancestral haunts on Beacon Hill or in Brookline. Others went farther south to Dedham or Westwood or even left the state entirely.
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