• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

1630 Shoreline

Bill Kuttner
Central Transportation Planning Staff
Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization

 
Delivered at 2003 Boston Harbor Islands Science Symposium.
As part of its ongoing research and educational program, the in Roxbury has developed a map of the original 1630 shoreline of the Shawmut Peninsula and environs superimposed on a current Boston street map. Using shading, it shows the vast expanses of today’s Roxbury, Dorchester, South Boston, East Boston, Charlestown, Cambridge, and Somerville that have been created by filling Boston’s harbors and bays over the past two centuries. There is now only one copy of this map which was hand drawn on a copy of a current map.

The Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) of the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization will digitize this historic shoreline rendering. CTPS on occasion prepares materials to interpret transportation history and deepen understanding of current transportation issues. At this time, it is envisioned that this map will be plotted on an as needed basis, as are most large format planning graphics at CTPS. A large production run at some future point is possible but would require funding.

Similar maps are sometimes published by others, but these usually focus on colonial Boston’s Shawmut Peninsula extent. This graphic is noteworthy in that it extends this treatment deep into the nearby neighborhoods to help illustrate the history of these areas.

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