Known then as “Little Cambridge,” this settlement was home to a cattle market that supplied the Continental Army during the Siege of Boston in 1775. The meatpacking business flourished following the Revolutionary War, and the community incorporated independently as Brighton in 1807. 50 years later, the town contained over 40 slaughterhouses served by a huge rail terminal, later consolidated into the Brighton Stock Yards.
In 1873 Brighton voted to annex itself to the City of Boston, and then became Allston-Brighton. When Brookline chose to remain independent, a strip of land between Commonwealth Avenue and the Charles River at BU was negotiated to preserve a physical connection to Boston.
Allston-Brighton’s central location and proximity to Harvard, BU, and BC have long made it known as a bustling haven for students. Major new developments are underway along the Mass Turnpike corridor and in the old rail and stock yards that will transform this area over the coming decade.
The Brighton Allston Historical Society cares for the architecture and history of these neighborhoods. For more information and an impressive collection of historic photos, see: http://www.bahistory.org/bahneigh.html.
Cover image: New Balance HQ at Boston Landing, ©Robert Benson, courtesy of New Balance