These Boston neighborhoods developed as relatively rural, agricultural communities until railroads and then streetcars connected them to Boston. Mattapan, Roslindale and West Roxbury were annexed to Boston in the big expansion of the 1870s, and Hyde Park followed in 1912. Single family homes were generally the norm until the high demand for housing drove the market to build higher-density three-family buildings that are characteristic of many neighborhoods across Boston.
Today these are commuter suburbs, with diverse populations and ample green space including the Neponset River Greenway and the Stony Brook Reservation.
Source: City of Boston