Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Street Runs Through It

As I've searched out the path of Stony Brook, I've come across more than one "Brook"-named street, so I thought I'd catalog them. This is one time I don't need the Intergoogle. I have my late father's Boston Police handbook. The title page informs me that the Commisioner in 1955 was Thomas F. Sullivan, and the Superintendent of Police was Edward W. Fallon. Along with entries like "Breaking Doors to Effect Arrest," "Hackney Carriage, Rules For," and "Dead Bodies," there is a directory that lists all the streets in the city, with the address of each intersecting street included. So for instance, Parley Vale runs from 2 Parley ave to 14 Parley ave, if you should want to know.

The binding to the book failed many years ago, but the blue fold-over cover has kept it together. And in our case, the alphabetical listing allowed me to find the "Brook" streets I knew of, and some I didn't. Here's what I found.

Brookside Ave - comes first, because it's the one people associate With Stony Brook the most.

Continuing alphabetically:

Brook St - from 66 Mt Hope St. This one puzzled me. A quick online map search tells me that this is now called Bradstreet Ave - a dead end off Mt Hope. And it's right about where the main channel of the brook coming from Hyde Park approaches the Canterbury Brook and merges.
Note: I drove down there today. Bradstreet goes south off Mt Hope. It's not actually a dead end - it connects through as a private road. More importantly, there is a Brook St, but it's on the opposite (north) side of Mt Hope, and it's about two houses east. This is also a private road, and it has 12 new houses built along the east side - someone developed this in the last few years. Which would explain why it's not in Google Maps yet. If you add the satellite picture to Google Maps road map, the street and the houses show up. Both Brook St and the parallel Starbird St dead-end into St Michael Cemetery, which Canterbury Brook wraps around, so either one could be the current path of Stony Brook. And to the south of Mt Hope St, the brook could be under Bradstreet or it could pass through the Latter Day Saints property parallel to Bradstreet. Looking at the 1874 Sanborn map (no. 21), I suspect that today's Brook St is the more likely path.

Brookdale St - this runs between Florence and Sycamore Sts in Roslindale. It is between Healy Field on Washington St and the railroad tracks that run along Hyde Park Ave. And it's right in the path of the Roslindale branch that started near Belgrade Ave and met the main channel near today's Archdale housing projects.

Brookfield St - Hmmm... this runs from South St to South Fairview, between the Roslindale train station and Fallon Field. It's close, but on the wrong side of the tracks. Maybe you could see the brook from here? It's just about three blocks away from the old channel.
Brookley Rd - From 3548 Washington St to Forest Hills St. The brook crossed here on its way from Forest Hills to Green St.

Brookley Terrace - From Brookley Rd to Lotus. This doesn't exist any more. Lotus shows on in the Sanborn Fire Maps, but in Google Maps, Lotus is shown as a dotted line off Forest Hills. I suspect this name came from association with Brookley Rd rather than a direct connection with the brook itself.

Brooks St - from Cummins Hwy to 36 Navarre St. Navarre runs south from Canterbury St., between and parallel to American Legion Hwy. and Hyde Park Ave. Brooks is not on the map today, but if you took it up to Cummins Hwy from 36 Navarre,, you might come out opposite Mt Cavalry Rd. The brook definitely comes right through here.

Brookstone St - Here's a puzzle. The directory says "from 3894 Washington crossing Stony Brook to Bradeen." The problem is, that sounds exactly like Brookway Rd and Brookway Terrace. More on this later.

Brookway Footpath - Curiouser and curiouser. Listed "from Brookway Terrace to Hyde Park Ave." Curious because that would take you across the railroad tracks. Could it be that the arched tunnel I've written about earlier is not Stony Brook, but actually this footpath? Hmmm...
Brookway Rd, and its extension, Brookway Terrace - back to the Brookstone puzzle. This is listed as starting at 3904 Washington, which is at about where Ukraine Way is now. In fact, Brookway Rd starts at 3894 Washington today, and I'm pretty sure it did in 1955. This one stays a puzzle for now.

Finally, there's a Stonybrook Rd. that dead-ends from 35 Brookley Rd. The 1905 Sanborn map shows Stony Brook crossing what is now Brookley Rd at just about that point. So apparently Stonybrook Rd was built on top of the actual brook. Google does not show a street there now, but a Stonley St is just to the west. This is an industrial area adjoining the old Arborway car yard, so it may have been changed over the years as the MBTA cut out the trolley service.

One last thought: I'm surprised there's nothing from Hyde Park to the south. That area was probably the last to put the brook underground, so it would have been a significant part of the countryside when the streets were laid out.


Anonymous said...

I lived on Brookway Rd Roslindale from 1959-1964.There was a tunnel that we used to get from Brookway Rd to the playground thet is adjacent to Hyde Park Ave.I believe the tunnel was beneath train tracks.I do recall being a little scared going through that tunnel and have wondered if it is still there.

Rossie News said...

The tunnel has been closed due to safety concerns of persons committing a crime and escaping to the other side of the tracks. Unfortunately, the young and the old cross the tracks to get to the opposite street. One will see children and adults of all ages crossing the tracks at land level. I have not heard of anyone being struck by a train, which is a good thing. But it is a fear that someone could be hit while crossing.