Dorchester is a historic neighborhood comprising over 6 square miles in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Originally, Dorchester was a town, founded by Puritans who emigrated in 1630 from Dorchester, Dorset. Founded in 1630, just a few months before the founding of the city of Boston and it was still a primarily rural town and had a population of 12,000 when it was annexed to Boston in 1870. Railroad and streetcar lines brought rapid growth, increasing the population to 150,000 by 1920, in the 2010 United States Census, the population was 92,115. Dorchester as a municipality would rank among the top five Massachusetts cities. Most of the people over the age of 25 have completed high school or obtained a GED, nearly 60% of the population earns less than $40,000 per year and a majority of them live in rental units. Currently, there is a crisis occurring and, as a result. The original settlement founded in 1630 was at what is now the intersection of Columbia Road and Massachusetts Avenue. Most of the early Dorchester settlers came from the West Country of England, and some from Dorchester, Dorset, on October 8,1633, the first Town Meeting in America was held in Dorchester. Today, each October 8 is celebrated as Town Meeting Day in Massachusetts, Dorchester is the birthplace of the first public elementary school in America, the Mather School, established in 1639. The school still stands as the oldest elementary school in America, the Blake House was constructed in 1661, as was confirmed by dendrochronology in 2007. In 1695, a party was dispatched to found the town of Dorchester, South Carolina and they soon after opened Americas first chocolate mill and factory in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester. The Walter Baker Chocolate Factory, part of Walter Baker & Company, before the American Revolution, The Sons of Liberty met in August 1769 at the Lemuel Robinson Tavern, which stood on the east side of the upper road near the present Fuller Street. Lemuel Robinson was a representative of the town during the Revolution and was appointed a colonel in the Revolutionary army, Dorchester was also the site of the Battle of Dorchester Heights in 1776, which eventually resulted in the British evacuating Boston. In Victorian times, Dorchester became a country retreat for Boston elite. The mother and grandparents of John F. Kennedy lived in the Ashmont Hill neighborhood while John F, honey Fitz Fitzgerald was mayor of Boston. In 1845, the Old Colony Railroad ran through the area and connected Boston and Plymouth, the station was originally called Crescent Avenue or Crescent Avenue Depot as an Old Colony Railroad station, then called Columbia until December 1,1982, and then again changed to JFK/UMASS. It is a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority rail line station for both the Red subway and the Plymouth/Kingston, Middleborough/Lakeville and Greenbush commuter rail lines
Neponset River at Lower Mills (2009). Dorchester on the left, Milton on the right (south) side of the river.
Old Blake House in c. 1905
Baker's Cocoa Advertisement in Overland Monthly, January 1919. The manufacture of chocolate had been introduced in the United States in 1765 by John Hannon and Dr. James Baker in Dorchester. Walter Baker & Company was located in Dorchester.
One of Dorchester's most influential residents, Lucy Stone was an early advocate for women's rights