Concept

Brighton, Boston

Summary
Brighton is a former town and current neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States, located in the northwestern corner of the city. It is named after the English city of Brighton. Initially Brighton was part of Cambridge, and known as "Little Cambridge". Brighton separated from Cambridge in 1807 after a bridge dispute, and was annexed to Boston in 1874. For much of its early history, it was a rural town with a significant commercial center at its eastern end. The neighborhood of Allston was also formerly part of the town of Brighton, but is now often considered to be separate, leading to the name Allston–Brighton for the combined area. This historic center of Brighton is the Brighton Center Historic District. The Aberdeen section of Brighton was designated as a local architectural conservation district by the Boston Landmarks Commission in 2001. In 1630, land comprising present-day Allston–Brighton and Newton was assigned to Watertown. In 1634, the Massachusetts Bay Colony transferred ownership of the south side of the Charles River, including present-day Allston–Brighton and Newton, from Watertown to Newtowne, which was soon renamed Cambridge. In 1646, Reverend John Eliot established a "Praying Indian" village on the present Newton–Brighton boundary, where resided local natives converted to Christianity. The first permanent English settlement came as settlers crossed the Charles River from Cambridge, establishing Little Cambridge, the area's name before 1807. Before the American Revolutionary War, Little Cambridge became a small, prosperous farming community with fewer than 300 residents. Its inhabitants included wealthy Boston merchants such as Benjamin Faneuil (after whom a street in Brighton is named). A key event in the history of Allston–Brighton was the establishment in 1775 of a cattle market to supply the Continental Army. Jonathan Winship I and Jonathan Winship II established the market, and in the post-war period that followed, the Winships became the largest meat packers in Massachusetts.
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