Danehy Park was built in the early 1980s in conjunction with the Red Line extension to Alewife. I personally knew Mr. Danehy. He ran a drugstore on Mass Ave in North Cambridge near the T car barns. Clay soil excavated from the Red Line tunnel construction (from Harvard to Alewife) was used to cap the city dump and create Danehy Park. I grew up in the Jefferson Park housing project directly across the Fitchburg Division tracks from the city dump in the 1950s and 60s. The City dump was regularly used as a convenient dumping spot for toxic chemical waste from Dewey and Almy (later WR Grace) and some others. The city used to park a fire engine every weekend at the dump most of the year because the kids from the projects (where I lived) would go over and set fires in the dump. Both my parents died fairly young (ages 59 and 63), probably from the toxic smoke. Jerry's Pit, where I swam as a kid, also had toxic waste pumped right into it from the adjacent Dewey and Almy chemical plant. So, large parts of the area are a brownfield (ground polluted area). but I seem to have done alright health wise. I'm almost 74 and in great shape.When was Danehy Park built? That was all a dump back before the 70s right?
Nice find! Also impressive, the bridge over Rt 9 is the same bridge. That is how old the T infrastructure is!“Newton Highlands 2023 vs 1915.”
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Is this accurate? I dont see a rail line here on the historical railway map.
Edit: after reading the comments under the picture apparently it’s the Boston and Worcester street railway. I had no idea rt. 9 had a trolley on it that ran from Boston to Worcester. Pretty crazy how extensive the street car network was.
Yes - the tracks between Kendall Square and Mass Ave on Main Street remained in use by revenue* streetcars until June 7, 1930, and intact for non-revenue moves until the late 1930s. It was part of the first horsecar line in the area - the Cambridge Horse Railroad, opened March 26, 1856; it was also one of the first lines in the area to be electrified.
* It's possible that night cars used the tracks after 1930. They aren't as well documented as normal daytime service (which itself is spottily documented until 1940.)
Thanks EGE; fascinating. I wouldn't have guessed that they'd have laid tracks back down on top of the street above the RL tunnel after it was built, but I guess they did. Need to remember that until the mid-20thc, Kendall was still a super busy commercial area, so it must have made sense at the time. In any case, what's left of this, it appears, will soon be gone.