Fellsway/Ten Hills: Part 1 of 2 Reply

Foss Park and vicinity, 1895

If you face to your left along the Fellsway, you will be looking toward Foss Park, although the highway will obscure your view of it. Construction of Broadway Park, as it was originally called, began in 1872 at a bend in the no longer used Middlesex Canal. The building of the park was controversial – some objected to the location as insufficiently central, others objected to the site as poorly drained, and others objected to spending public money on land that could be used for private development. The park was dedicated in 1876. An 1879 map makes clear that the park was not connected to the Mystic River.

Detail of Olmsted plan for the Fellsway, 1895. The park in this plan was called Broadway Park.

As the idea of park systems linked by parkways became popular later in the nineteenth century, the Mystic River began to be linked to park plans. A plan by the Olmsted firm showed the Fellsway, built in 1897, as a tree-lined link between Broadway Park and the Mystic River. For a time, public transportation reinforced the network of parks connected by parkways: from 1910 to 1946 there was a trolley from Sullivan Square that ran along the median strip of the Fellsway to the Middlesex Fells Reservation and on to Stoneham.

Next: Fellsway/Ten Hills: Part 2 of 2

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