The map above shows the neighborhood around the Pierce House in
Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1874, when Lewis Pierce owned the house.
Look for Lewis Pierce’s name on the map. The Pierce House itself is the
dark grey rectangle in the largest plot belonging to Lewis.
One hundred years earlier, the Pierce family had owned twenty acres – all of the plots labeled “Lewis Pierce” on the 1874 map, plus most of the smaller plots sandwiched in between. In the mid 1800s Lewis Pierce started dividing the land and selling it, a process that continued until the Pierce House was left on less than a quarter acre of land. Today, Dorchester is part of the city of Boston and is very densely populated.
By comparing maps we can learn about how much neighborhoods have changed. In the late 1700s, the Pierce House was surrounded by open farmland. By 1874, the neighborhood was becoming more suburban.
Find an online map site, like Google Maps, and look for 24 Oakton Ave, Dorchester, MA. Compare what the streets and property lines look like today to what they were in 1874.