Explore the narrow streets, cul-de-sacs, and alley ways of the North Slope of Beacon Hill. This colonial port district with an unsavory reputation evolved to become a significant force in the abolitionist movement, an important station on the Underground Railroad, and home to many immigrant families.
Think you know Boston's premier neighborhood, Beacon Hill, pretty well? Okay, do African Americans like William C. Nell and abolitionists like Charles Sumner have anything in common with Anglicans and Eastern European Jews? Do they share any connection with a house that isn't a house on Rollins Place?
Answer: the people and the "house" figure prominently in the evolution of the North Slope of Beacon Hill. Today "the back of the Hill" behind Bulfinch's State House carries Beacon Hill's identity, but in earlier days it was part of the West End and its residents were laborers on the Hill's South Slope who preferred to live affordably nearby.
The historically more fashionable South Slope has always defined the Hill's character, with its famous architects and homogeneity. Come explore the North Slope's different story - one of an integrated working-class community, the 19th-century free black community, the early struggle to integrate schools, resident activists and reformers, the 20th-century arrival of other immigrant populations, eclectic architecture, and finally, 21st-century development.