Monday, August 13, 2007

Fourth Haven

The area between Columbia Road and Savin Hill Avenue on a north-south axis, and Dorchester Bay and Uphams Corner going east-west, is referred to as Fourth Haven by those with long, historical memories. This neighborhood is located in the northern climes of Dorchester, Mass., a place abreviated as N'orchester by natives, the way Dorchester Avenue is called Dot Ave.

Reference to the Dorchester Historical Society's archives shows that the name 'Fourth Haven' orignated when a poet moved to the neighborhood in the 1870s. He was living with a schoolmarm on the second floor of a triple decker on Raven Street and he penned some immortal lines of doggerel about his surroundings that were published to great acclaim in Haper's Magazine. In May 1874, this poet got more favorable letters to the editor than any other author up til that time.

The poet in question referred to Columbia/Savin Hill as his Fourth Haven. He had spent some halcyon days in his youth, had weathered adolescence, had been in love as a young man, and was now in love as a middle aged man at the height of his powers. He had also been raised in Connecticut, had spent time in the American West, taken an Italian tour and now was content in Dorchester, Mass. Dorchester was this poet's fourth haven and the public responded enthusiastically to his view. He struck a chord. Ever since then, the area where our humble narrator finds himself living has been referred to as Fourth Haven by the area cogniscenti.

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