When and where? See the original image for some possible clues. Photo from the Boston City Archives, natch.
I think it is Harvard St off to the right.
Is Thompson Square what they call the intersection by Warren Tavern? Lots changed around the sides but the building in the middle (center chimney) with the address on it >ahem< is identifiable. Nice shot of the elevated.
The el curving up Main Street (from background to foreground) on its way to Sullivan Square.
The address 92 Main Street can be made out on the center building, an address it still has.
Agreed, Thompson Square!
At first glance I thought it was Commercial Street between Waterfront and North End where Battery Wharf is, now, but the street was too narrow. Definitely that stretch of Charlestown.
Those bratty kids are like, "Better not be taking a photo of me or I'm gonna come over there and start some trouble."
My guess was North End - dense, narrow streets with an El - except I didn't think the El running to North Station was that narrow. Tried to look up some addresses with 92 on it and couldn't find it.
Adam's wandering a little far afield for more challenge - not a downtown shot!
On the year - my guess would be 1893 - a) don't see a car - only a carriage in the background I think b) attire on the kids but c) mainly the photography is a delayed exposure - meaning older/slower film - see the blurred woman/child in the back left and you can see some "ghosts" of people moving in the front right. The kids were actually probably posed/asked to stay still to keep them in focus a la the early famous photo of the shoeshine boy who's the only one in a picture of a crowded square - the camera only picked him up because he spent the whole exposure bent over shoes working in a fairly similar position - everyone else moved too fast to get exposed.
The El opened in 1901, and the photo looks like they might be finishing up construction just before it opened.
The one little hint that this is Charlestown is the fact that there is only a single streetcar track running under the El. Just like the Route 92 today, streetcars ran one-way between Thompson and City Squares. Under the Atlantic Avenue El in the North End, you would have had four tracks (2 streetcar, 2 Union Freight RR).
This is the closest I could come to reproducing the photo using Google Street View.
Washington st by Ferdinand
A decent guess, as that location would match the description of "had elevated in the old days, at a fork in the surface road".
At the Ferdinand's location, though, I think the elevated would've taken the right fork, following the line of Washington Street (some old images I googled look as though tracks branched off from Washington and headed into Dudley Square Station between Ferdinand's and its neighboring building on Washington).
Thanks for playing, everyone! Those of you who guessed Charlestown win. This is Thompson Sq (in front of 92 Main Street). The photo was taken on June 9, 1910.
It had to be Charlestown, because there's nowhere else that looks like that. When you have rules out the impossible, blah blah...
Hey I thought it was Dudley but good call on the charlestown pick. Can't wait for the next one look forward too this all the time.
Those buildings are of the wrong type of colonial architecture to be in Dudley ... there may be some older wooden colonial buildings out that way, but that was farmland. Charlestown was a city in its own right, rebuilt just after the Revolution and older than that in places the British didn't destroy.