While my rock gently weeps

James Hobin discusses the Roxbury Puddingstone that underlies so many parts of Boston, from how it was formed to its properties, which include being both remarkably tough and yet weepy.

Roxbury Puddingstone is underground but we can see outcroppings of it throughout Dorchester. Maybe there is a lump of it sitting in a friend’s backyard, or maybe there is a wall of it standing behind a row of triple-deckers, or maybe there is a slab of it leaning over the sidewalk near your house. A lot of times it is hidden by trees and undergrowth. And then there is the plain fact that it has been quarried, dressed, and set into buildings and walls all over town. Roxbury Puddingstone is the rock of Dorchester.

Ed. note: And of Hyde Park: There's a large outcropping on West Street, just north of Hyde Park Avenue and the Northeaster Corridor; not all that far from the Dell Avenue Rock, which is the remains of an ancient lava flow from the volcano we now know as the Great Blue Hill.



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    Franklin Park, the Arboretum, and Dorchester Park

    Each have outcroppings, Mr. Olmstead may have moved a few bits a pieces here and there in Franklin Park though.

    All three were farms at one point as well, so the area is not as pre-Arbellan as one might think, even in the 1800's.

    St. Peter's in Dorchester (I miss the steeple) is made of it.

    Also, If you want to see former quarries within the city look at the Kevin Fitzgerald Park behind the Stop & Shop in Brigham Circle or next to the Lutheran Church on Centre Street between the Faulkner and Hebrew Rehab.

    Maybe next

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    he'll notice Boston has Pine Trees!

    Brookline too!

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    As you drive by the Park school on Goddard Ave, the wall of stone as you make the sharp turn in the road is all puddingstone.

    Isn't First Church on the

    Isn't First Church on the corner of Marlborough and Berkeley puddingstone? I always love when I notice a building incorporating puddingstone... so uniquely local.

    The foundation stone of my,

    The foundation stone of my, and most of the other turn of the century houses in Hyde Square, came out of the NIRA Rock quarry behind the JP VA. There's still a massive outcropping there.


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    There's a house on Turtle Pond Parkway, a quarter mile or so south of Enneking, whose front yard is nothing but this enormous rock. I always wondered what that was.

    If you pay attention, you

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    If you pay attention, you will see it is pretty common around here. I will look for some good pics.

    Roxbury Puddingstone is the rock of Dorchester?

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    Facepalm. Why do you they call "Roxbury?"

    The Roxbury Puddingstone, more accurately known as the Roxbury conglomerate, is unique to Roxbury and is the namesake of the town. Roxbury used to go all the way to Dedham and used to include Brookline Village. The boundaries aren't exact (you find the rock well beyond historic Roxbury), but calling it "the rock of Dorchester" is something only someone with rocks between their ears could say.

    If it exists in Dorchester, it's not unique to Roxbury.

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    If there are outcroppings of Roxbury puddingstone in Dorchester, by definition, it's not unique to Roxbury.

    I agree it's a great reminder of Roxbury heritage but unless you're shipping it out in bottles there is no reason to insist on an apellation d'origine. What would the rest of the Boston basin be left with calling the stone in their backyards, not-quite-Roxbury puddingstone?