The horsey set in old Boston

Horses in the snow in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this horsey, snowy photo. See it larger.

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Jamaica pond turn of the century?

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Voting is closed. 16

Forest Hills/Franklin Park

Looks like they aren't planning to be on roads and this may be a rental or lesson set up.

From the looks of it, maybe the 1880s?

The terrain and house look familiar - I think I joined an organized bike ride there at some point, or maybe that is the Mass Biologic Lab in the background (pushing it to the late 1890s)?

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Jamaica Pond?

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Jamaica Pond?

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I believe its Jamaica Pond

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I believe its Jamaica Pond with the old Pinebank Mansion on the bluff in the background.

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Jamaica Pond

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Jamaica Pond

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Looks like they are clearing snow off the ice...

...prior to harvesting it. There’s a contraption off at the far right that looks like a horse-drawn ice-cutter to me. I’d say Jamaica Pond too, since the Jamaica Plain Ice Company harvested ice there in the 1870’s. The house in the background also looks vaguely like the Perkins Estate,, Pinebank, which was demolished about 10 years ago.

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(Possibly) helpful observation

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This photo appears to be rotated clockwise from level by about 12°. [Determined by measuring the edges of the building, and separately, many of the trees. The average vertical slope for the trees closely matches that of the building. Also, the legs of the horses and the midsections of the people standing exhibit slopes of about the same amount (although given their relative size and the obscuring effect of clothing, this data is less clear.]

That would mean that the top of the hill is actually closer to level and the field upon which the people are arrayed is actually level/sloping very gently down to the left.

I don't know if this will help anyone make a better ID, but I figured it was worth sharing.

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Boston Common, perhaps?

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In any event, it's a beautiful photo. It could certainly serve as a holiday card.

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Removing ice from jamacia

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Removing ice from jamacia pond to ship in the bottom of boats to india. Major business for boston before refrigeration.

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Woodblock image from the

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Woodblock image from the cover story of a 250 year-old issue of The Boston Town Crier (Josiah Gaffin, publisher)

headline: NO JOY FOR COMMUTERS - TOUCH SLEDDING ON (THOROUGHB)RED LINE

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The Answer

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Thanks for playing, folks! This is indeed ice harvesting on Jamaica Pond. The date is the late 1890s - we believe it is in 1898.

You can see a photo of the ice being moved to the ice house on an ice shute here and here is the interior of the ice house.

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