Brown Street

[2016, Dunlap]

Text last updated on 15 January 2017 | You call it Browne. I call it Brown. But before we call the whole thing off, let me explain that I’ve decided to go with the slightly simpler spelling as this is what appears on most older documents (as well as on the street signs).

I’m not sure when — or why — Brown picked up the extra “e” at the end. Perhaps the lengthened name was to compensate for the fact that the street, as constructed, was much shorter than the one that was originally mapped. It would have run about a half mile, from Coastal Acres at 76R Bayberry Avenue to the old cemetery at Winthrop Street, where it terminates at the old Simmons Farm, which is still in the hands of the Simmonses’ family.

One remnant of its intended path can be seen on Kimberly’s Lane, in the wide gap between the tax lots at Nos. 4 and 8, and between Nos. 3 and 11. John D. Bell described the sociology of Brown Street in 1976 for the Massachusetts Historical Commission survey: “This street serves descendants — third and fourth generations — of Azorean fishermen who developed the neighborhood contiguous to this area and lying southwest of it. Thus the close-knit community of Portuguese-Americans, while building modern, expanded the neighborhood where most of them have their roots.”

¶ Republished on 18 November 2023.

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