Author Talk: Dr. Ali Merritt – Disunion Among Ourselves

Saturday, June 10, 2023, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Weld Hall, Hyde Park Library.

Disunion Among Ourselves: The Perilous Politics of the American Revolution.

Dr. Eli Merritt discusses his new book Disunion Among Ourselves: The Perilous Politics of the American Revolution.

Merritt reveals the deep political divisions that almost tore the Union apart during the American Revolution.

Dr. Eli Merritt is on faculty at Vanderbilt University. He has written for the LA Times, NY Times, USA Today, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The American Journal of Legal History and other publications.

CBS Boston: Hyde Park Historical Society honors medical pioneer Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

CBS News and WBZ reporter Levin Reid and the Society’s Victoria Gall discuss the pioneering work of Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler. This news report was featured on CBS News on March 27, 2023.

Additional resources on Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Historic Boston Inc. Campaign Raises Funds to Commemorate Dr. Rebecca Crumpler, African-American Female Physician

Boston University. Boston Honors Trailblazing School of Medicine Alum Rebecca Lee Crumpler (MED 1864)

Boston University. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first Black woman to graduate from a US medical school

Robert Hannan Obituary

Robert Hannan, president emeritus of the Hyde Park Historical Society sadly passed away at the age of 97 years.


Hannan, Robert Francis Sr. In Boston, March 9, 2023, at 97 years of age. Beloved husband of the late Nancy Hughes Hannan and loving son of the late Jeremiah and Kathleen (nee Richards) Hannan. He is survived by his five children: Robert F. and his wife Lorrie Clark Hannan of Falls Church, VA.; Dr. Christopher W. and his wife Susan, of Weymouth; Dr. Mary K. and her husband Edmund Yee of Dalton, MA; Nancy L. and her husband Richard Rainer of Annapolis, MD; and Sally T. and her husband Paul Croarkin of Kensington, MD. Proud grandfather to 17 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and devoted brother of the late William F. Hannan and the late Richard D. Hannan. He is survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Robert F. Hannan grew up in Medford Hillside and was a graduate of Medford High School, class of 1944. He attended Northeastern University graduating in 1949. He began his career as a reporter for the Boston Herald Traveler. Robert married and moved to Hyde Park in 1959, embracing this community for the next 56 years. He became the Boston City Hall beat reporter, covering mayors Hynes, Collins, and White, before moving to the Massachusetts State House to cover statewide politics. He became the Research Director for the Boston City Council and retired in this role. He was a longtime officer of the Hyde Park Historical Society and the R.O.M.E.O. group for retired political reporters and politicians. He also founded the Companions of St. Joseph’s Parish. Robert moved to Allerton House in Hingham in 2015, immersing himself in this community for the last years of his life. Camping throughout America and visiting many countries worldwide highlighted his love of travel. A gentleman in every sense of the word, his character and interest in everyone and everything around him made him an unforgettable friend to so many and a hero to his family.

A wake will be held on March 24, 2023, from 4:00-8:00 PM at the McDonald Keohane Funeral Home 40 Sea Street, NORTH WEYMOUTH, MA. There will be a Catholic Funeral Mass on March 25, 2023, at 10:00 AM at St. Paul’s Church, 147 North Street, Hingham, MA. Burial is private.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Robert’s memory may be made to the Hyde Park Historical Society, by using the donate button below or c/o Hyde Park Public Library, 35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136.

We encourage blood and other donations to be made to the Dana Farber Center.



Scan to donate by phone.


Grimke Sisters Bridge Dedication

On the morning of Saturday, November 16, 2019, the Grimke Sisters Bridge dedication ceremony was held. The speakers were introduced by Tania Del Rio, executive director of women’s advancement in Mayor Walsh’s administration:

Mayor Marty Walsh (3min 40s)
City Councillor Tim McCarthy (10min)
Barbra Lee, Founder and President, Barbara Lee Family Foundation (14min 10sec)
Catherine Allgor, President, Massachusetts Historical Society (19min 55sec)
Elisa Birdseye, Curator, Hyde Park Historical Society (26min 25sec)

The full video of the ceremony is below. 

Grimke Sisters Bridge

On Saturday, November 16th, Boston mayor Marty Walsh will dedicate the rebuilt Dana Ave bridge as the Grimke Sisters bridge –

The Society would like to thank its curator, Elisa Birdseye, for her efforts to promote the renaming of the bridge, including the following letter she wrote for the Society.

And thanks to Michelle Jenney, president of the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail, for the supporting letter.

Barbara Baxter Memorial Garden Dedication

Barbara Baxter was a curator and long time member of the Hyde Park Historical Society.  She was engaged with just about all of the civic organizations in Hyde Park. Barbara worked hard to preserve the neighborhood atmosphere of the community and she single-handedly kept alive institutions which would have faded away without her involvement.

Barbara was a likeable soul who is sorely missed. Her friends and acquaintances will gather at the new Barbara Baxter Memorial Garden near the Martini Shell on Truman Highway at 2 PM on May 4th, for a dedication ceremony.

By Tom Sullivan

April 2019 Society Meeting

On Saturday, April 13, Erin R. Corrales-Diaz, Ph.D. assistant curator of American art at the Worcester Art Museum presented: A Great National Painting: James Walker’s The Battle of Gettysburg.

Barbara Wicker and Erin Corrales-Diaz with the isometric map of the Battle of Gettysburg in the Society’s collection.

Six years in the making, James Walker’s twenty-foot long The Battle of Gettysburg debuted in Boston on March 14, 1870, but currently resides in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Commissioned by John Badger Bachelder, The Battle of Gettysburg captivated American audiences with its attention to detail and perceived veracity. Erin detailed the biography of the painting from its inception to its current location and all permutations in between.

Bachelder was a Hyde Park resident from 1880, until his death in 1894. Erin described Bachelder as the P. T. Barnum of the American Civil War – with his great showmanship and commercialization of the painting.

The presentation lasted a little over an hour and was delivered with a wonderful slide show and passion for the subject matter.
Collection on Display

In honor of Erin Corrales-Diaz’s presentation, the Gettysburg Cannon was on display for our members to view. The cannon was awarded to Hyde Park’s John Badger Bachelder for his work as the official historian of the Battle of Gettysburg – Read more.

The newly restored painting – A View of Camp Meigs from Fairmount Hill by Thomas Badger, 1863, was also displayed and the Society hopes to sell prints of this painting at a later date. Please contact the Society to register interest at

Hyde Park, Massachusetts 1890 Map – This famous map of 1890 shows all the buildings of the town in amazing detail. These prints are just $10 each. Proceeds from the sale will fund the cost of restoring the Badger Painting. To purchase a print please email

Hyde Park’s Centennial Publication

In 1968, the centennial celebration of the towns first 100 years saw the publication of this 72 page commemorative large format book.

The front cover illustration depicts the town with the completed I-95 Southwest Expressway. Following protests from citizens in Dedham, Milton, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, the construction of this eight lane highway was cancelled. The Wake up the Earth (WUTE) festival, held every year in Jamaica Plain, was created to celebrate this community victory.

The book also reveals how heavy industry was still prominent in Hyde Park, with a full page advert for the Tilseton & Hollingsworth paper mill, “the most modern, progressive paper mill in all New England…”

This collection includes the scanned images of every page and can be viewed here. The digitization of the text will be available soon.