What: The Forest Hills Disaster
When: March 14, 1887
Where: Bussey Bridge, Roslindale
- One of America’s first rail disasters to be covered nation-wide killed 38 people but sparked significant homebuyer interest in what was then bucolic countryside.
- The nightmarish incident, caused by a poorly-designed bridge and a lack of safety regulations, attracted hundreds of spectators.
- By some accounts, these gawkers returned home with stories of how easy it was to reach downtown Boston from Roslindale via a growing network of streetcars, helping set off a local development boom.
“Roslindale was really considered the country back then. We had a big population boom after the crash and that’s the cause. … No one knew much about [the neighborhood] before it happened.”
— Former Roslindale Historical Society President Cathy Slade to the Roslindale Transcript newspaper in 2012
To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Banker & Tradesman is highlighting significant moments in the history of Massachusetts’ real estate and banking industries. To suggest a topic, email email@example.com.