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Dorchester

Dorchester is the largest neighborhood within the City of Boston located within Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It is now a large and diverse working class community, and is still a center of Irish-American immigration. It is named after the town of Dorchester in England, from which Puritans emigrated.

Neighborhoods within Dorchester include Adams Village, Ashmont Hill, Cedar Grove, Clam Point, Codman Square, Columbia Point, Edward Everett Square, Fields Corner, Four Corners, Franklin Field, Franklin Hill, Grove Hall, Jones Hill, Lower Mills, Meeting House Hill, Neponset, Popes Hill, Port Norfolk, Savin Hill, and Uphams Corner.

The eastern areas of Dorchester are primarily ethnic white, Irish and Vietnamese, while the western half of the neighborhood is the center of Boston’s African-American and Cape Verdean community.

The neighborhood is served by five stations on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Red Line (MBTA) rapid transit service, five stations on the Ashmont-Mattapan High Speed Line, commuter rail lines, and various bus routes. Interstate 93 (which is also Route 3 and U.S. Route 1) runs north-south through Dorchester between Quincy, Massachusetts and downtown Boston, providing access to the eastern edge of Dorchester at Columbia Road, Morrissey Boulevard (northbound only), Neponset Circle (southbound only), and Granite Avenue (with additional southbound on-ramps at Freeport Street and from Morrissey Blvd at Neponset). Several other state routes traverse the neighborhood (e.g., Route 203, Gallivan Boulevard and Morton Street, and Route 28, Blue Hill Avenue (so named because it leads out of the city to the Blue Hills Reservation). The Neponset River separates Dorchester from Quincy and Milton. The “Dorchester Turnpike” (now “Dot Ave”) stretches from Fort Point Channel (now in Southie) to Lower Mills, and once boasted a horse-drawn trolley.