Mystical Boston neighborhood re-emerges from the mists of time, at least on some online maps

Coffee consumer Ron Newman was looking for Dunkin’ Donuts in Roxbury today when he discovered that the map you get if you search on 02119 brings up an unusual neighborhood name at the northernmost tip of Franklin Park: Newstead Monteglade.

Oh, ho! It’s been 15 years since we thought that fabled, mystical place had slipped the surly bonds of earth, when the U.S. Geological Survey’s Board on Geographic Names declared the place “historical” because nobody actually lives there anymore – and never mind it was never actually a place to begin with (it was the names of two estates Boston bought as part of the creation of Franklin Park).

But in any case, MapQuest, which we were also surprised to learn still exists, has apparently added the place to its own mapping database, which means it shows up on the sites of its customers, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, as a section of Boston.

Newstead Monteglade on a Dunkin' Donuts map

Or rather, MapQuest re-added Newstead Monteglade to its mapping database.

Back in 2005, when the earth was still cooling, MapQuest was the mapping site and it had used the USGS database to build its own database and so it included Newstead Montegrade (as it was originally tagged) as a Boston place, which in turn meant it started showing up in all sorts of database-driven travel sites, which in further turn meant certain people in the Boston area briefly had great fun adding to those databases with examples of what to see in Newstead Montegrade, where to stay, etc., etc.

And then Ron Newman (yes, the same intrepid coffee-seeking Ron Newman mentioned above) managed to convince the USGS Board on Geographic Names to, if not drop Newstead Montegrade, at least mark it as “historical”. Oh, and with a name change to Newstead Monteglade, because it turns out one of the estates was called Monteglade, not Montegrade, as we, and the USGS Board on Geographic Names, discovered through some intrepid work by a BPL research librarian.

For some reason, MapQuest has ignored the “historical” tag and is now boldly proclaiming the renewed existence of a Boston neighborhood where nobody lives, unless you count the fauna that live in the park.

Newstead Montegrade is dead! Long live Newstead Monteglade!

Newstead Montegrade – the truth comes out – featuring a history of the place by BPL research librarian Mary Devine.

USGS Newstead Monteglade entry, including the notation that it’s “historical” and referencing its specific latitude and longitude (see Newstead Monteglade mapped on Google Maps, which does not, however, recognize its existence).

Latest posts