Beacon Street

Anyone familiar with Boston may deduce the inspirations for Bay State Street, Commonwealth Avenue, and Beacon Street: Massachusetts is nicknamed the Bay State, while Commonwealth and Beacon are major Beantown thoroughfares. Their Alhambra counterparts were all named in 1886 on land owned by Rufus Fiske Bishop (1841-1932) and surveyed and sold by William Henry Whittemore (1860-1897). Both men hailed from Massachusetts, so go figure. Bishop got here first: he arrived in September 1880 with his wife Hattie (1847-1911) and their three kids. They bought 15 acres and built their house within two months; eventually addressed at 100 E. Bay State Street, it stood for six decades. Bishop also served as the local justice of the peace and oversaw Alhambra’s water utility for many years. As for Whittemore, he and his new bride Charlotte (1855-1937) came here in 1885 and purchased a piece of land from Sue Shorb. They had one daughter, Elsie. Whittemore was active in real estate and worked as a deputy county clerk but died from shock following a herniotomy conducted by Dr. William LeMoyne Wills.