A Short History of Fallon Field, Roslindale
by Tim Casey
updated February 7, 2022
Fallon Field, 2022
1874: The entire area south of South Street and north of the railroad tracks is mostly empty land owned by John Pearce and Joseph Williams.
Belgrade Ave. is not yet named. There is a prominent house positioned where the Fallon Field playground now stands.
1882: The left side of the Pearce estate has a planned north-south road running through it, along with ten proposed lots for building.
1884: Plans for those lots have apparently been abandoned.
1896: South Walter Street, Roberts Street and Brookfield Street have been laid out.
To the left of South Walter Street, seven lots have been laid out for development. These lots are owned by Edward Orchard and R. T. Hewitson,
but they won't be developed, instead becoming part of Fallon Field. The large house on the site of the current playground now has a winding driveway
with entrances on both South Street and what will eventually be called Walworth Street.
1899: This map is extremely interesting. South Fairview Street has been extended from the corner with South Walter all the way up to what is now Walworth Street, continuing into what is now known as Tyndale Street. Two north-south streets have been planned for what is now known as Fallon Field (see the dashed lines). There are also 16 lots planned between the extension of South Fairview Street and the railroad tracks; the lots are the same size as those on the Brandon Street (Belgrade Avenue) side of the tracks.
Sewer lines and storm drains have been installed for the planned streets, and you can still find the storm drains in the middle of Fallon Field - they look a bit odd when you come across them while playing baseball!
Also note that Robert Street has finally been extended and passes under the railroad tracks.
1905: Luckily for Roslindale, the plans to develop the estate fell through for some reason. Half of the land has been given or sold to the City of Boston, and that land has been designated as the Roslindale Play Ground. There is still a north-south road planned, separating the new playground from the estate of Elizabeth Devens. That road is now the pathway that cuts across the hill in Fallon Field. John Pearce's name no longer appears on the map.
A 1905 ball game at Fallon Field, and the same view today. The field had trees growing in it, which must have irked many a ball player!
1914: The land and home formerly owned by Elizabeth Devens is now owned by Margaret Louise Fallon and her husband, William Joseph Fallon.
The Pavillion and Clubhouse structures have been erected in Fallon Field, shown as the red and yellow structures in the playground.
The Pavillion and Clubhouse, 1913, and the site as it is today.
The buildings were torn down in the seventies. However, the author remembers being a child in the sixties on a hot summer's day and waiting in a huge line that stretched across Fallon Field to the clubhouse, where the Public Works department would hand out ice creams (Hoodsies with wooden spoons) to all the neighborhood kids. It was SO hot, and the line was SO long, that even as a little kid, it didn't seem worth the wait!
1916: The locals are apprehensive about people crossing the railroad tracks to get to the field (YIKES! I'd be apprehensive, too!)
They petitioned the City to build a tunnel under the tracks, linking Belgrade Ave. to the Roslindale Playground, according to this December 14th, 1916 clipping from the Boston Globe.
1918 (map not shown): The Fallon's son, John T. Fallon, is killed at the age of 21 in France during World War I. One can only imagine the Fallon's grief.
A memorial plaque was erected on a stone marker near the entrance to the park at Walworth and South Streets.
The marker was later moved to the South Street entrance of the park.
1924: The Fallon estate has been officially ceded or sold to the City of Boston, and the entire playground has been dedicated to the memory of their son.
The father, William Fallon, will pass away in 1936; Margaret will follow in 1944. All three are interred at the Mount Calvary Cemetary in Roslindale.
We have an article written in the seventies regarding a memorial service for John Fallon here.