Otis House

Changes Over Time

Boston’s West End is part of the peninsula called Shawmut (the place of living fountains) by its Indigenous Native American inhabitants. In its earliest years of colonial settlement, it was quiet, undeveloped, and mostly pasture land. Considered the outskirts, or “urban fringe,” it was an area labeled as objectionable and undesirable, fit only for industry and institutional usage such as distilleries, copper-works, and gristmills.