October 25, 2018

Cows on the Boston Commons

In Colonial Boston, grazing cows use to roam freely on the Boston Commons. Some locals even joked that cows were the first official residents of the Boston Commons. It was so common to see cows, that once a young Ralph Waldo Emerson escorted his family cow to the Boston Commons.

Not only were Cattle allowed to roam, so were pigs, sheep and goats.

The city was growing rapidly that Mayor Harrison Gray Otis decided in 1830, to ban all Cows on the Boston Commons. This was done so that the Boston Public Commons could be a full-time public park and a recreational grounds - which officially happened in 1837.

Cows were officially banned on the Boston Public Gardens on May 1st, 1830. Making April 30th, 1830, the last day the cows were free to roam on the Commons.

Gone But Not Forgotten

Cows make their yearly appearance on the Boston Public Gardens on the first week of June to celebrate National Dairy Month. Usually, they appear near the Park Street station.

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