Welcome to Boston’s Mattapan neighborhood, a residential southwest district of Boston. Like many surrounding neighborhoods, Mattapan was once inhabited by a Native American tribe. The Mattahunt Tribe named this area Mattapan, which roughly translated means “a good place to be,” due to the fertile land here and the Neponset River, which serves as a southern border between Mattapan and the sprawling Massachusetts Town of Milton. Settled by the English in 1630, Mattapan was a part of Dorchester for many years. Mattapan became a standalone neighborhood in 1870 when Dorchester was annexed by the City of Boston. For most of the 20th century, Mattapan was a predominantly Jewish neighborhood but starting in the 1980s, a large number of Haitian immigrants began relocating to the area, forever changing the cultural landscape and demographic population. Today, Mattapan serves as an epicenter for Haitian culture in Massachusetts and holds the largest Haitian community in the state.
Set apart by its affordable housing prices and beautiful green spaces sprinkled throughout the neighborhood, Mattapan is predominantly residential with several commercial districts along the main thoroughfares of Blue Hill Avenue and Morton Street. The housing stock in Mattapan consists of low-rise apartment buildings, iconic triple-deckers, and pre-war single-family homes. Mattapan is a friendly neighborhood with plenty to offer in terms of food, shopping, and entertainment. Mattapan Square in Southern Mattapan is by far the busiest and most active commercial district in this neighborhood. Here you will find retail shops and local restaurants, as well as banks, supermarkets, and many other storefronts. This bustling commercial hotspot is also home to the Mattapan Trolley, which will take you over to Dorchester’s Ashmont neighborhood, where you can catch a train ride on the Red Line to Downtown.
Mattapan has a diverse demographic base with a population of just over 36,000. Numerous families, college students, and working professionals that enjoy Mattapan’s laid-back atmosphere and proximity to some of Boston’s most popular attractions live here. The Fairmount Line of Boston’s commuter rail system runs through Mattapan, offering its inhabitants convenient access to public transportation that will take you north into Downtown or south to Hyde Park. Be sure to check out the 72-acre Franklin Park Zoo in neighboring Roxbury, where you will find lion, tiger, and gorilla exhibits. Spend an afternoon exploring the Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, or do some restaurant hopping and shopping in Mattapan Square.