October 24, 2010

Pfaff Lager

One of the eight stops on our "FOOD" tour at Forest Hills Cemetery was that of the Pfaff Family, whose brewery was once a well known place at Roxbury Crossing. We enjoyed sampling delicious cider at the stops to the Pfaff Mausoleum, and learning that this was one of almost two dozen breweries along the Stony Brook in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

Henry J. Pfaff (1826-1893) was a well-known lager beer brewer whose brewery was active from 1857 to 1918, and was located in Roxbury at 1276 Columbus Avenue, the present site of Roxbury Community College. The abundant and crystal clear water from Stony Brook, along with artesian wells bubbling to the surface around Mission Hill, in addition to the affordable land after the City of Roxbury merged with Boston in 1868 made Pfaff’s one of the major brewers. With his brother, Pfaff established the H&J Pfaff Brewery that imparted a little bit of old Germany that created the demand for the new German type Lager beers.

The Pfaff Mausoleum was designed by Whitman & Howard and is an impressive Egyptian Revival granite mausoleum on a knoll overlooking Tupelo Avenue, and the impressive Receiving Tomb. The use of Egyptian Revival architecture for a memorial is something that was popular throughout the nineteenth century as it represented an ancient culture that was devoted to the afterlife and reverence for the dead.

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