Digital Commonwealth

Edgar Sutton Dorr Photograph Collection

Boston Public Library

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Edgar Sutton Dorr (1854-1937) was a Boston engineer who worked for the Boston Sewer Department in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, eventually becoming the chief engineer of the sewer department in 1891. Dorr's father was Edward Reed Dorr and his mother was Eliza Ann Pitman. He graduated from MIT in 1875. In 1892, he married Nettie Wyer and they had three daughters Hazel, Dorothy, and Phyllis.

In the late nineteenth century, the Boston Sewer Department embarked on a project to improve, and eventually suppress, the Stony Brook, a stream running through Jamaica Plain. As development in the areas surrounding the stream increased, periodic flooding of the stream became a significant nuisance. In an effort to stop the flooding, the city began work on a project to deepen and straiten the channel. When this work failed to stop the flooding, the brook was buried completely and integrated into the city's sewer system.

This collection of photographs includes pictures of Dorr's family and friends, images documenting the Stony Brook improvement and suppression project, as well as additional images reflecting Dorr's professional interests as an engineer.

Locations in this Collection: