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Brighton Abattoir

1925 Map of the Brighton Abatoir with Market St to the right and Arsenal St on the top right.  Boston Acura and Staples occupy this area today.  In 1872, all slaughtering activities in Brighton were consolidated into a single facility, the Brighton Abattoir, situated on a 42 acre site on the banks of the Charles River, thus freeing up valuable land in the central part of the town for house construction.   Samuel Learnard, Brighton resident, was one of the Presidents of the Abattoir.  The Abattoir closed in 1957 to make way for commercial property, the Leo M. Birmingham Parkway and Soldier's Field Road.

Brighton Abattoir Drawing.  

Abattoir Plan

Beef Slaughterhouse Plan

Beef Slaughterhouse Cross Section.  The slaughtering was done over a raised floor for the convenience of handling the blood and offal (waste parts). Trap doors on this middle level were used to drop the hide and offals to the basement.  Note the drain from the basement to the river.  On the middle level there was a 20 square foot room where the meat was kept at 40 degrees F for several days until sent to market.  Over this room, an ice-box with 15 to 20 tons of ice maintained the temperature during warm weather.  

The Abattoir Rendering House was 200 ft by 80 and four stories high. The rendering tanks on the third floor were filled with offal from the fourth floor and then steam cooked. The fat is removed and the blood and remaining scrap was put into the driers on the second floor where the water evaporated through steam heat.  The residual dry animal matter was ground to powder and packed for market.  Offensive gases from the rendering tanks were passed through a condensing apparatus and mixed with air and forced into the fires of the steam boilers to minimize odors.  The adjacent Boiler House had ten boilers powered by two fifty horse power engines

Removal of hog's intestines at the Brighton Abattoir

Brighton Abattoir demolition in the late 1950s

Rendering House

Abattoir workforce

Taken from the Watertown side of the Charles River with the Abattoir to the left

Abattoir building

Abattoir property

Abattoir demolition on the left.  The two building on the right were on Market St near Arsenal St and at the top right of the 1925 map above.  T. H. McVey Headstones is now located at 662 Arsenal St.

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