Robert Gould Shaw II

The first edition of the Conservators Walking Guide incorrectly stated that the land now constituting the Helen Heyn Riverway was once owned by Col. Robert Gould Shaw, a famed Civil War leader. In fact, the land was owned by Shaw’s cousin, Robert Gould Shaw II. The error was called to our attention by this December 2005 email from Robert Gould Shaw II’s great grandson:

Dear Conservators:

It was recently brought to my attention by a woman who studies my family that she was unaware that Col. Robert Gould Shaw was in posession of land, particularly in the Newton area. This is true, and the land in question that was parceled to Mount Ida and others was the former property of Robert Gould Shaw II, my great grandfather.

Robert Gould Shaw II was a cousin of Col. Robert Gould Shaw as featured in the film “Glory.” Robert Gould Shaw II was the son of Quincy Adams Shaw, long time executor of the Calumet and Hecla mining company and patron of a great many endeavors in the Boston area and beyond. Quincy’s brother Francis was the father of Col. Robert Gould Shaw.

I wanted to bring this to your attention, as the website and perhaps other documents mention the land as having been Col. Shaw’s. Col. Shaw was a remarkable and important individual in a great many ways to the people of this county, and he very closely related to the land in question, but the land actually was owned by his cousin.

Colin Gould Shaw