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Brighton is a dissolved municipality and current neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States, and is located in the northwestern corner of the city. It is named after the town of Brighton in the English city of Brighton and Hove. For its first 160 years, Brighton was part of Cambridge, and was known as “Little Cambridge.” Throughout much of its early history, it was a rural town with a significant commercial center at its eastern end. Brighton separated from Cambridge in 1807 after a bridge dispute, and was annexed to Boston in 1874. The neighborhood of Allston was also formerly part of the town of Brighton, but is now often considered separately, leading to the moniker Allston–Brighton for the combined area. This historic center of Brighton is the Brighton Center Historic District.
In 1630, land comprising present-day Allston–Brighton and Newton was assigned to Watertown. In 1634, the Massachusetts Bay Colony transferred ownership of the south side of the Charles River, including present-day Allston–Brighton and Newton, from Watertown to Newetowne, later renamed Cambridge. In 1646, Reverend John Eliot established a “Praying Indian” village on the present Newton–Brighton boundary, where resided local natives converted to Christianity. The first permanent English settlement came as settlers crossed the Charles River from Cambridge, establishing Little Cambridge, the area’s name before 1807.