Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
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Boston is the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The city is located in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, in the northeastern United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is considered the economic and cultural center of the entire region. The city, which had an estimated population of 590,763 in 2006, lies at the center of the Cambridge–Boston-Quincy metropolitan area—the 10th-largest metropolitan area (5th largest CSA) in the U.S., with a population of 4.5 million.
In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city on the Shawmut Peninsula. During the late eighteenth century Boston was the location of several major events during the American Revolution, including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Several early battles of the American Revolution, such as the Battle of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston, occurred within the city and surrounding areas. After American independence was attained Boston became a major shipping port and manufacturing center, and its rich history now attracts 16.3 million visitors annually. The city was the site of several firsts, including America's first public school, Boston Latin School (1635), and first college, Harvard College (1636), in neighboring Cambridge. Boston was also home to the first subway system in the United States.
Through land reclamation and municipal annexation, Boston has expanded beyond the peninsula. With many colleges and universities within the city and surrounding area, Boston is a center of higher education and a center for medicine. The city's economy is also based on research, finance, and technology – principally biotechnology. Boston has been experiencing gentrification and has one of the highest costs of living in the United States.
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History / News
1630 - The city of Boston, Massachusetts is founded.
March 22 - 1st colonial legislation prohibiting gambling enacted (Boston)
September 16 - Mass village of Shawmut changes name to Boston
October 19 - In Boston the 1st general court is held
1632 - Capital
Boston made capital of Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1634 - First Public Park
Boston Common first public park in U.S.
1635 - First Public Secondary School
The first American public secondary school, Boston Latin Grammar School, founded in Boston.
1635 - Great Colonial Hurricane hits New England in August
The eye passed between Boston and Plymouth, Mass., and caused a twenty-foot tide in Boston. Gov. William Bradford reported, "It blew down many hundred, thousands of trees," and many houses.
Hurricane timeline: 1495 to 1800
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1639 - First Post Office
First Post Office in U. S. established in Boston at Richard Fairbanks' tavern; Mather School, first free public school founded
1644 - January 18 - Perplexed Pilgrims in Boston reported America's 1st UFO sighting
January 18, 1644
1650 - Unsuccessful Meeting
September 1: Father Gabriel Druillettes (1610-1681) departed Quebec for Boston to establish an alliance with New England against the Iroquois, but he was unsuccessful.
1652 - In Boston, John Hull opens the 1st mint in America
June 10, 1652
1656 - July 1 - 1st Quakers (Mary Fisher/Ann Austin) arrive in Boston (arrested)
July 1, 1656
1673 - January 22 - Postal service between New York & Boston inaugurated
January 22, 1673
1690 - First Newspaper Issued in America
The first [newspaper] issued in America was published in Boston in September, 1690. It was printed on three pages seven by eleven inches square, on a folded sheet, and was entitled "Public Occurrences both Foreign and Domestic." The editor said of it "It is designed that the country shall be furnished once a month (or if any glut of occurrences hap...
1699 - December 10 - A severe ice storm hit Boston, MA, causing much damage to orchards.
The Weather Channel
1704 - First Newspaper
The first regularly issued American newspaper, The Boston News-Letter, published in Boston.
www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
1706 - Benjamin Franklin born January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
January 17, 1706
1716 - First Lighthouse
First lighthouse in America, "The Boston Light" built in Boston Harbor
1717 - THE GREAT SNOW OF 1717
Four successive snowstorms-two of them minor, two of them of major proportions-fell within a ten-day interval (February 27th through March 7th), and left a snowfall estimated to be somewhere between three and four feet across much of New England. On the Post Road leading to New Hampshire and Maine, five feet of snow, with drifts of up to fourteen f...
1733 - July 30 - Society of Freemasons opens 1st American lodge in Boston
July 30, 1733
1770 - March 5 - Boston Massacre
Tensions between the American colonists and the British were already running high in the early spring of 1770. Late in the afternoon, on March 5, a crowd of jeering Bostonians slinging snowballs gathered around a small group of British soldiers guarding the Boston Customs House. The soldiers became enraged after one of them had been hit, and they f...
1773 - December 16 - Boston Tea Party
Colonists threw tea into Boston Harbor in protest of high taxes
December 16, 1773
1774 - June 1 - Boston Port Bill: British government orders Port of Boston closed
June 1, 1774
1775 - April 20 - British begin siege of Boston
1776 - British, Get Out!
Colonial troops force British to evacuate Boston.
1795 - State House
State House built in Boston.
1806 - First Church Built by Free Blacks
The first church built by free blacks in America, the African Meeting House, opened on Joy Street in Boston.
www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
1806 - June 16 - A total eclipse of the sun was viewed from southern California to Massachusetts.
Extract of a letter from Boston, June 16th.
"The long expected Solar Eclipse has completely engrossed the attention of all orders and conditions of people. The tops of the houses, and every accessible eminence, were occupied by immense numbers of spectators anxiously awaiting to behold this rare and interesting phenomenon. The...
1829 - October 16 - Tremont Hotel, 1st US modern hotel opens (Boston)
October 16, 1829
1831 - January 1 - First Abolitionist Newspaper
The first abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, published in Boston by William Lloyd Garrison
www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
January 1, 1831
1837 - June 11 - The Broad Street Riot occurres in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between English-Americans and Irish-Americans.
June 11, 1837
1839 - March 23 – The Boston Morning Post first records the use of "OK" (oll korrect).
March 23, 1839
1842 - November 17 - Fugitive slave George Latimer captured in Boston
1845 - Sewing Machine
BOSTON. Inc. 1630. Population, in 1845. E. 115,000
The Indian name of Boston was Shawmut, which is said to mean a spring of water.
The first name given to it by the English was Tri-mountain or Tremont, which means three hills; but whether it was named from Beacon, Copps, and Fort hills, which are seen from the harbor, or from the three eminences of Beacon Hill, which were seen from Charlestown, is uncertain. All the hills, and particularly the eminences of Beacon Hill, have been partly levelled to make new land.
The name of Boston was adopted as a compliment to the first minister, Mr. Cotton, who came from Boston, in Lincolnshire, England.
The first permanent settlement was made July 6, 1630, by Governor Winthrop and a large company, including persons of wealth and distinction from England.
The old town was a peninsula, surrounded by water, except where it was attached to Roxbury by a narrow strip of land, just wide enough for a road, and called The Neck. South Boston and East Boston were afterwards added.
Old Boston (numbered 1 on the map) is about three miles long and one mile in breadth. It is now joined to Roxbury by the Neck; to Brookline by a mill-dam, called the Western Avenue; to Cambridge by two bridges; to Charlestown by two bridges, and to South Boston by two more.
The chief Railroads that centre in Boston are, The Worcester and Western, from Boston to Albany.
The Providence, to Providence in Rhode Island, and Stonington in Connecticut.
The Lowell, to Lowell in Massachusetts, and Concord in New Hampshire.
The Eastern, and the Boston and Maine, to Portland in Maine.
The Fitclhburg, to Fitchburg in Worcester County, and thence to Brattleboro' in Vermont.
The Old Colony Railroad, to Plymouth.
To these railroads there are numerous branches.
Boston Harbor is included between Point Alderton or Nantasket,on which is the small town of Hull, and Point Shirley, the southeastern point of Chelsea, named after Governor Shirley.
The chief islands are Noddle's, No. 3, now called East Boston; Long Island, No. 7; Deer Island, No. G ; Governor's Island, No. 5; Fort Independence, No. 8; George's Island, No. 9; and Lighthouse Island, No. 10. Of these, Governor's, George's, and Fort Independence are strongly fortified. Noddle's alone is, to any extent, inhabited.
The Rivers that empty into Boston Harbor, are
The Charles, which forms a bay called the Back Bay, west of the city, and then passes between Boston and Charlestown.
The Neponset, which enters the harbor between Quincy and Dorchester.
The Mystic, which separates Charlestown from Chelsea,
The Maniquot, in Braintree.
South Boston (numbered 2) was a part of Dorchester until 1804. In form it is a peninsula, and it contains those memorable heights, the occupation of which by General Washington, in 1776, obliged the British to quit Boston.
East Boston (numbered 3) was called Noddle's Island until 1832, when it was purchased by a company of gentlemen, who laid it out in building lots, since which time its increase has been almost unexampled.
The first newspaper in America, called the News Letter, was published at Boston, in 1704.
Among the great men of America, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams were Bostonians.
Faneuil Hall, though not the largest or most magnificent structure in the city, is perhaps the most celebrated building in the United States. Its connection with the authors and deeds of the Revolution, has long given it the name of 'The Cradle of Liberty.'
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
Elias Howe invented sewing machine in Boston
1846 - SCENE: A street in Boston.
Dramais Persona: Jonathan, a youth from the country visiting the city for the first time. Susan, his intended; both in rustic garbs; both eagerly devouring all the sights with their eyes, and large quantities of gingerbread and candy with their teeth.
"Jonathan (liquitor) - Didn't I tell you we'd have a good time in Boston."
"Susan (sucking a...
1846 - Anesthesia
William T.G. Morton, a Boston dentist, first demonstrated the use of anesthesia in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, using a specially designed glass inhaler containing an ether-soaked sponge.
www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
1851 - February 15 – In Boston, Massachusetts, members of the anti-slavery Boston Vigilance Committee rescue fugitive slave Shadrach Minkins from a courtroom following his arrest by U.S. marshals.
February 15, 1851
1852 - December 29 - Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants
December 29, 1852
1852 - March 20 – Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published in book form in Boston.
March 20, 1852
1854 - The Destructive Gate - Its Effects at the East.
...One or two very ludicrous scenes occurred on Warren bridge, Boston. A cartman, with a load of empty hogsheads, attempted to pass over into Charlestown, but when about midway, a gust of wind relieved him of half his number. A peddler followed, and the same ceremony was taken with a very large quantity of his tin ware; and strange to add, a second...
1854 - March 20 – The Boston Public Library opens to the public.
March 20, 1854
1857 - advertisement
Bangor Daily Whig and Courier
June 25, 1857
1858 - August 2 - 1st mailboxes installed in Boston & NYC streets
August 2, 1858
1863 - January 15 - 1st US newspaper printed on wood-pulp paper, Boston Morning Journal
January 15, 1863
1863 - May 28 – American Civil War – The 54th Massachusetts, the first African-American regiment, leaves Boston to fight for the Union.
May 28, 1863
1872 - The Great Boston Fire.
The city of Boston, second commercial city in the United States, has, within the past thirty-six hours, been visited by one of the most extensive and destructive conflagrations which this country has ever witnessed, only inferior to the memorable Chicago fire in October, 1871, in the enormous magnitude of the loss. The Chicago fire desolated nearly...
1875 - First American Christmas Card
The first American Christmas card printed by Louis Prang in Boston.
www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
1876 - Telephone
Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated first telephone in Boston
1884 - A LARGE FIRE IN BOSTON. RUBBER-WORKS DESTROYED ENTAILING A LOSS OF $500,000.
BOSTON, Mass., July 3 - The night watchman employed at the factory of the Revere Rubber Company, on Eastern-avenue, Chelsea, discovered flames, at 3 o'clock this morning, issuing from one of the dye-houses in the rear of the factory. Owing to a scarcity of water the firemen's efforts were of little avail, and the entire factory and connected buildi...
1885 - Men of Brains - Some of the Distinguished American Inventors
Benjamin Franklin, born at Boston, 1706; died in 1790; at twelve, printer's apprentice, fond of useful reading; twenty-seven to forty teaches himself Latin, etc., makes various useful improvements; at forty studies electricity; 1752 brings electricity from clouds by kite and invents the lightning rod.
The Daily Republican
January 20, 1885
1888 - "The Great White Hurricane"
March 11-14, 1888
More than 120 winters have come and gone since the so-called “Great White Hurricane,” but this whopper of a storm still lives in infamy. After a stretch of rainy but unseasonably mild weather, temperatures plunged and vicious winds kicked up, blanketing the East Coast in snow and creating drifts up to 50 feet high. The storm immo...
1888 - Women met at Boston on the 29th and nominated Miss Alice D. Stockton, of Wheaton, as candidate of the Equal Rights party for Governor of Massachusetts.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
November 3, 1888
1895 - Blizzard - THE STORM STILL HOVERS OVER THE UNITED STATES. IT IS SEVEREST IN THE EAST. TRAFFIC ALMOST ENTIRELY AT A STANDSTILL -- RAILROAD TRAINS BLOCKADED -- BUSINESS PARALYZED -- PEOPLE FROZEN TO DEATH AT SEVERAL PLACES...
Boston Massachusetts, 1890
BOSTON, the metropolis of New England, the capital of Massachusetts, and seat of justice for the county of Suffolk, lies at the western extremity, or head, of Massachusetts Bay, — 464 miles by rail northeast of Washington, 236 northeast of New York, and 105 southwest of Portland. The latitude of the State House is 42° 21' 30" north; and the longitude, 71° 3' 51" west.
It has Needham, Newton, Brookline, Watertown, Cambridge and Somerville on the west; Everett, Chelsea and Revere on the north; Winthrop, Massachusetts Bay, and Hull on the east; Hingham, Quincy, Milton, Hyde Park and Brookline on the south. Its area is 19,100½ acres.
The city of Boston, as it now exists, has been made up of numerous aggregations. The nucleus was, of course, the present North End. The settlement grew southward, expanding about Dock Square, thence extending around Fort Hill and the sides of Beacon Hill, then from the North End along the shore to the West End, with a lively little village at the South End, advancing farther and farther southward to intercept the country business coming over what was then Boston Neck. These constituted old Boston, whose territory consisted of the peninsula extending from the mainland northeasterly, about two miles in length by one in breadth.
South Boston was annexed in 1804; East Boston (known, as Noddle's Island) in 1836; Roxbury, in 1867; Dorchester, in 1869; Charlestown, West Roxbury and Brighton, in 1873. Although the spaces between the settlements have filled up, the old village names still attach to the localities; and while the old town names designate their limit as districts, there are also still existing in name the old and new village localities of the North End, Dock Square, Meeting House Hill, Harrison Square, Commercial Point, Neponset, Lower Mills, Mattapan, Jamaica Plains, Dorchester (village), West Roxbury (village), Brighton (village) Allston, Back Bay, and others. Old "Cornhill" has contracted to a street, and Fort Hill has been dug down until there remains of it nothing but Fort Hill Square.
Boston Harbor is, to a large extent, bordered with rivers, creeks, bays and inlets, and hence is remarkably irregular in its outline. The harbor is deep and capacious, and is studded with as many as forty picturesque islands, of which the most noted are Deer Island, of 184 acres, conveyed to the town March 4, 1634-5; Thompson's Island, annexed to the city from Dorchester March 15,1834.; Great Brewster Island, of 16 acres; Gallop's Island, of the same size; Lovell's Island; Long Island, on which is a lighthouse; Apple Island; Rainsford Island; Peddocks Island; Spectacle Islands; Governor's Island, on which is Fort Winthrop; Castle Island containing Fort Independence; and Georges Island, occupied by Fort Warren, the outermost and strongest fortification of the harbor. The outer limits of the harbor are marked on the north by Point Shirley, the southern extremity of the town of Winthrop, and on the south by Point Allerton, the northeastern extremity of the peninsular town of Hull. The intervening square of about four miles is largely occupied by islands, affording additional protection to the waters within. The main ship channel is between Point Allerton on the south and Boston Light on the north, with Fort Warren farther in on the south and the Bug Light on the north. The inner harbor is capable of holding 500 ships at anchor between Fort Winthrop and Fort Independence. It embraces about seventy-five square miles, and is considered, in respect to its freedom from sandbars, depth, capacity and defences (natural as well as artificial), one of the finest in the world. It receives the waters of the Mystic River (navigable to Medford), of the Charles River (navigable to Watertown), and of the Neponset River) navigable to Milton). About 240 wharves extend into the harbor, most of them strongly constructed.
The city is divided into 25 wards, containing, May 1,1888,120,499 assessed male polls, 48,331 dwelling-houses, and a total assessed valuation of $764,452,548, with $1.34 per $100 as the rate of taxation. In addition to this amount, there was exempt property, consisting of church and benevolent institutions, to the estimated value of $26,257,706. The school-houses, in 1880, were valued at $7,996,500; the municipal buildings, $6,534,364; while those belonging to the county were estimated at $2,000,000. The cost of the new county building, a noble, fire-proof structure of bricks, granite and iron, occupying the entire western side of Pemberton Square, has been estimated at $2,500,000. There were in 1880, 3,319 stores and 4,258 miscellaneous buildings, in addition to dwellings.
The population in 1800 was 30,049; in 1820, 51,117; in 1840, 107,347, in 1860, 212,746; 1875, 341,919; 1880, 352,839; in 1885, 390,393, of whom 132,975 were born in foreign countries. In the years from 1860 to 1875, annexation added largely to the population. The valuation in 1840 was $94,581,600; in 1860, $278,861,000; in 1870, $584,089,400; in 1880, $639,462,495; in 1886, $723,707,148.
The government is invested in a city council, chosen annually on the second Monday in December, consisting of a mayor, 12 aldermen and 72 common councilmen.
The geological formation of the territory is sienite, conglomerate, trap, slate, drift, and undetermined rock. There are ledges of slate in the harbor, and beds of clay and of peat are found in several localities. Ledges of pudding-stone occur extensively in the Highlands, from which substantial and handsome walls for buildings are constructed.
The surface of the city is beautifully diversified by upland, hill and valley, affording charming sites for building, and presenting altogether a scenic aspect remarkable for its freshness and variety. The highlands of East Boston overlook the harbor with its numerous islands, and constitute a prominent feature in the general landscape. The heights of Dorchester, and the romantic eminences of Roxbury, as well as the noted elevations, Savin Hill, Meeting-house hill, Dorchester Heights (or Telegraph Hill, also called Mount Washington), in South Boston, Mount Bowdoin, in Old Dorchester, and Bellevue Hill (330 feet), in West Roxbury, afford enchanting land and water views; while at Beacon Hill, about 110 feet above low tide, we may ascend to the cupola of the State House, about 110 feet higher, and gaze on a panorama unequalled elsewhere en our seaboard. Built upon so many picturesque eminences, Boston, viewed from the sea or from the land, appears alike magnificent.
Until after the Revolution, what was then Boston was merely an irregular expanse of land connected to the mainland by a narrow strip between Back and South Bays, which at the highest tides was overflown by the sea. As the years have rolled on and house-lots have advanced in price more and more nearly to that of the buildings placed upon them, the "Neck" has been raised by laboriously transported soil and waste material; while South Bay has steadily grown narrower, and Back Bay has been wholly filled up, except about 30 acres, reserved for the salt-water pond in Back Bay Park. Five or six elegant avenues, instead of the poor and primitive one, now afford communication with the Highlands; and the section, still having the name of "South End," is wider and more beautiful than the original town itself. Other parts of the city also have been thus extended; and handsome private dwellings, railroad depots, stores and churches occupy many broad acres which were covered with water and with shipping less than half a century ago.
East Boston has communication with the other portions of the city by two steam ferries, and the ferry of the Boston, Revere and Lynn Railroad, and by a roundabout land route through the Charlestown district and the city of Chelsea; Congress Street, Mount Washington Avenue, Federal Street, Broadway and Dover Street bridges afford ready access with South Boston; Charles River Bridge (1,503 feet long, opened June 17,1786) and Warren Bridge connect the Charlestown district with the main section; Canal or Craigie's Bridge (opened in 1809), West Boston Bridge, and the new Harvard Bridge, near Back Bay Park, put Cambridge in direct and pleasant communication with all parts of Boston; while Western Avenue, or the "Mill-Dam," Huntington Avenue, Longwood Avenue, Francis, Perkins, Pond, Church, Arnold and half a dozen other streets, bind the town of Brookline closely to the side of the expanding city.
The steam railroads radiating from the city have each one or more bridges, carrying numerous tracks. Of these, the Fitchburg, Boston and Maine, Eastern, and Boston and. Lowell, all have spacious depots on or near Causeway Street; the Boston and Albany road and the Old Colony have spacious depots on Kneeland Street; the New York and New England Railroad has its depot at the foot of Summer Street, with ample freight houses and docks on the filled flats a little eastward; the Old Colony, while occupying its old-time position and lines, has recently added, to its system the Boston and Providence line, the depot of which is at Park Square. Street railroads, also, operated by horses or by electricity, connect the depots, the different parts of the city, and the various suburbs by frequent trips, to which are added several lines of coaches, and numerous rapid herdics, and the more elegant and easy coaches.
Several lines of ocean steamers connect the city with Europe, — the Cunard, the Warren, the Allan, the Furness, the Leyland, the Guion and others; so that one may sail on one or more days of the week for England, Scotland, France and Germany; and, less frequently, for some Mediterranean port, Australia, and far-off China. The lines running to South America, the Gulf of Mexico, the West Indies and ports along our own coast and the British Provinces, are numerous, and their trips frequent. The railroads generally have special lines of telegraph along their roads; while the public lines are so numerous that almost instantaneous communication may be held with every part of the country, and, by means of the ocean cables, with Europe.
The hotel accommodations of Boston are ample and admirable. The number receiving transient guests is nearly 100. The Revere and Tremont hotels have been the longest familiar to the travelling public, but do not excel Parker's, Young's, the Adams, the Quincy, the United States. The Crawford House and the American House are favorites with village merchants; the Back Bay houses, handsome in appearance and sumptuous in appointments,— the Brunswick, Vendome, Victoria, and, latest, the Thorndike,— find profitable patronage. Space does not allow of further individual mention of the more than 200 respectable public houses of the city.
From its peculiar configuration, the streets and lanes of the city proper were laid out originally with very little regard to regularity or order, and they are consequently somewhat confusing to the stranger. Since the great fire in November, 1872, there has been much improvement in them by widening and straightening.
The total number of streets in 1880 was 616; and these, with the bridges, squares and alleys, are lighted by 10,177 gas lights, 2,805 oil and fluid lamps, and 601 electric lights; the total number of lights being 3,583. The principal avenue is Washington Street; which, commencing on the western side of the northern section, runs medially through the city, southeasterly to State Street, thence southwesterly, quite into Dedham, some five miles from its starting point. Nearly parallel with this, in its middle section, then radiating, are Dorchester Avenue, Albany Street and Harrison and Blue Hill avenues on the east, with Shawmut Avenue, Tremont Street and Columbus and Huntington avenues on the west. These are intersected at all angles by shorter streets, as Hanover, noted for its retail stores; State Street, for its banking institutions; Franklin and Summer streets, reconstructed on the ruins of the great fire, and Congress Street, noted for their wholesale business; Devonshire Street, for its wholesale trade and business offices, among which is the magnificent post-office building. Beacon Street extends from Tremont Street over the southern brow of Beacon Hill, past the Common and the Public Garden, thence over what was formerly a mill dam, into Brookline, acquiring in its course the more sounding name of Western Avenue; to which in truth, however, it is entitled, being one of the fashionable and frequented carriage ways of the city. The extended canopy formed by the overhanging branches, of the majestic elms along the Common and Public Garden, with the noble vista of the avenue losing itself among the Brookline hills, give it a beauty not surpassed in America. Here, Commonwealth Avenue alone rivals it; being 250 feet in width, and having between its two roadways, for its whole length, a grassy park, with a broad promenade flanked on either side by a double row of handsome trees. This avenue extends from the middle of the western side of the Public Garden, through the Driving Park, and ends at Brookline Avenue. Its narrow park measures ten acres. At intervals along the middle line, statues are set,— General Glover, Alexander Hamilton, William Lloyd Garrison, and near the entrance of the Driving Park the striking and beautiful one of Lief Ericson, the Norwegian explorer of A.D. 1000. At the eastern end, just within the Public Garden, is the equestrian statue of Washington. Other marked features of this avenue are the lofty white marble front of the Hotel Vendome, the noble tower of the First Baptist Society's church, the Algonquin Club House, and the handsome residences. On the south side of the Common and Public Garden is Boylston Street, starting from Washington Street and ending at the Driving Park. Upon this street, at the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Clarendon and Dartmouth streets, is Copley Square,— from its area and surrounding edifices the finest square in the city.
The principal thoroughfares in East Boston are Chelsea Street running longitudinally with the island, and Meridian Street, so called from its running north and south. The first connects with Chelsea at the north, the latter at the south,— meeting at a sharp angle near the centre of the southern section, Other streets cross these, usually running in direct lines across the island. Webster Street commands a fine view of Boston Harbor and the city proper, and is adorned with many beautiful residences. The street system of South Boston is, for the most part, regular; the avenues generally crossing each other at right angles. Dorchester Avenue runs directly south, by South Bay, from Federal Street in the city proper to Milton Lower Mills; while Broadway, the principal thoroughfare, ornamented with trees, runs centrally through the territory to City Point. Warren Street and Walnut Avenue are the principal carriage ways through Boston Highlands; and Washington Street (east) and Dorchester Avenue, Bowdoin, Hancock and Boston streets, through Dorchester.
The principal avenues of Charlestown are Chelsea Street, passing along the land side of the Navy Yard, and connecting Warren and Chelsea bridges; Bunker Hill, Main and Medford streets, running from Chelsea Street through the whole length of the peninsula, and at Charlestown Neck uniting in Broadway, which stretches over Winter Hill in Somerville quite to Medford. Monument Square, the largest public park, has an area of about six acres. Market Square is a handsome space in the southern section. City Square, at the extremity of the peninsula, is the point whence radiate most of the principal streets, and is flanked on the south by the huge building called the Waverly House, built by Moses Dow from the profits of the "Waverly Magazine." Another fine building is what was Charlestown's "City Hall," now a branch of Boston Public Library.
Brighton is the chief cattle market of New England. Its chief objects of note are the Abattoir (the place of slaughter of food animals); the Cattle-fair Hotel; Allston — a pleasant modern village where terminates the "Mile-ground;" Bigelow Hill, whence are fine views of sea, villages and vistas of hills; and the Chestnut Hill Reservoir with its driveway, at the south, near the line of Newton.
Boston Common is a public park, containing about 48 acres, on the southwesterly slope of Beacon Hill. It is beautifully diversified with knolls, avenues, parterres and fountains; and delightfully sheltered by great trees, — English and American elms, lindens, several varieties of maple, English oak, cottonwood and other kinds.
Near the centre is an iron fence surrounding a thrifty young tree, on the spot where stood the Old Elm, so noted from its size and for the tragic events which have occurred in its vicinity. In 1776, as many as thirty Indians, concerned in massacres, were hung upon the branches of this and other trees around it. Here, in early days, Quakers were hung for conscience' sake; and here, later, Whitefield preached to an audience, it is said, of 20,000. This tree was destroyed in the great gale in 1876. Near by, on the north side, is the Frog Pond (without a frog), a pretty little lake, and within it a fountain throwing a huge jet of water to a great height. Rising from the margin of the pond is the central and highest elevation of the Common, on the summit of which stands a lofty column, of white granite surmounted by the bronze figure of Liberty: its base surrounded by allegorical figures of stone in half relief; while lower, on the four angles of the pedestal, are bronze statues of a soldier, a sailor, the muse of history and the genius of peace. The monument is by Milman, and commemorates the sons of Boston, lost in the war of the Rebellion. On the Park Street side of the Common is the noble fountain presented by Gardner Brewer. About midway on the Tremont Street side are the Cogswell fountain, mostly of granite, and the interesting monument to Liberty, erected in 1888. The design is by Robert Kraus. It is a round column, of granite on a pedestal of the same material, on the front projection of which stands a beautiful bronze figure of Liberty, with an eagle just alighting at her feet. It is popularly known as the Crispus Attucks monument, because his name stands first on the list of those who fell in the Boston Massacre, in 1770, which this monument commemorates. In the southern part of the Common is the Old Central Burying Ground, long unused, and now deeply shaded by a variety of thrifty trees. In this cemetery were buried many British soldiers. In the early days of the Revolution the Common was the principal camp ground of the British. The Charles Street side was then the western water front, and along its line were pits. for the musketmen; while batteries occupied the eminences in the rear.
The Public Garden, separated from the Common by Charles Street, was laid out in 1803. It comprises about 24 acres, recovered from the tide, and lying in the form of a parallelogram, with an artificial lake of about four acres in the centre. A fountain in its northern part is the source of supply. Clumps of trees and shrubs about the margin and the rocky island, give variety to the scenery; which is further increased by a bridge thrown across the lake at a narrow place midway of its length. The latter also affords an excellent standing place to see the movements of the numerous boats with which the lake is supplied. Clumps of shrubs, trees singly and in groups, beds of flowers varied weekly through the season, meet the eye of the visitor in every direction. The garden is further decorated by the elegant monumental fountain of marble with carved base, and surmounted by a sculptured group consisting of surgeon and his patient, erected in honor of the discoverer of anaesthetics; by the beautiful marble fountain representing Venus standing in a shell rising from the sea; by the bronze figures of Edward Everett and Charles Sumner, near the north and south sides. of the garden, and last and most impressive of all, the bronze equestrian statue of Washington, by Thomas Ball. The figures are of heroic proportions, and are set on a granite pedestal 16 feet in height.
The Driving Park, situated in the Back Bay district, on Charles River, and near Brookline, has an area of about 106 acres, including some 35 acres of water in stream and pond; and consists of a fine, broad road running along the higher portions of the park in a labyrinthian manner, mating a driveway of several miles in length. Slender-shafted trees line the road, thickets of shrubs occupy the steeper banks, while beds of hardy flowers fill vacant plats of ground on terrace and slope. Another attractive place for small parties to stroll and lunch is Franklin Park, in the Roxbury district,— a half-wild tract of forest and field, large enough to contain the Common and Public Garden seven times over. Near by, on the west, is the Arnold Arboretum, in West Roxbury, about one-third as large. It is a scientific botanical garden under the direction of Harvard College. There are in the city, belonging to it, about 40 minor parks, turfed, and planted with trees and shrubs, and having an average area of about an acre. Eleven of these are in the city proper (or Old Boston), three in South Boston, five in East Boston, ten in Roxbury, three in Dorchester, four in Charlestown, two in West Roxbury, and two in Brighton. There is throughout the city a remarkable number of streets shaded by colonnades of fine trees, often of great size. The Charles River Embankment, 200 feet in width, extending along the south bank of the river from Leverett Street, near Craigie's Bridge, to Cottage Farm Bridge, near the Riding Park in Brighton, will contain about 69 acres. The Chestnut Hill Reservoir, at the borders of Brighton and the city of Newton (where Beacon Street terminates) has a broad marginal park, making an agreeable driveway. Altogether, the park system of Boston now contains about 1,133 acres; and there is a project to add a marine park at South Boston, and a large park for Charlestown. There are also three or four private "gardens," where entertainments are given, and the public admitted for a fee.
The climate of the city, though variable, is generally favorable to health, and usually for a large portion of the year affords most delightful weather. The east and northeast winds in the latter part of the winter and early spring, and the sudden great changes of temperature at all seasons, are severely felt by people of weak constitutions or enfeebled conditions of the body; but the intense heats of summer are agreeably tempered by the same ocean breezes, which bring an atmosphere filled with the salty vapors of the sea. The temperature for six months of the year is within the range most comfortable for all; while January and July give extremes which cause discomfort at times, .these periods are not often so prolonged as to depress the health. The average temperature of the hottest and coldest months for the ten years including 1871 and 1880 was, for January, 27.3°, and for July, 71.8°. The death-rate of the city in 1886 (not a specially favorable period) was 23.40 per cent.; there having been 9,265 deaths from. an estimated population of 395,924.
Boston has 35 public and private cemeteries. Of these, Copp's Hill, at the north end of the city, and the King's Chapel and the Granary cemeteries, are the oldest. The largest are Forest Hills Cemetery, containing 228 acres, and Mount Hope Cemetery, 105 acres, in Roxbury. The other large ones are Evergreen Cemetery, in Brighton; Cedar Grove Cemetery, in Dorchester; Mount Calvary Cemetery, in Roxbury; St. Benedict's, in West Roxbury. The noted Mt. Auburn Cemetery, just outside of Boston, is made use of by many of its families.
Attractive points, as affording the best views, are the old Dorchester Heights, fortified by General Washington, now called, also, "Telegraph Hill" and "Mount Washington," in what is now the South Boston district; Parker Hill, and West Roxbury Fort (the site marked by the handsome standpipe of the Boston Water Works), the cupola of the State House, Bunker Hill Monument, and, in the near suburbs, Corey Hill, in Brookline, and Mount Auburn Observatory. Of antiquarian interest, there are the Copp's Hill Cemetery and the Granary Burying Ground, Christ Church; Faneuil Hall; the Massachusetts Historical Society's and the New England Genealogical Society's collections, the old South Church, and the Old State House and its contents. Of scientific interest are the collections of the Boston Natural History Society, the Bussey Institution and Arnold Arboretum, in West Roxbury , the United States Arsenal at Watertown; and the Navy Yard in Charlestown. Lovers of literature and art will be interested by the Boston Public Library, the Boston Atheneum, and delighted at the Museum of Fine Arts. Lovers of musical science will visit the New England Conservatory of Music at Franklin Square Park, and the Boston Conservatory, on Tremont Street, overlooking the Common. For an outing, the visitor will perhaps follow the example of the resident, and picnic in Franklin Park; or try the sea breezes at Revere Beach or Nantasket.
Among the most conspicuous public buildings in the city are the State House, Post-office, Custom House, City Hall, the new County Court-house and the new Public Library, Faneuil Hall, Quincy and Washington markets, and the jail on Charles Street.
Buildings of important benevolent uses are the Massachusetts General Hospital, the City Hospital, the Lunatic Asylum, the Carney Hospital, Children's Hospital, New England Hospital for Women and Children, the Homeopathic Hospital, the Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Perkins Institution for the Blind, and several of lesser note. The Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics' Association building, and Horticultural Hall, are interesting, and serve important public uses. The Masonic Temple is of much interest from its architecture, exterior and interior, and from its being the seat of the highest Masonic authority in New England.
The older section of the State House, situate on the east side of Mount Vernon Street and fronting on Beacon Street, is a substantial and symmetrical structure 173 feet in length, 61 feet in depth, and 120 in height, crowning the summit of Beacon Hill. The top of the dome is about 230 feet above tide-water It was built upon land formerly owned and occupied by John Hancock, and was opened for legislative use on January 11,1798. The bronze statues of Daniel Webster and Horace Mann decorate the grounds in front. In Doric Hall within, which will continue to serve as the elegant vestibule of the vast edifice, are marble statues of President Washington and Governer [sic] John A. Andrew, together with the battle flags of the Massachusetts regiments in the war of the Rebellion, and other interesting memorials. The new State House includes the old one which bears the gilded dome, now so familiar to all who have looked upon the city from far or near. The new portion joins solidly on the rear, and extends, by an arch over Mount Vernon Street, to about the same distance beyond it as the older part extends on the Beacon Street side. The new portion is of the same height, but the long sky-line is broken at the middle by a projecting section surmounted by a pediment somewhat in the style of a Greek temple. On this projection, and an equal distance at each side, is a colonnade, similar to the one on the front of the dome section. This fronts on the broad eastern avenue made by the removal of the Temple Street buildings as far as Derne Street. Old Doric Hall, in the remodelled edifice, serves as an entrance, through a broad arch that replaces its back wall, to the great Memorial Hall, five steps higher, and occupying the space above the Mount Vernon Street arch. The building is modest yet impressive and beautiful in its exterior, while its interior is thought to be formed perfectly to the purposes of the General Court and the other departments of the State government.
The Custom House, on State Street, is built entirely of granite, — exterior and interior walls and dome-like roof. It is of the Doric order of architecture; its ground plan being the form of a Greek cross. Its cost was over a million dollars.
The Post Office has a facade of more than 200 feet on Devonshire Street, but its front is on Liberty Square, and is much loftier. It is built of white Rockport granite, and its cost considerably exceeded two millions of dollars.
City Hall, in Court Square, and fronting on School Street, is built of Concord granite, in the style of the Italian Renaissance,—costing more than half a million dollars. In front of it stand admirable bronze statues of Benjamin Franklin, and of Josiah Quincy, an eminent mayor of the earlier period of the city.
The new County Court-house occupies the entire western side of old Pemberton Square, and covers an area of 85,688 square feet. Its length is quite near 450 feet; width 200 feet; height of walls from the square, 90 feet; top of dome, 200 feet. The building is fire-proof throughout, its exterior being of white granite, and the interior walls of brick. In architectural style it is of German character on a basis of the Early Roman style, with special modifications by the architect. It presents great variety of ornament with nobleness and solidity. Its interior is remarkably adapted for light and air.
Large and handsome private buildings, both dwellings and business houses, are becoming very numerous; while the architecture is constantly becoming more definite and artistic.
Faneuil Hall, which, from the meeting held in it by the early advocates of American freedom, came to be called "The Cradle of Liberty," was erected in 1742 and presented to the city by Mr. Peter Faneuil, a Boston merchant. The street floor and basement are wholly occupied by markets for the sale of meats, fish, dairy products and vegetables; while the second story contains a hall 76 feet square, decorated with large portraits in oil colors of "Washington, Samuel Adams, Daniel Webster and others, which is still much used by popular assemblies. On the east side of this building stands the Quincy building or market, of granite, much larger than the other, and used for the same purpose, it was opened in 1837. Nearly all the section about Faneuil Hall, including part or all of several streets, is devoted to the same kind of merchandise; the section extending quite to Atlantic Avenue.
Boylston Market, for many years a landmark at the corner of Washington and Boylston streets, has given place to a more modern building of stone, of greater size and more varied uses. Washington Market, on the corner of Washington and Lenox streets, is the third building in size devoted to the provision trade.
The great bell in Faneuil Hall is the only one in the city proper which now gives general notice of fires; the alarm being communicated to the engine houses by electricity, from upwards of 400 boxes placed in every part of the city. The fire department has 33 steam fire engines, 8 chemical, and one hand engine, with necessary apparatus and carriages, with nearly 150 horses. The harbor, also, is supplied with two fire-engine boats. There are 238 fire reservoirs, and about 5,000 hydrants connected with the street mains of the city water-works. The latter also furnish an ample supply of water in all parts of the city, the pipes delivering freely at even the most elevated points.
Boston has an extensive and excellent sewerage system, which drains it thoroughly. In its front is the illimitable sea; and at its back are hundreds of miles of grassy and forest-clad hills and valleys. Owing to its situation, the air is constantly changing, and is of a high degree of purity; consequently the city proves a very wholesome place of residence.
In her varied industries Boston manifests remarkable skill and activity. Her sons are engaged in almost every art, manufacture, trade, calling and profession. Her merchants, manufacturers and seamen are known over all the world. Her capitalists are builders and operators of railroads all over the country, and her capital has. aided, in large proportion, in opening the mines of precious metals in the mountainous West, and in developing manufactures in remote sections of the Union. Among home industries, shipbuilding holds a fair proportion. She is noted for small craft built for speed, — from the oarsman's shell to the swift-sailing schooner; while steam vessels up to 1,200 or 1,500 tons are occasionally sent out from her yards. The annual value of this manufacture is about $1,000,000.
The annual catch of her fishermen, including fish products and shell fish, reaches a value of about half a million dollars. In addition to this, a large part of the catch of other Massachusetts ports. and of Maine and New Hampshire is handled by the fish dealers of Boston.
The dutiable value of imports for the year ending June 30, 1888, was $63,897,778; the export of domestic merchandise for the same period being $55,482,664. There were also some exports of foreign goods, from the quantity imported. These aggregates have been exceeded in several recent years. The foregoing statement does not include coastwise traffic, nor that by land conveyance, whose figures would vastly exceed those of the foreign trade; but no means exists by which accurate data can be obtained regarding domestic commerce, excepting in the receipts of breadstuffs. Those of flour for the year ending September 30,1888, were 2,899,294 barrels; of corn, 6,167,333 bushels; of oats, 6,234,316; of wheat, 1,703,888. The number of vessels entering the customs district of Boston during the year ending June 30, 1880, was 2,874; and the number of clearances for foreign ports was 2,827...
A later statement shows 60 national banks in active business in the city. There were also, at the close of the year 1888,15 savings institutions, the aggregate of whose deposits, undivided earnings, guaranty fund, premium, suspense and rent accounts was $101,808,793.75; eight trust companies, whose capital stock, deposits, etc., aggregated $58,523,896.07; two loan companies, whose assets amounted to $280,752.19; two mortgage loan and investment companies, whose resources aggregated $1,083,730.23; twelve co-operative banks, with assets amounting to $1,232,312.19.
The penal and reformatory institutions in the city are the prison in Charlestown, belonging to the State, the county jail on Charles Street, the House of Correction at South Boston, the House of Industry and the House of Reformation, on Deer Island. There is also a House for Neglected Children in Roxbury, and almshouses on Deer Island, Rainsford Island, and the Austin Farm. The South End Industrial School for boys and girls was established six years ago by a few philanthropic and practical persons; and the number of its pupils, together with its results within their homes and in their later career, has already shown the utility of this class of institutions. The same may be said concerning the Farm School for Boys during a longer period; for this institution was organized in 1832. It is intended for those of less favored condition than the former. There are in the city upwards of 87 private schools, having school buildings and other property to the value of nearly $4,000,000. This number includes the collegiate institutions of Boston University, with its law, medical, theological, musical and general departments; Boston College; Boston Academy of Notre Dame; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and the professional schools, — the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Boston Dental College, the New England and the Boston Conservatories of Music, the Petersilea Academy, and the School of Drawing and Painting (Museum of Fine Arts). The Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind, the Boston School for the Deaf, are partially of the public school system. The public special schools consist of 19 kindergartens, 1 manual training school, 8 schools of cookery, and 21 evening schools, — 5 of the latter giving instruction in drawing.
The city has a normal school of the highest class, associated with which is a training school having grammar and primary departments; a Normal Art School, two Latin schools (the Boys' and the Girls'), an English High School, a Girls' High School, and six general high schools. With these are a large number of the lower graded schools, in suitable proportion in the city system. The number of public school buildings in Boston, as given in the State census of 1885, was 164, having an estimated value of $8,601,410. The number on May 1, 1889, had increased to about 180. Boston's system of public instruction is a very excellent one, and at the World's Exposition in Vienna, in 1873, it received the award of honor.
By the census of 1885, it appears that there are in Boston 233 public libraries, possessing 2,177,318 books. These consist of the State (reference), city public, association, private circulating, public and private school, professional, church and Sunday-school libraries. The oldest of these is that of the Massachusetts Historical Society, established in 1791. The New England Historic and Genealogical Society is a younger institution occupying a kindred field,— both having valuable reference libraries. The Boston Atheneum, established in 1849, has a handsome largest collection of books is that of the Public Library. Ten years ago the number of volumes in this library was 345,734; the number of persons employed was 141; and the city appropriation for the current expenses of the year $121,000. There are now 505,410 volumes, with twelve branches and three delivery stations, in as many remote sections of the city. The library has outgrown its old building on Boylston Street, a spacious and elegant structure, and has made necessary the new and capacious building on Copley Square. This has a frontage of 225 feet on each of the three streets that bound it; and its cornice is 70 feet above the street, while Bates Hall, 40 feet deep, and occupying the entire Dartmouth Street front, rises to a height of 80 feet, — receiving a part of its light from the roof. The architecture is Roman, with slight modifications.
Other sources of entertainment and intelligence are the excellent lectures of all kinds frequently given in the numerous halls and the vestry-rooms of the churches and of the Christian associations. Many of these are free, though of equal value with those which require an admission fee. The Young Men's and the Young Women's Christian Associations and the Young Men's Christian Union (especially the last) are well known for their liberality in this respect. The most valuable free lectures, however, are those given in courses, and from two to four a week, through all the colder third of the year, at the expense and under the direction of the Lowell Institute; this was endowed by John Lowell, junior, by a legacy of $250,000, its-opening course of lectures having been given in 1848.
The issues of the Boston printing press are characteristic of New England, and a credit to the city as an intellectual centre. There are about 150 book publishers, some of whom send out editions of several hundred different books each year; and several add to these monthly magazines, weekly journals, or quarterlies. Including newspapers, daily and weekly, there are published in the city nearly 250 periodicals, — of which some 45 are religions, 14 scientific, 3 relate to law, 3 to medicine, 4 to music, 2 to health, 11 or more are theological, 9 are commercial, 10 educational, 7 relate to schools, 15 are juveniles of which 11 are religious; about a dozen are distinctively political, 3 are in German and 2 in French. The ethical standard of journalism in Boston is high, and its literary quality superior.
The number of churches in the city is 234. Two of these are Advent churches; 29, Baptist; 2; Christian; 36, Trinitarian Congregational; 26, Unitarian; 2, Congregational; 24, Episcopal; 1, Reformed. Episcopal; 27, Methodist Episcopal; 3, Methodist; 1, Friends; 8, Jewish; 7, Lutheran 2, New Church (Swedenborgian); 9, Presbyterian; 1, Reformed Church (German); 32, Roman Catholic; 2, Spiritualist; 7, Universalist; and. 13 of various denominations. The estimated present value of the church buildings (not including the land) is $3,963,000. Christ Church (Episcopal), on Salem Street, erected in 1723, is the oldest church edifice in the city. From its tower (in which there is now a chime of eight bells) Paul Revere sent out his lantern signal, and General Burgoyne witnessed the battle of Bunker Hill. The Old South Church, on Washington Street, was first occupied for public worship on the 26th of April, 1730. It is preserved as a relic of the early period of the nation, and is used for the display of lesser relics, and for lectures on historical and sociological subjects. King's Chapel, on Tremont Street, was first used for divine service on August 21,1754. It contains several beautiful memorial tablets. Adjoining it is the oldest burial place in the city. This church is a plain and solid edifice of dark granite, with a massive square tower surrounded below the entablature by wooden Ionic columns. It is valued at $25,000; while the lot in which it stands is estimated to be worth $514,000. Park Street Church, occupying a commanding site on Tremont Street, was consecrated January 10, 1810. It has seats for about 1,200 persons. Its spire rises 218 feet above the pavement, forming a conspicuous feature in the distant view. St Paul's Church, on Tremont Street, consecrated June 20, 1820, is constructed of fine gray granite, in the Grecian Ionic style. The Beacon Hill Church, though secluded, is perhaps the most unique in its appearance of any in the city. It is a union, church, and a common resort of the patrons of the benevolent and religious institutions of which Dr. Charles Cullis has been the chief promoter. Tremont Temple is the home of a Baptist society; but it has a business-like front, and its several halls are used for secular meetings and entertainments, as well as for religious purposes. The Methodist Church on Tremont Street was dedicated January 1, 1862. It is built of Roxbury stone, in simple Gothic style, and is remarkable for its fine proportions. The Central Church on the corner of Berkeley and Newbury streets (Trinitarian Congregational) was dedicated in 1867. It is constructed of Roxbury stone with sandstone trimmings, in a characteristic Gothic style. Its steeple is 236 feet in height, the tallest in Boston. The First Church in Boston (Unitarian), near by on the same street, was used for the first time in December, 1868. It is a beautiful edifice, especially noticeable for its fine carriage porch. The Arlington Street Church (Unitarian) is a charming building of brown freestone in the English style at the Wren period. It has a striking interior after the Corinthian order. In its tower is a chime of bells. One of the principal landmarks of Commonwealth Avenue is the "Brattle-square Church," now occupied by the First Baptist society. It is a fine building of cream-colored sandstone, and remarkable for its noble tower. Trinity Church (Episcopal) on Copley Square, was consecrated February 9, 1877. It is of dark Dedham granite, with brown freestone trimmings. Its central tower is 211 feet in height. The edifice is a fine example of French Romanesque, and is valued at $500,000. There is little more land in its lot than is occupied by the building, yet it is valued at $320,000. The New Old South Church, on the same square, is one of the most conspicuous edifices in the city. Its architecture is North Italian Gothic, and its abundant ornament gives it a somewhat oriental effect. The tall and rather striking tower (248 feet in height) has the appearance of leaning slightly away from the main edifice. The building alone is valued at $368,000. The Church of the Immaculate Conception, on Harrison Avenue, was dedicated in 1861. It is built of granite, and has a brilliant interior finish with a combination of Ionic and Corinthian forms. The Boston College is connected with this church. The buildings of the church and college cost about $350,000. The Cathedral of the Holy Cross, commenced in 1867, is one of the most spacious and splendid church edifices in the metropolis. it will contain about 5,000 people. The material is Roxbury stone. One of the towers, if completed according to design, will have an altitude of 300 feet; but there is some doubt regarding the safety of the foundation. The First Spiritual Temple, on the corner of Exeter and Newbury streets, is a handsome but somewhat curious structure. It is built of brownstone, and is largely Romanesque in its architecture. Its value is estimated at $200,000.
The various sections of the present city of Boston have a history of their own. Soon after its annexation in 1804, South Boston was connected with the city proper by a bridge across the channel at the "Neck" at Dover Street. It was opened in March of the same year with a military display and great civic "pomp and circumstance." The bridge was 1,550 feet long and its cost $50,000. Later a substantial iron bridge took its place. A second bridge at the foot of Federal Street was built in 1828. The magnificent iron bridges erected still more recently, extending from Harrison Avenue and Congress and Swett streets to South Boston, seem to furnish all necessary connection between the inner and the seaward sections. At the time of the annexation, South Boston (earlier a part of Dorchester) possessed but ten families; but each successive bridge added largely to its population. Its most rapid growth, however, followed the establishment of the street railroad system in 1854. About the margin is much "made" land. Near the centre is the abrupt eminence known variously as Telegraph Hill, from its having been used as a marine signal station; and Mount Washington, from its having been fortified by General Washington when he invested the British army; and as Dorchester Heights, under which name it was known until a comparatively recent date. Two squares northeasterly, on a lower eminence, is the Perkins Institution for the Blind. Four streets farther in the same direction, on another elevation, is Independence Square, a pretty park occupying about two squares. Across the east end of the island is laid out the Marine Park, which, it is hoped, may be extended to Castle Island. On the north side of the island are the House of Correction and the Insane Hospital. A large portion of the space between these and the foreign docks connected with the New York and New England Railroad is occupied by various manufactories, and by the Alger iron works. Here have been produced the largest cannon ever made in America.
East Boston is noted for its ship-yards, founderies and sugar refineries. Here is the landing place of the Atlantic steamships, and the terminus of the Grand Junction Railway. It formerly bore the name of "Noddle's Island," from the first known resident. Mr. Maverick (who, later, became the owner) had a fort mounting four guns, on the high ground here in 1630. In 1814, Fort Strong was erected on the spot now occupied by Belmont Square. At the outbreak of the Revolution Mr. Thomas Williams was the sole resident; and the British, descending upon the island, carried off his flocks and herds and burned his farmhouse. The island at this period contained about 660 acres of land, not reckoning the flats (since filled up), and was separated from Boston (Shawmut) by 132 rods of water. The first ferry boat was authorized in 1637. As late as 1833, the entire population comprised only eight persons. In 1836 the Eastern Railroad built its road and a depot on the island, and in 1839 the Cunard line of ocean steamships made East Boston their landing; and the place grew rapidly, so that in 1879 there were 17 miles of streets. These, from the first, have uniformly been named for our own country towns and eminent men.
The higher portions afford pleasing views of the harbor, and have many fine residences. Maverick Square is the most important business centre.
Charlestown was the capital and the earlier place of residence of Governor Winthrop and his associates. The Indians called the place Mishawum. At the time of the battle with the British, there, Charlestown had some 300 dwellings and 150 to 200 other buildings. The land at the southern part rises from the water into an eminence formerly called Breed's Hill, where the battle was fought; the position being taken instead of Bunker Hill; and here, too, stands Bunker Hill Monument commemorating it. The real Bunker Hill is a little northward and considerably higher. It is now occupied by a handsome Roman Catholic church. Bunker Hill Monument was begun in 1825, and completed in 1843. The base of the structure is 30 feet square, tapering to 15 2/5 feet, where the angle of the summit begins. Its entire height is 221 1/6 feet. The shaft is hollow, and contains a spiral staircase of 295 steps, ascending to a chamber at the top, where are four windows from whence beautiful views may be obtained. The cost was $150,000. On the southeast side of the peninsula is the United States Navy Yard, occupying 83½ acres of land.
Roxbury is mentioned by William Wood, the first historian of New England, in 1633. He says: "It is something rocky, which it has the name of Rocksberry." None will dispute its being rocky in parts; for " Roxbury pudding-stone " is familiar to the eyes, as the term is to the ears, of all Bostonians, not only in its native bed, but in many of the finest buildings of the city. What is now Washington Street, in this district, was formerly "The Street" of Roxbury, where the business was concentrated. Roxbury was the native place of Generals Warren, Heath and Greaton, the residence of General Dearborn, and of many wealthy people, a few of the fine old houses yet remaining. As a place of residence, the Roxbury district is found to have great attractions, and is rapidly filling with attractive dwellings.
The Dorchester district is generally elevated, good views of the bay and of the surrounding localities being attainable from the upper rooms of many of the dwellings. When, in June, 1630, the company of the "Mary and John," including two clergymen, Revs. Meverick and Wareham, came to this place, the Indians called it "Mattapan; " but the company quickly named it Dorchester, after the town of this name in England. They set up a church soon after, but its site is now unknown. It is stated that the first water-mill in America was set up in Dorchester, and that its citizens were the first to engage in the cod fishery. The quaint town-hall still remains. Other and admirable features are the ancient meetinghouse and the magnificent soldiers' monument on Meeting-House Hill; the Lyman Fountain, on Eaton Square; its noble trees and fine gardens; its quaint old burial place; Grove Hall and its benevolent institutions (Dr. Cullis').
West Roxbury was detached from Roxbury and incorporated as a town in 1851, and a part of Dedham was annexed in the following year. Brook Farm Phalanx was established on picturesque ground in the western part, in 1841. This establishment is now the German Orphan Asylum. Jamaica Pond, a beautiful sheet of water about 56 acres in extent, is a principal feature of this district. Overlooking it and the towns for miles about is Bellevue Hill, 334 feet above sea-level, and the highest point in the city. Handsome public and private buildings and abundant ornamental vegetation, with rows of great trees along the streets, make this one of Boston's most agreeable purlieus.
Brighton is now, as it has been since the Revolution, the chief cattle market of New England. Its chief objects of note are the Abattoir,— the place of the slaughter of food animals; the Cattle-fair Hotel; the Old Mansion of Peter Faneuil, its enormous horse-chestnut tree in front; and. beautiful Evergreen Cemetery, with its soldiers' monument. Allston is a, pleasant modern village, where terminates the "Mile-ground;" Bigelow Hill affords fine views of sea and neighboring villages; and Chestnut Hill Reservoir, where Beacon Street fairly ends has an attractive marginal driveway. Originally this section of Boston was called "Little Cambridge." It was incorporated in 1807 and annexed to Boston in 1873, being now Ward 25.
Boston (the city proper) was called by the Indians Shawmut, which is supposed to have signified "a spring of water;" but the early white settlers called it " Trimountaine," from its three hills. It was purchased of William Blackstone, the sole inhabitant, and. a settlement was commenced by some colonists from Charlestown on the 17th day of September, 1630. They called their settlement Boston, from the old town in England from which some of them had come. This company organized under a large tree in Charlestown under the name, "First Church of Christ in Boston." The Rev. John Wilson was the first minister, and the first meeting-house was erected in 1632. The society (now Unitarian) occupies a very elegant church on the corner of Marlborough and Berkeley streets. The second church was organized June 5, 1650; and the Rev. John Mayo (or Mayhew) was settled over it November 9, 1665. He was succeeded by Rev. Increase Mather, D.D., May 27, 1664. The first house of this society, called the " Old North," was burned by the British, January 16, 1776. After several removes and various fortunes the society, in 1874, dedicated a new and elegant edifice of freestone, situated on Boylston Street, near Dartmouth, and is now Unitarian. Comer Beacon and Bowdoin Streets. The succession of pastors in this society, following Increase Mather, is Cotton Mather (1635-1728), Joshua Gee (1723-48), Samuel Mather (1732-41), Samuel Checkley, Jun. (1747-68), John Lathrop (1768-1816), Henry Ware, Jun. (1817-30), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1829-32), Chandler Robbins (1833-74) Robert Laird Collier (1876-78), Rev. Edward A. Horton (1880). The third church was organized May 12, 1669, and its building, known as the Old South, was first occupied for religious services on April 26, 1730. The society now has, instead, a beautiful church edifice on the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth streets, known as the New Old South.
The first Baptist church was organized in Charlestown May 28, 1665, when Rev. Thomas Gould was chosen pastor. After various locations it erected a fine house of worship on Somerset Street, Beacon Hill, whose tall spire was a landmark for many years. The Jacob Sleeper Hall of Boston University occupies its site, the society having, in 1877, united with the Shawmut Avenue Baptist Church, which was organized in 1856.
The first Episcopal church in Boston was organized in 1686; and at the time of the Revolution King's Chapel was its house of worship. The officers of the British army in Boston, and their families, formed the larger part of the congregation; and on the evacuation, in 1776, the services were discontinued. In 1786, the remnant of the society resumed religious services, with James Freeman as "reader." He was the first American Unitarian, known as Rev. James Freeman, D.D.; and under his ministry the society became Unitarian. The second Episcopal church is that which still worships at Christ's Church on Salem Street at the North End; which settled its first rector. Rev. Timothy Cutler, D.D., December 29, 1723. The third Episcopal church (Trinity) had its beginning in April, 1728, laid the corner stone of its first church edifice at the corner of Summer and Hawley streets April 15, 1734, which was opened for worship on August 15,1735.
The first Universalist church was organized in 1785; and the Rev. John Murray was settled over it October 24, 1793.
The first Roman Catholic was established in 1788, and the mass was first celebrated on November 22 of that year.
A Methodist society was formed in 1792, and in 1795 erected a chapel in the north part of the city.
The first Christian church was organized in 1804, and Elder Abner Jones became the first minister in the same year.
The African Baptist church was organized in 1805. The Freewill Baptist church became such in 1834. The German Evangelical church was organized in 1840; the Lutheran, in 1841; the first Presbyterian in September, 1846; and the New Jerusalem church was organized on August 15,1818.
The first public school was established in 1635; and the first town-house was completed in 1659.
Incensed by the arbitrary measures of Sir Edmund Andros, the royal governor, the people, on the 8th of April, 1689, rose in arms, and seizing him and a part of his council, put them into prison, and restored the former magistrates to their offices. This was the commencement of that resistance to kingly authority which eventually resulted in the establishment of civil liberty throughout the country. The population of the town in 1700 was about 7,000; and the English style of dress and living generally prevailed. It was probably then the richest town in America. The celebrated George Whitefield visited the place in 1740; and it is said that as many as 23,000 persons were present at his farewell sermon on the Common. He was bitterly opposed by many of the Boston clergymen. The Old Town Hall was burned in 1747, and the building at the head of State Street, and now called "The Old State House," was soon after built. During the same year the town was thrown into great excitement by the impressment of some of its mechanics by the squadron of Commodore Knowles, then lying in the harbor. The military companies were called out; and, after various demonstrations, the commodore threatening to bombard the town, the men were finally restored. During the ten years prior to 1776, Boston was the principal theatre of those eventful scenes which preceded and opened the Revolution. The passage of the Stamp Act in 1765 threw the people into great excitement; and the appointment of Andrew Oliver as distributor of stamps caused the first popular outbreak. The British troops arrived to maintain order on September 30 1768; and the place was changed into a garrison.
Collisions between the people and the British soldiers became more and more frequent. A boy named Christopher Snyder was killed in one of these encounters February 23, 1770 , and over the head of his coffin were inscribed the words, "Innocentia nusquam tuta." On the 5th of March occurred the Boston Massacre, in which five unarmed citizens were killed by the British soldiery on State Street. In December, 1773; was formed the Boston Tea-Party,— and some thirty men, disguised as Indians, went on board of some ships laden with tea on which there was a heavy duty, and emptied 240 chests and 100 half-chests into the dock. In January, 1775, General Thomas Gage had in Boston eleven British regiments and four companies of artillery, and after the battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, the town was brought into a state of siege, when the inhabitants experienced great hardship and suffering. On the morning of March 5, 1776, General Washington appeared with his well-protected batteries on Dorchester Heights, commanding alike the town and the harbor, and then, with the evacuation of the place by the circumvented and outgeneralled Howe, which followed on the 17th, expired the last vestige of British authority in Boston.
Boston was incorporated as a city in 1822; and Hon John Phillips was the first mayor. The first building erected in Boston as a place of amusement was built in 1756. It was named Concert Hall, and is still standing. The next was the Federal Street Theatre, completed and opened in 1794.
The system of steam railroads, first coming into practical operation in Boston in 1834, furnished the needed means of growth in her commerce and wealth, and notwithstanding the business depression of 1837 and 1857, she has made wise and successful use of her advantages.
When the war of the Slaveholders' Rebellion came, Boston took a very active part, furnishing men and money in unstinted measure. No less than 26,119 men, of whom 685 were commissioned officers, were sent by this city alone into the service of the army or the navy; and the splendid monument in the central part of the Common witnesses to then noble service.
The growth of the city was for a time retarded by the immense conflagration of November 9 and 10, 1872. This commenced in a large building on the southwesterly side of Summer and Kingston streets, continuing with unabated fury until about 65 acres of the business portion of the city, comprising 776 buildings, were laid in ruins, and property in buildings and merchandise to the amount of $73,500,000 was destroyed. The fire extended northerly, sweeping everything before it, as far as the new post-office, and easterly to the wharves. The scene of the conflagration was grand and fearful beyond description.
This check to the growth of the city was brief; and larger and. finer buildings of brick, iron, or stone have taken the places of those swept away; streets and avenues are, in many instances, widened; and the reconstructed section of the city under many points of view surpasses the old. The commercial area has been greatly enlarged southward and westward. The outward movement of residences, and the occupation of suburbs as residences by merchants, lawyers and many in other pursuits, has been made possible by the rapid transit afforded by the numerous lines of steam railroads and street cars.
The number of eminent people whom Boston may claim for her own by birth and education, or by their early and prolonged residence, would fill a biographical dictionary of respectable size; of whom only a few can be mentioned in these pages : —
John Hale, Charlestown, born in 1636,
Rev. Increase Mather, D.D., born 1639,
John Cotton, 1640,
Joseph Dudley, Roxbury, 1647,
Cotton Mather, D.D., 1663,
John Alford, Charlestown, 1686,
William Cooper, 1694,
Mather Byles, D.D., 1706,
Joseph Green, 1706,
Benjamin Franklin, LL.D., 1706.
Andrew Croswell, 1709,
Jonathan Belcher, 1710,
Thomas Hutchinson, 1711,
Daniel Fowle, 1715,
Samuel Adams, 1722,
Thomas Prince, 1722,
Samuel Cooper, D.D., 1725,
Stephen Badger, Charlestown, 1726,
James Bowdoin, LL.D., 1727,
Thomas Pemberton, 1728,
Robert Treat Paine, LL.D., 1731,
Benjamin Edes, 1732,
John Singleton Copley, 1737,
Nathaniel Gorham, Charlestown, 1743,
Isaac Rand, Charlestown, 1743,
Francis Dana, LL.D., Charlestown, 1743,
Jeremy Belknap, D.D., 1744,
William Billings, 1746,
Col. Richard Carey, Charlestown, 1747,
Col. David Henley, Charlestown, 1748,
Isaiah Thomas, LL.D., 1749,
General Henry Knox, 1750,
Theophilus Parsons, 1750,
Jonathan Mason, 1752,
Benjamin Austin, 1752,
Sir Thomas Astor Coffin, 1754,
Gilbert Stuart, 1755.
Royal Tyler, 1757,
Samuel Sewall, 1757,
Thomas Dawes, 1758,
William Bentley, D.D., 1759,
James Freeman, D.D., Charlestown, 1759,
Samuel Dexter, LL.D., 1761,
Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe, 1763,
Col. Thomas Handasyd Perkins, 1764,
Harrison Gray Otis, 1765,
Thaddeus Mason Harris, D.D., Charlestown, 1768,
John Phillips, 1770,
Josiah Quincy, LL.D., 1772,
John Pierce, D.D., 1773,
Benjamin Gorham, Charlestown, 1775,
William Tudor, 1779,
Washington Allston, 1779.
Gen. Wm. H. Sumner, Dorchester, 1780,
Nathaniel Bowditch, 1773-1838,
Samuel F. B. Morse, 1791,
George Ticknor, 1791,
Edward Everett, 1794-1865,
T. W. Harris, M.D., 1795-1856,
Horace Mann, 1796,
Winslow Lewis, M.D., 1799,
Rufus Choate, 1799-1859,
James Gridley Howe, M.D., 1801,
Lydia Maria Child, 1802-1880,
William E. Channing, D.D., 1803,
Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803,
Horatio Greenough, 1805-1852,
William Lloyd Garrison, 1805,
Theodore Parker, 1810,
Charles Sumner, 1811,
Wendell Phillips, 1811,
Samuel Osgood, D.D., 1814,
George L. Brown, 1814-1879,
Edward L. Davenport, 1814-1877,
John T. Andrew, 1815,
Charlotte S. Cushman, 1816-1876
John Gilbert, 1810,
Thomas Ball, 1819,
William M. Hunt, 1824.
Laura Bridgman, 1829-1889,
Daniel Webster, d. 1852,
Dr. Samuel G. Howe, d. 1876,
Dr. William Rimmer, d. 1879,
Bishop E. 0. Haven,
E. P. Whipple,
John A. Andrew,
and James Freeman Clarke.
A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts, with Numerous Illustrations Rev. Elias Nason, M.A.; revised and enlarged by George J. Varney. Boston: B.B. Russell. 1890, 724 pages
...Severe All Over New England.
Boston, Feb. 9. - Reports from all over New England indicate that the storm is one of the most severe in years. Boston harbor is choked with drift ice, and shipping is at a standstill. Trains are blockaded throughout New England and much damage was done by unprecedented high tides along the coast...
The Delphos Daily Herald
February 2, 1895
1897 - September 1 – The Boston subway opens, becoming the first underground metro in North America.
September 1, 1897
1897 - April 19 The first Boston Marathon is held, with fifteen men competing, and won by John McDermott.
April 19, 1897
1903 - October 13 – Boston wins its first of seven World Series titles, beating Pittsburgh at their home park, Huntington Avenue Grounds.
October 13, 1903
1904 - May 5 - Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics, Cy Young of the Boston Americans throws the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.
May 5, 1904
1911 - July 4 - Temperature reached 104°F
The Weather Channel
1912 - April 20 – Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, opens.
April 20, 1912
1914 - July 11 – Baseball legend Babe Ruth makes his major league debut with the Red Sox.
July 11, 1914
1919 - DOZEN KILLED, 50 HURT, AS TANK OF MOLASSES BURST
Wreckage Covered with Sticky Stream of 2,000,000 Gallons.
3 FIREMEN BURIED.
Building Sucked Into Street by Receding Tide - Car Blown from Tracks.
BOSTON, Jan. 15. - Probably a dozen persons were killed and 50 injured by the explosion of a huge tank of molasses on the waterfront off Commercial street, today. Tonight the only bodies identifi...
1920 - January 1 - Babe Ruth is traded by the Red Sox for $125,000, the largest sum ever paid for a player at that time.
January 1, 1920
1921 - September 15 - WBZ-AM in Boston MA begins radio transmissions
1924 - September 24 - Boston, Massachusetts opens its airport
1925 - July 4 - 44 die when Dreyfus Hotel in Boston collapses
July 4, 1925
1928 - November 17 - Boston Garden officially opens
1930 - December 7 – The television station W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts, broadcasts video and audio from the radio orchestra program The Fox Trappers.
This broadcast also includes the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for the I. J. Fox Furriers company which sponsored the telecast.
December 7, 1930
February 14, 1940 - A "Saint Valentine's Day Blizzard" hit the northeastern U.S. Up to a foot and a half of snow blanketed southern New England, and whole gales accompanied the heavy snow stranding many in downtown Boston.
February 14, 1940
1942 - November 28 - Cocoanut Grove fire: A fire in the Cocoanut Grove night club in Boston, Massachusetts, kills 491.
November 28, 1942
1948 - June 9 - WBZ TV channel 4 in Boston, MA (NBC) begins broadcasting
1950 - January 17 - The Great Brinks Robbery - 11 men rob $1.2M cash & $1.5M securities from armored car company Brink's offices in Boston, Massachusetts
January 17, 1950
1954 - First Kidney Transplant
First medically successful kidney transplant was performed in Boston
1963 - June 18 - 3,000 blacks boycott Boston public school
June 18, 1963
1974 - Integration of Schools
Federal Court ordered integration of Boston schools; whites held boycotts and demonstrations against integrated busing program
www.worldatlas.com/webimage/ countrys/namerica/usstates/ matimeln.htm
1976 - First Night
Boston was the first city in America to celebrate New Year's Eve with a "First Night" event.
www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
1987 - Big Dig
Construction began on "Big Dig" in Boston
Ancestors Who Were Born and/or Died Here
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George Coffin b 1761 in Boston to unknown parents who died abt 1776-1778 as he was orphaned when he was 18 yrs old and then took up residence in Winchendon, Ma. He was also a boy in the Rev. War.
I have the above from a copy of a newspape online and as a boy in the Rev War list.
Really need to have his parents so I can put them down on the genealogy I have been working on. I can leave the parents blank but that wouldn't be right to continue on to Richard in Brixton, England.
12/7/2013 11:49:51 AM -
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