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Journey back in time to Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Boston, Massachusetts, USA - Boston in 1757  Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnams sons.

Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA

Boston is said by some to have been named in honor of John Cotton, vicar of St. Botolph's church in Boston, Lincolnshire, Eng., and one of the first clergymen in the American Boston. Others say it was named before the arrival of John Cotton for three prominent colonists from Boston, Eng.
How New England Towns Received Their Names
The Day
New London, Connecticut
October 21, 1914

In 1639, the First Post Office in U. S. was established in Boston at Richard Fairbanks' tavern.

In 1897, Boston built the first subway system in the United States.

Oh... this is so fun! "The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane."

There is MUCH more to discover about Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Boston Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston in 1757

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Landing of British Troops at Boston, 1768

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston Tea Company, Since 1790

"It was in the Old South Meeting House that Boston Tea Company started when more than 5,000 people gathered in 1773 after introduction of new taxes on tea. The event was one of several steps on the road towards American independence from England."

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

GLEASON’S PICTORIAL DRAWING ROOM COMPANION illustrated newspaper (Boston, MA), October 11, 1851

"THE GREAT RAILROAD JUBILEE" (September 17-19, 1851, Boston, MA)

Celebration of the first connection by rail from Boston, MA to Montreal, via the Grand Trunk & Central Vermont Railroad

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Fairbanks' Celebrate Scales
34 Kilby Street, Boston

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier
Bangor, Maine
June 25, 1857

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

"Cuticura soap, manufactured by the Potter Drug and Chemical company, is an antibacterial medicated soap in use since 1865. Noted Boston philanthropist George Robert White (1847-1922) was once the president and owner of Potter Drug and Chemical. Cuticura contains triclocarban instead of the more usual triclosan. These two antibacterial agents have very similar molecularity. By themselves they kill 99.99% of bacteria and microbes (like fungus spores) on contact. Cuticura soap has been in use, and is relatively unchanged, since 1865." wikipedia

Found at Old Drugstore, St Augustine, Florida

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Douglas County Historical Society Courthouse Museum, Genoa, Nevada
This reed organ was built by Mason and Hamlin Organ Co. in Boston in 1874. It is a parlor-style, barrel-type case, constructed of black walnut and the trim is hand-carved.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Malt Bitters Company, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Putnam Nail Co., Boston, Mass.

"The Putnam Nail Company building is a three-story, red brick structure sited in Port Norfolk, a small peninsula located between the Neponset River and Pine Neck Creek in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. ... Putnam Nail Company’s manufacturing complex, where they produced world-class horseshoe nails advertised as the only hot-forged and hammer-pointed horseshoe nails in the world..."

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

1880s Wm. H. Zinn
Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Bradley's Super-Phosphate of Lime
Bradley Fertilzer Co.
Boston, Mass.

"The Bradley Fertilizer Company was founded on the point of land adjacent to the Back River on Weymouth Neck in 1874 and remained in operation until 1982 when it was purchased by ConocoPhillips."

"It became recognized as the world’s largest fertilizer plant..."

Boston, Massachusetts, USA
New Printamount Check Protector made by E. E. Angell & Co., Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Rexall Acid-Dyspesia Tablets
United Drug Company, Boston - St. Louis, USA
Found at The Way It Was Museum, Virginia City, Nevada

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Old Corner Bookstore, 1895

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Lowney's Chocolate Bonbons

The Walter M. Lowney Company
89 Pearl Street

The Ladies' Home Journal
April 1898

"The Walter M. Lowney Company, an American candy and chocolate manufacturer, renowned especially for the Cherry Blossom, was founded in 1883 in Boston. The company operated a series of chocolate stores and also published cookbooks..."

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Vose & Sons Piano Co.
174 Tremont St.
Boston, Mass.

Ladies' Home Journal
November 1898

"James Whiting Vose established in the company in 1851 on Washington Street in Boston. Boston was home to a huge population of old world craftsmen who had immigrated to the United States from the old country during the 19th century.

These craftsmen all had the amazing skills in woodworking and piano building, and Vose was one of them; having all these talents, he took the advantage of the time and workforce he had to open a business that, unknown to him, would someday become one of the most well known names in the industry.

Vose manufactured a number of high quality square grand, upright, and grand pianos under the name “James W. Vose” during his time. In 1889, James brought his sons into the business and established the name we know today as Vose and Sons..."

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Public Library, 1898

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Old South Church In Its Present Condition, 1898
Built in 1729

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Old State House

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Trinity Church, 1898

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Faneuil Hall, Boston, Mass.

"In 1742 Peter Faneuil, Boston’s wealthiest merchant, built Faneuil Hall as a gift to the city.

The edifice was home to merchants, fishermen, and meat and produce sellers, and provided a platform for the country’s most famous orators. It is where colonists first protested the Sugar Act in 1764 and established the doctrine of 'no taxation without representation.'

Firebrand Samuel Adams rallied the citizens of Boston to the cause of independence from Great Britain in the hallowed Hall, and George Washington toasted the nation there on its first birthday..."

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Old North Church, Boston, Mass.

"The enduring fame of Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, and Vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution. Built in 1723, Christ Church in the City of Boston, known to all as the Old North Church, is Boston’s oldest surviving church building and most visited historical site..."

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Charles River Esplanade, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston Light, Boston Harbor, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Custom House Tower, Boston, Mass.

"The Custom House Tower is a skyscraper in McKinley Square, in the Financial District neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. Construction began in the mid-19th century; the tower was added in the 1910s. Standing at 496 ft...

The site was purchased on September 13, 1837. Construction of a custom house was authorized by U.S. President Andrew Jackson. was completed in 1849..." wikipedia

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Mass., Washington Street and Old South Church

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Shopping Hour
Washington Street, Boston, Mass.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Union Central Life Insurance Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio
One of the ten leading Companies of the World
Ranks first in low cost to the Policyholder
79 Milk Street, Boston, Mass.

New Bedford ... directory : of the inhabitants, business firms, institutions, streets, societies (1908) Author: W.A. Greenough & Co Volume: 1908 Publisher: Boston : W.A. Greenough & Co.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Gunn Curtis & Co. Color Printers
30 Hawley St

Discover Boston: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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  • 1625 - Boston is settled

    Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
  • 1630 - Boston is incorporated
    The Puritans settled in Massachusetts and the town of Boston was founded by John Winthrop as an extension of the colony at Salem. (

    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

    Read more about John WINTHROP photo of ancestor
  • 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.
  • News  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.
    Sun Sentinel
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Read more about William BRADFORD photo of ancestor
  • News  1639 - First Post Office
    First Post Office in U.S. established in Boston at Richard Fairbanks' tavern. countrys/namerica/usstates/matimeln.htm

    Read more about Richard FAIRBANKS
  • News  1644 - January 18 - Perplexed Pilgrims in Boston reported America's 1st UFO sighting
    "...Massachusetts Bay Colony founder John Winthrop detailed instances of unidentified flying objects in the heavens above seventeenth-century Boston in the first recorded UFO sightings in America.

    On March 1, 1639, John Winthrop opened his diary in which he recorded the trials and triumphs of his fellow Puritans as they made a new life in a new land. As the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony put pen to paper, he began to recount a most unusual event that had recently caused a stir among the English immigrants.

    Winthrop wrote that earlier in the year James Everell, “a sober, discreet man,” and two others had been rowing a boat in the Muddy River, which flowed through swampland and emptied into a tidal basin in the Charles River, when they saw a great light in the nighttime sky. “When it stood still, it flamed up, and was about three yards square,” the governor reported, “when it ran, it was contracted into the figure of a swine.” Over the course of two to three hours, the... Read MORE...

    Read more about John WINTHROP photo of ancestor
  • 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. a-history-of-french-canada-1650-to-1669/
  • News  1652 - In Boston, John Hull opens the 1st mint in America
    June 10, 1652
  • News  1656 - July 1 - 1st Quakers (Mary Fisher/Ann Austin) arrive in Boston (arrested)
    July 1, 1656
  • News  1673 - January 22 - Postal service between New York & Boston inaugurated
    "In 1673, Governor Francis Lovelace of New York set up a monthly post between New York and Boston. The service was short-lived, but the post rider’s trail became known as the Old Boston Post Road, part of today’s U.S. Route 1..."
    January 22, 1673
  • News  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 happen, oftener) with an account of such considerable things as have arrived unto our notice." And he gave warning in his first number that his paper should be the vehicle for exposing slanderers and false reporters, saying: "It is supposed that none will dislike this proposal, but such as intend to be guilty of so villainous a crime." Only one number of this newspaper was published.
  • 1699 - December 10 - A severe ice storm hit Boston, MA, causing much damage to orchards.

    The Weather Channel
  • Teaching American History - The City of Boston

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  • 1704 - First Newspaper
    The first regularly issued American newspaper, The Boston News-Letter, published in Boston. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
  • News  1706 - Benjamin Franklin born January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

    January 17, 1706

    Read more about Benjamin FRANKLIN photo of ancestor
  • News  1716 - First Lighthouse
    First lighthouse in America, "The Boston Light" built in Boston Harbor countrys/namerica/usstates/matimeln.htm
  • News  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 feet, was reported. Wrote Cotton Mather: "As mighty a snow, as perhaps has been known in the memory of man, is at this time lying on the ground." There were no Sabbath services for two weeks at Mather’s church in downtown Boston, and in Framingham, Massachusetts, no public meetings could be held until the end of March. Mather composed a detailed account of the great snow, which was then sent to London for reading before the Royal Society. Later, this account appeared in one of the first publications of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

    Top ELEVEN Most Memorable Weather Events
    Farmers' Almanac weather/ 2007/ ...

  • News  1733 - July 30 - Society of Freemasons opens 1st American lodge in Boston
    July 30, 1733
  • News  1735 - August 18 - Evening Post begins publishing (Boston, Mass)
    August 18, 1735
  • 1761 - First regular U.S. stagecoach run is begun, from Boston to Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    The World Almanac of the U.S.A, by Allan Carpenter and Carl Provorse, 1996
  • News  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 fired into the crowd, even though they were under orders not to fire. Five colonists were shot and killed.

    The first person who was hit when the British soldiers began firing was an African American sailor named Crispus Attucks... Of the five civilians who died in the Boston Massacre, Attucks is the only one who became widely known, and he became the first hero of the American Revolution.
    March 5, 1770
  • The Boston Massacre - The American Revolution - American Heroes Channel

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  • News  1773 - December 16 - Boston Tea Party
    Angry and frustrated at a new tax on tea, American colonists calling themselves the Sons of Liberty and disguised as Mohawk Native Americans boarded three British ships (the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver) and dumped 342 whole crates of British tea into Boston harbor on December 16, 1773. Similar incidents occurred in Maryland, New York, and New Jersey in the next few months, and tea was eventually boycotted throughout the colonies.
    December 16, 1773
  • News  1774 - June 1 - Boston Port Bill: British government orders Port of Boston closed
    June 1, 1774
  • News  1775 - April 20 - British begin siege of Boston
    April 20, 1775
  • News  1775 - June 17 - Battle of Bunker Hill
    On June 17, 1775, early in the Revolutionary War (1775-83), the British defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bunker Hill in Massachusetts. Despite their loss, the inexperienced colonial forces inflicted significant casualties against the enemy, and the battle provided them with an important confidence boost. Although commonly referred to as the Battle of Bunker Hill, most of the fighting occurred on nearby Breed’s Hill.
    June 17, 1775
  • News  1776 - March 17 - British, Get Out!
    Colonial troops force British to evacuate Boston.
    March 17, 1776
  • 1795 - State House
    State House built in Boston.
  • 1797 - October 21 - The U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, nicknames Old Ironsides, launches from 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. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
  • News  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 progress of this curious spectacle was watched with the most vigilant attention by gentlemen of science, assisted by instruments adapted to the purpose. I have no doubt the result of their observations will confirm the accuracy of the calculations which have been made of this great eclipse. At the moment of complete obscuration, the sky was involved in darkness, and a number of stars appeared, shining with vivid light. The day was uncommonly calm and serene, and not a cloud for a single moment obscured the sight."
    The Evening Post
    New York, New York
    June 21, 1806
  • 1822 - Boston is incorporated as a city

    Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
  • News  1829 - October 16 - Tremont Hotel, 1st US modern hotel opens (Boston)
    October 16, 1829
  • News  1831 - January 1 - First Abolitionist Newspaper
    The first abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, published in Boston by William Lloyd Garrison resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
    January 1, 1831

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  • 1832 - The New England Anti-Slavery Society in Boston was formed. The society helped slaves escape to Canada.
  • News  1837 - June 11 - The Broad Street Riot occurres in Boston, fueled by ethnic tensions between English-Americans and Irish-Americans.
    June 11, 1837
  • 1839 - Boston
    Boston, Massachusetts
    County of Suffolk. The ancient city of Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, and of New England, and the birth place of American Freedom, is naturally divided into three sections—Old Boston, South Boston, and East Boston, situated at the western extremity of Massachusetts Bay. The peninsula on which Old Boston is built extends from Roxbury, on the south, to Winnesimet Ferry, on the north, and is nearly surrounded by the waters of Boston harbor on the east, and Charles river on the north and west. Its length is nearly three miles, and its average breadth about one mile. It originally contained about 700 acres, but its territory has been greatly extended, by filling up around its borders. Its surface is quite uneven. It has numerous eminences, rising from 50 to 110 feet above the sea, affording admirable sites for building, and giving to it a peculiarly romantic appearance. It is in north Lat. 42°21'23" and west Lon. 71°4'9". It lies 163 miles S.S.W. from Augusta, ... Read MORE...

  • News  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 - 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... Read MORE...

  • 1845 - Sewing Machine
    Elias Howe invented sewing machine in Boston

    Read more about Elias HOWE photo of ancestor
  • 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. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html

    Read more about William Thomas Green MORTON
  • News  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 stick of molasses candy) - Yes; but you havn't tok me to the Museum yet."

    "Jonathan - Why, that's a theatre place, Suke, and it costs twenty-five cents apiece! Theatres are bad places."

    "Susan - never mind that, this once. Won't you go. Say yes."

    "Jonathan - Waal, yes; if you won't ask me to buy any more candy for you, and if you won't go with Jim Meadows any more."

    "Susan promises, grins, and sucks her molasses candy with great satisfaction. Exeunt, Indian file. - Yankee Nation."
    February 3, 1846
  • News  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
  • News  1852 - March 20 – Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published in book form in Boston.
    March 20, 1852

    Read more about Harriet Elizabeth BEECHER photo of ancestor
  • News  1852 - December 29 - Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants
    December 29, 1852
  • 1854 - Boston
    Boston, a city and seaport, seat of justice of Suffolk county, Massachusetts, and capital of the state, is situated at the western extremity of Massachusetts bay. By rail road, it is 464 miles N. E. from Washington ; 236 miles N. E. from New York ; 200 miles E. by S. from Albany ; 111 miles S. S. W. from Portland ; 43 miles N. N. E. from Providence ; 76 miles S. S. E. from Concord ; and 124 miles N. E. from Hartford. Lat. of the state house, 42° 21' 22" N., Ion. 71° 4' 9" W. The city consists of three parts, Boston Proper, East Boston, and South Boston. Boston Proper, or Old Boston, occupies a peninsula embracing about 700 acres; the surface is very uneven, and in three places rises into hills of considerable elevation, the highest being 138 feet above the level of the sea. A narrow isthmus, or "Neck," as it is called, a little more than a mile in length, joins the peninsula to the mainland of Roxbury on the south. This Neck, once overflowed by the tides, was the only passage to the... Read MORE...

  • 1854 - March 20 – The Boston Public Library opens to the public.
    March 20, 1854
  • News  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 peddler, who had seen the fate of his brother tradesman, ventured to cross, but as profited not by others' experience, he learnt from his own that he had lost nearly half his load. The dock presented a beautiful mixture of floating kegs, tin kitchens, pans and pails.

    Mr. J. E. P. Stevens, of the Tremont House, Boston, visited Lynn, with the intention of proceeding to Nahant, and started to cross the beach, where he found a perfect simoon prevailing, which threatened to bury horst and vehicle in the sand. The horse made but little progress, and finally turned his head towards Lynn, and aided by the wind, made the most astonishing time... Read MORE...

  • 1856 - Boston Cream Pie is served for the first time (Omni Parker House)

  • News  1858 - August 2 - 1st mailboxes installed in Boston & NYC streets
    August 2, 1858
  • News  1863 - January 15 - 1st US newspaper printed on wood-pulp paper, Boston Morning Journal
    January 15, 1863
  • News  1863 - May 28 – American Civil War – The 54th Massachusetts, the first African-American regiment, leaves Boston to fight for the Union.
    May 28, 1863
  • News  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 the whole of that city, entailing a frightful loss of life, and every kind of public and private edifice--churches, court house, hotels, stores, factories, residences, cemeteries, theaters, railroad depots, &c., &c. The Boston fire of Saturday and Sunday last seems to have been confined mainly to the business portion of the city and the wholesale business establishments. Those familiar with the landmarks and localities of Boston will realize this fact by the enumeration of streets as reported by telegraph to have been swept by the fire, namely: Milk, Pearl, Devonshire, Federal, Franklin, Arch, Morton Place, Congress, Summer and Otis Place.... Read MORE...

  • News  1875 - First American Christmas Card
    The first American Christmas card printed by Louis Prang in Boston. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html

    Read more about Louis PRANG photo of ancestor
  • 1876 - Telephone
    Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated first telephone in Boston

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    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 buildings were speedily in flames, except the three store-houses. The buildings destroyed included the main factory, a four-story brick building 300 feet long, which covered between two and three acres, and was used for the manufacture of rubber goods and weaving of elastic fabrics. Between 400 and 500 hands were employed, and the factory was being run to its fullest capacity. It is thought the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion.
    The New York Times
    New York, New York
    July 4, 1884
  • News  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
    Monogahela, Pennsylvania
    January 20, 1885

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  • News  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 immobilized New York, Boston and other major cities, blocking roads and wiping out telephone, telegraph and rail service for several days. When the skies finally cleared, fires and flooding inflicted millions of dollars of damage. The disaster resulted in more than 400 deaths, including 200 in New York City alone. In the decade that followed, partly in response to the 1888 storm and the massive gridlock it wrought, New York and Boston broke ground on the country’s first underground subway systems. news/ history-lists/ major-blizzards-in-u-s-history
  • News  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
  • 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... Read MORE...

  • News  1893 - A great fire at Boston destroyed nearly $5,000,000 of property and several lives.

    The World Almanac and Book of Facts, Volume 1894 Press Publishing Company. 1894
  • 1895 - Boston
    Boston, a city of the United States, capital of Massachusetts and of Suffolk co., on a bay called Boston Harbor, which forms the inner bight of Massachusetts Bay, at the mouth of the Charles and Mystic Rivers. Lat. 42° 21' 29.6" N.; lon. 71°3' 51" W. The original town stood upon a peninsula called by the Indians Shawmut, and by the settlers Tremont or Trimountain, from the three summits of a conspicuous hill, which, though now much reduced, is still prominent, and known as Beacon Hill. The city now includes the island of East Boston (Noddle's Island), and the peninsular suburbs of South Boston and Charlestown, besides the former towns of Dorchester, Roxbury (or Boston Highlands), West Roxbury, and Brighton, with their minor villages of Allston, Jamaica Plain, Neponset, Mattapan, &c. The cities of Quincy, Newton, Cambridge, Somervfile, and Chelsea are near suburbs, and there are many large towns (such as Milton, Dedham, Brookline, Watertown, and Everett) in close proximity. Great areas ... Read MORE...

    ...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
  • News  1897 - April 19 The first Boston Marathon is held, with fifteen men competing, and won by John McDermott.
    April 19, 1897
  • News  1897 - September 1 – The Boston subway opens, becoming the first underground metro in North America.
    in 1897, at 6 am, over 100 people crowded onto the first train to travel through a tunnel under downtown Boston. More than 100,000 people would take the three-and-a-half minute trip that day. They were riding on the first subway line in the United States...
    September 1, 1897
  • 1898 - Revolutionary Boston - Then and there American Independence was born by Edward Everett Hale
    The American Revolution began in Boston. Different dates are set for the beginning. John Adams says of Otis's speech in 1761 in the Council Chamber of the Old State House, "Then and there American Independence was born." The visitor to Boston should go, very early in his visit, into the Old State House; and when he stands in the Council Chamber he will remember that as distinguished a person as John Adams fixed that place as the birthplace of independence.

    But one does not understand the history of the opening of the great struggle without going back a whole generation. It was in 1745 that Governor William Shirley addressed the Massachusetts General Court in a secret session. He brought before them a plan which he had for the conquest of Louisburg in the next spring, before it could be reinforced from France. The General Court (which means the general assembly of Massachusetts) at first doubted the possibility of success of so bold an attempt; but eventually Shirley persuaded them... Read MORE...

    Read more about Edward Everett HALE photo of ancestor
  • 1901 - King Camp Gillette and William Emery Nickerson invented the world's first disposable razor blade in 1901. (Boston)
    King Camp Gillette (1855-1932) was an American businessman and inventor. He is best known for inventing the disposable safety razor, which revolutionized shaving and became an essential personal care product for people around the world.
    Before Gillette's invention, shaving was typically done with straight razors or safety razors that required frequent sharpening or blade replacements, which was expensive and time-consuming. In 1895, while working as a salesman, Gillette came up with the idea of a disposable razor with a thin, replaceable blade that could be discarded when dull.

    Gillette worked on developing his disposable razor concept and eventually filed a patent application for it in 1901. However, it wasn't until 1904 that he founded the American Safety Razor Company (later known as Gillette Company) to start manufacturing and selling his invention. The original Gillette razor had a simple design: a handle with a detachable razor blade that could be replaced with a new one... Read MORE...

  • News  1903 - October 1-13 - First World Series
    The 1903 World Series was the first modern World Series to be played in Major League Baseball. It matched the Boston Americans of the American League against the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League in a best-of-nine series, with Boston prevailing five games to three, winning the last four.
    October 13, 1903
  • News  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

    Read more about Denton True "Cy" YOUNG photo of ancestor
  • News  1911 - July 4 - Temperature reached 104 degrees F in Boston, Massachusetts

    The Weather Channel
  • News  1912 - April 20 – Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, opens.
    April 20, 1912
  • News  1912 - The Baseball World Series won by Boston Red Sox

  • News  1914 - July 11 – Baseball legend Babe Ruth makes his major league debut with the Red Sox.
    July 11, 1914

    Read more about George Herman "Babe" RUTH photo of ancestor
  • News  1914 - The Baseball World Series won by Boston Braves

  • News  1915 - The Baseball World Series won by Boston Red Sox

  • 1916
    Boston, a city of the United States, capital of Massachusetts and of Suffolk co., on a bay called Boston Harbor, which forms the inner bight of Massachusetts Bay, at the mouth of the Charles and Mystic rivers. Lat. 42° 21' 30" N.; Lon. 71° 3' 30" W. The original town stood upon a peninsula called by the Indians Shawmut, and by the settlers Tremont or Trimontaine, from the three sum mits of a conspicuous hill, which, though now much reduced, is still prominent and known as Beacon Hill. The city now includes the island of East Boston (Noddle's Island) and the peninsular suburbs of South Boston and Charlestown, besides the former towns of Dorchester, Roxbury (or Boston Highlands), West Roxbury, and Brighton, with their minor villages of Allston, Jamaica Plain, Neponsct, Mattapan, etc. The cities of Quincy, Newton, Cambridge, Somerville, and Chelsea are near suburbs, and there are many large towns (such as Milton, Dedham, Brookline, Watertown, and Ever ett) in close proximity. Great areas ... Read MORE...

  • News  1916 - The Baseball World Series won by Boston Red Sox

  • News  1918 - The Baseball World Series won by Boston Red Sox

  • 1919 - The mayor of Boston refused to let the city's police form a union.
    Around three fourths of the police force went on strike. Governor Calvin Coolidge had to send in the National Guard to end the strike.

    Read more about John Calvin COOLIDGE photo of ancestor

    The Great Boston Molasses Flood


    Wreckage Covered with Sticky Stream of 2,000,000 Gallons.


    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 identified were those of a fireman, GEORGE LEAHY, and two residents of tenements in the vicinity, MRS. BRIDGET CLOUGHERTY and WILLIAM A. DURFEE. A large number of the injured were taken to the Relief hospital.

    The tank was owned by the Purity Distilling company a subsidiary of the U. S. Industrial Alcohol company of Cambridge. Two million gallons of molasses rushed in a mighty stream over the streets and converted into a sticky mass the wreckage of several small buildings which had been smashed by the force of the explosion...

    The molasses spread over the...

  • News  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

    Read more about George Herman "Babe" RUTH photo of ancestor
  • 1921 - September 15 - WBZ-AM in Boston MA begins radio transmissions
  • News  1924 - September 24 - Boston, Massachusetts opens its airport

  • News  1925 - July 4 - 44 die when Dreyfus Hotel in Boston collapses
    July 4, 1925
  • 1928 - November 17 - Boston Garden officially opens
  • News  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
  • News  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

  • News  1942 - November 28 - Cocoanut Grove fire: A fire in the Cocoanut Grove night club in Boston, Massachusetts, kills 491.

    Boston, Nov. 30 (AP) - A tiny match flame in the hands of a 16-year-old busboy touched off a lightning-like fire that snuffed out the lives of 477 Cocoanut Grove night club merrymakers and injured more than 200 - many seriously - in one of the nation's worst holocausts.

    Deputy Police Supt. JAMES R. CLAFLIN quoted the youth, STANLEY F. TOMASZEWSKI, as saying that he accidentally ignited a paper palm tree that caused the terrific blaze which threw about 1000 persons into a fighting, clawing panic in efforts to reach safety.

    The boy related, CLAFLIN said, that he was trying to replace an electric light bulb which had been unscrewed by a prankster in the recently opened Melody room of the club when the match flame brushed the flimsy palm and set off the devastating blaze.

    The flames swept through the highly inflammable decorations as the... Read MORE...

  • 1948 - June 9 - WBZ TV channel 4 in Boston, MA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • News  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
    "The Great Brinks Robbery of 1950: Not Quite the Perfect Crime

    The Great Brinks Robbery was the biggest armed robbery in U.S. history at the time. Thieves vanished after stealing $2.7 million, leaving few clues. It was almost the perfect crime. Almost.

    It happened in 1950 at the Brinks Armored Car depot in Boston’s North End. The gang of 11 that stole the money after two years of meticulous planning almost got away with it. They failed because they fell out over the division of the spoils. Police arrested all of them five days before the statute of limitations ended.

    The Brinks Robbery
    The idea for the heist came from Joseph ‘Big Joe’ McGinniss, but career criminal Anthony ‘Fats’ Pino. McGinness masterminded the crime. Pino also recruited a gang to watch the depot for 18 months to figure out when it held the most money.

    The gang stole plans for the depot’s alarm system, and then returned them undetected. They also removed the cylinders from locks, one by one, and had a... Read MORE...

  • 1954 - First Kidney Transplant
    First medically successful kidney transplant was performed in Boston
  • News  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 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. resources/state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html
  • 1987 - Big Dig
    Construction began on "Big Dig" in Boston

  • Boston, Massachusetts is the 4th windiest city in the U.S. with an average wind speed of 12.3 mph.

    National Weather Service
  • 2023 - There are so many places to go and things to do in Boston that it's hard to narrow it down, but here's a list of some must-visit spots and activities:
    Freedom Trail: Start your visit with a stroll along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile-long path that takes you to 16 historically significant sites, including the Massachusetts State House, Paul Revere's House, and the Old North Church.

    Fenway Park: If you're a baseball fan, catch a game at Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox. Even if there's no game, you can take a tour of this iconic ballpark.

    Museum of Fine Arts: Art enthusiasts will love the Museum of Fine Arts, which boasts an impressive collection of artwork from around the world, including pieces by Monet, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh.

    Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: This museum is a work of art itself. The collection includes European, Asian, and American art, displayed in a stunning Venetian-style palace.

    Harvard University: Take a short trip across the river to Cambridge and visit Harvard University. You can explore the historic campus, visit the Harvard Museum of Natural History, or simply wander around Harvard... Read MORE...

Discover Your Roots: Boston Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Boston.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

male ancestorThomas OLIVER (14 April 1582, Bristol, England - 1 June 1658, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorRobert KNIGHT (1585, , England (United Kingdom) - 24 August 1676, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorJohn COTTON (4 December 1585, Derby, Derbyshire, England - 23 December 1652, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorMargaret Ann PAYNE (21 May 1586, Bristol, England - 16 May 1635, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorWalter KNIGHT (1586, Staplegrove, Somersetshire, England - , Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorJoan COLESON (1587, London, England - 6/1/1654, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
photo of John WINTHROPJohn WINTHROP (12 January 1587, Edwardstone, Suffolk, England - 26 March 1649, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorRichard FAIRBANKS (1588, Lincolnshire, England - 15 April 1667, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorRalph SMITH (1590, , England (United Kingdom) - 1 March 1660, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Ancestors Who Were Married in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Boston.

View Them Now

male ancestorAdam HAWKES (January 26, 1605 - March 13, 1672) and female ancestorAnn BROWN (1595 - December 4, 1669) married 1631
male ancestorThomas PURCHASE (1577 - 11 May 1678) and female ancestorMary GROVE (1600 - 7 January 1656) married 1631
male ancestorEdward RAINSFORD (1609 - 16 August 1680) and female ancestorElizabeth UNKNOWN (1607 - 16 November 1688) married 24 October 1632
male ancestorSamuel DUDLEY (30 November 1608 - 10 February 1683) and female ancestorMary WINTHROP (1612 - 12 April 1643) married 1632
male ancestorIsaac WILLEY (1614 - 1685) and female ancestorJoanna LUTTEN (1618 - 1670) married abt. 1636
male ancestorEdward WEEDEN (WEEDON) (1613 - 18 December 1679) and female ancestorElizabeth COLE (1622 - 11 June 1696) married 1637
male ancestorJohn GALLUP (25 January 1619 - 19 December 1675) and female ancestorHannah (Anna) LAKE (3 July 1621 - 19 December 1675) married abt. 1642
male ancestorDaniel POOR (POORE) (1623 - 8 June 1689) and female ancestorMary FARNUM (July 1628 - 13 February 1713) married 20 October 1650
male ancestorJonathan BURT (23 January 1623 - 19 October 1715) and female ancestorElizabeth LOBDELL (1632 - 11 November 1684) married 20 October 1651

Genealogy Resources for Boston

Boston Daily Globe, Boston, MA

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Updated: 9/15/2023 5:19:18 PM

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