January 24, 2019

The Founders Memorial

At one of the Beacon Street entrances to the Boston Commons, is Boston's Founders Monument. It's a special monument to the founders of the City of Boston.

The sculpture shows William Blackstone (also known as Blaxton) greeting John Winthrop and his company. TO the right of Winthrop, are John Wilson, clergyman; Ann Pollard, first white woman to arrive in Boston, and a female figure representing Boston. At the left are two Native Americans. In the background, men are pulling the boats onto the shore.

Founders Monument

Nine Things I Learned about The Founders Memorial

The memorial was requested by the City of Boston to commemorate the Boston's Tercentenary.

The 15' by 45' by 20' monument with a 5.5' by 11' bronze relief sculpture was created by sculptor John Francis Paramino.

It was dedicated on September 16, 1930 at 2:30 pm.

The memorial cost $45,000 ($661,139.47 in 2018) and paid for by the City of Boston.

The two men on the memorial are William Blackstone (also spelled Blaxton), the first white settler and owner of the Boston Commons and Gov. John Winthrop the official founder and organizer of both the Bay Colony and Boston.

The memorial is located at the location of the ancient freshwater spring. The spring is the main reason people came to Boston - they weren't going to drinking the water, the early settlers wanted the water to make beer.

The memorial features a small fountain which is symbolic to the spring that was at the site 300 years ago.

According to Henry Lee, the former president of the Friends of the Public Gardens, there's one interesting quirk about the memorial. The image of Blackstone looks very similar to James Michael Curley - the mayor of Boston when the statue was unveiled.

The memorial was restored in 1982 by the City of Boston Environment Department.

Text on the Back of the Monument

The text on the monument may be hard to read. here's the quote from

John Winthrop gave this as part of a speech as his crew was disembarking the Arabella to the shores of Boston for the first time:

For wee must consider that wee shall be as a citty on a hill the lies of all people are uppon us so that if wee shall deale falsely with our god in this worke we have undertaken...Wee shall be made a story and a by-word through the world - john winthrop on board the Arbella 1630

William Bradford about Plymouth Plantation

thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by his hand that made all things out of nothing...and as one small candle may light a thousand so the light here kindled hath shone to many yea in some sorte to our whole nation - William Bradford at charles-towne 1630

Finally a quote during the dedication

in gratitude to god for the blessings enjoyed under a free government the city of boston has erected this memorial on the three hundred anniversary of its founding -- September 17th 1630 - 1930
james michael curley mayor
charles allerton coolidge architect - john francis pararmino sculptor

Finding the Memorial

The Monument is located at the entrance to the Boston Public Commons at the intersection of Beacon Street and Spruce Street. There is a traffic light on Beacon Street.

Public Transportation: Take the Green Line to Park Street, and take the paths to Frog Pond. Then take Brinner Path towards Beacon Street and walk down the Beacon Street Mall. It's about a 5-minute walk.

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