Boston blog postings

Boston Postings

Earliest: March 16, 2003Latest: March 26, 2020Total: 319
January 16, 2020

Jean Louis Lefebvre De Cheverus

Jean Louis Lefebvre De Cheverus was the first Bishop of Boston. He was Bishop from 1810 until 1823.

On the building at 110 Frankin Street is a tablet where his home was in the early 1800s.

Cheverus Homestead

Tablet Text

Text On the Tablet
On this site stood the residence of 
Jean Lefebvre DeCheverus
First Roman Catholic Bishop
of Boston
Beloved by Protestant and Catholic AlikeBorn in France 1768
Made Bishop 1808
Recelled to France in 1823
Later made Cardinal Archbishop
of Bordeaux where he died in 1836

"His thoughts were as a pyramid upheld
on whose far top anget stood and smiled 
yet in his heart he was a child"

This tablet places by the city of Boston 1925

This tablet restored by the George M. Henderson Foundation

Five Fun Facts

Interesting facts about Jean Louis Lefebvre De Cheverus

Born on January 28, 1768 in Meyaeene, France,

Exiled to England during the French Revolution and soon came to America in 1796 to do some missionary work.

He spent much of the time in Maine with Penobscot Indians (He managed to speak their language.)

In August 8, 1810, Pop Plus VII made Jean Louse Cheverus first bishop of Boston. (Official documents didn't arrive until November 1, 1810)

He was loved by everyone in New England, people would come from all over to listen to him speak.

He was a friend to President John Adams and a frequent advisor to the Massachusetts Legislature.

On September 26, 1823, he returned to France on a promise to his family. King Louis XVIII requested him to return because of Jean Louse Cheverus poor health.

Before leaving Boston, he donated all his possessions including several books that help start the Boston Athenaeum. (You can still see the collection today!)

While in France he became the Archbishop of Bordeau.

He died on July 19, 1836 in Bordeaux, France

January 9, 2020

Boston Landmark Map

Boston is a great historic city. It's known as the "birthplace of the American Revolution" because many historic events took place here.

There are hundreds of historical sites of the American Revolution for visitors to explore.

You can find all the "Official Historical Sites" on the Boston Landmark Commission Map.

Boston Landmark Map

This is a useful map to see all the important places to check out. Simply click on an object and get more information about that location.

You may notice that many "popular" spots are missing from this map, such as Paul Revere House, Old North Church, etc. Many of those sites were protected before the Boston Landmark Commission existed.

Boston Landmark Commission

Since 1977, The Boston Landmark Commission job is to help preserve important buildings and locations around the city. Its role is not just limited to century-old architecture but all historic structures.

You can get the download the status of petitions from the City of Boston.

Getting listed by the Boston Landmark Commission is an honor. This is their explanation of the difference between the National Register and the Boston Landmark Commission Landmarks:

Listings on the National Register of Historic Places is an honorary designation by the federal government. The listing recognizes the site is historically significant at the local, state, or national level. Projects involving federal or state funding are reviewed, but there is no protection against demolition.

Designated Boston Landmarks, including buildings in Historic Districts, have a higher level of protection. Commissioners must review and approve any changes. They base their decisions on guidelines developed through a public process.

January 2, 2020

Elephant Memorial at Fenway Park

Long before crowdsourcing became a thing - In 1914, the children of Boston help raise enough money to place three Elephants at the Franklin Park Zoo.

There is a marker at Fenway Park to remember the occasion when the Elephants first met the children of Boston. It was the largest gathering at Fenway Park. (Due to current fire rules - this looks to stand forever.)

Elephant Prints2
Elephant Prints on the Ground in the Grandstand area

Things I Learned

  • Boston Post's publisher Edwin A. Grozier came up with the idea of having children collect money for the city to buy the elephants.
  • Only nickel and pennies were accepted in boxes that were put in stores all around the city.
  • The city raised: $6,000. ($151,948.45 in 2018) If they were all pennies it would be weigh 38 lbs.
  • 70,000 Children and Parents attended the event on June 6, 1914 - the gates were to open at 9am, but such a large crowd gathered that they opened it up early.
  • The elephants spent the night at the park before they came out on the field.
  • In 1914, the Average Baseball attendance at Fenway Park was 6,055!

History Fun Facts

  • Babe Ruth would joined the Red Sox a month later - July 11, 1914
  • Largest crowd for a Baseball game at Fenway Park was 49,000 on September 23, 1935.
  • Largest Concert crowd for a Paul McCartney concert was 36,064 on July 10, 2013.

Remembering the Elephants

  • Mollie died on April 22, 1921 of a heart attack- Harvard's Natural Museum has the skeleton. (Some media outlets called her Molly)
  • Tony died on January 19, 1939 of cancer
  • Waddy died November 5, 1940 - one of the longest elephants to live in captivity.

Sign at the Park

Elephant Pennnies

December 26, 2019

Best Boston Blog Post of 2019

There were a lot of great Boston blog posts in 2019. It was really hard to find the ones that stood out more than others.

After reviewing all the posts, I was able to identify the posts that made a big impact on readers this year. Nine Outstanding Posts in 2019

Goals for 2019

The tradition continues in 2020 - Every Thursday expect to see another exciting Boston post.

I will focus on better photos, unique stories and focus more post in 2020 to visitors to Boston.

If you have any post that you would like to see, let me know in the comments below.

December 19, 2019

Prudental Garage Parking

This is a wonderful time of the year to be in Boston at night. Granted that it is cold, but you should miss all the bright lights around the city.

There are plenty of places to park in Boston, one of the largest parking garages in Boston is at the Prudential Mall.

Prudential Christmas2019

Parking Cost Weekdays

0 to 1 Hour $12.00
1 to 1.5 Hours $20.00
1.5 to 2 Hours $30.00
2 to 24 Hours $42.00

Parking Cost Weeknights

Enter after 5:00PM and exit by 3:00AM
$15.00 flat fee with validated parking ticket.

You can validate your parking ticket at any venue in the Prudential Mall. (You do need to spend at least $10) Dunkin Donuts is included - which is perfect for the ride home!

Tips with Parking at the Pru

Pay attention to where you enter the Mall - there are many elevators/escalators that will get you up in the Mall.

The garage can be confusing if you go back in using a different elevator. (You may end up like the classic Seinfeld episode where they get lost in the Garage.)

Some Mall Entrances are in stores that may close early. Make sure to read signs that let you know when that entrance is closed.

Most of the first floor of the garage is reserved for monthly parking holders. When you enter the garage just go to the second floor.

The best entrance into the garage is off of Huntington Ave.

To get back on the MassPike, use the Dalton Street Exit, take a left on Boylston Street and then a right on Massachusetts Ave. Then stay in the left lane for the Mass Pike Entrance - West Bound.

December 12, 2019

William Channing House

Last year I wrote about the William Ellery Channing statue at the corner of Arlington Street and Boylston Street.

William Ellery Channing lived not too far from the Arlington Street Church where he was a well-respected speaker. His house was located on Beacon Hill - 83 Mount Vernon Street - about a 15-min walk to the Church.

There is a small marker to let people know about the previous owner.

Channing House Marker

Six Things I learned about this house

  • This is private residence no tours are offered at this location. There are 6 apartments at this address.
  • The building was last sold on June 15, 2018 for $8,550,000 or $913 per square foot. It has 6-bedrroms and 6-baths.
  • It was converted to a multi-unit family house in 1984.
  • The house was built in 1834 and, as the sign indicates, he lived here from 1835 to 1842. (This means he was the first owner of the property.)
  • He wrote the book Slavery while living at this location.
  • Mr. Channing would often take walks with his neighbors around the Boston Commons and talked about various Unitarian views. Sometimes the conversation would end up in his sermons at the Arlington Street Church.
December 5, 2019

Skinniest House in Boston

The skinniest house in Boston is located down the street from the Old North Church. After you leave the Old North Church, head up the hill on Hull Street. You'll want to stay on the right side of the road. Keep an eye on the left side for 44 Hull Street - it won't be hard to miss. This is the smallest house in the City of Boston.

Boston Skinny House

Seven Things I Learned about this Location

Joseph Eustis, a shipbuilder, built the house in 1804 - Listed as one of the 100 oldest building in Boston. (Some records have the house being built in 1884.)

He was forced to build the house of that size because his brother built a larger house on a property by their deceased Dad. He challenged Joseph to try to build a house on such a small piece of property.

This four-story house features 1 bed, 1 bath. The total living space is 1166 sq. ft. The bedroom is 800 sq ft. There are only 4 doors in the entire house.

The House spans 10.4 feet at the widest point.

You can only enter the house in the back alley. Did you notice that there's no front door on Hull Street?

The house was Last sold on May 18, 2017 for $900,000 or $771 a sq ft. Today the house is valued at $1,044,111. At one time you could rent this property for $2,500 a month.

Today as you walk by the house you'll see a sign that reads, "The Skinny House (Spite House) Est. 1862." The term Spite House refers to how Joseph Eustis built the house to irritate his brothers for not leaving him enough land. Instead of keeping the space empty he built a house to block the sun from his brother's house.

November 28, 2019

JFK Thanksgiving Proclamation

The 35th President of the United States gave the following Thanksgiving Proclamation 57 years ago:

Over three centuries ago in Plymouth, on Massachusetts Bay, the Pilgrims established the custom of gathering together each year to express their gratitude to God for the preservation of their community and for the harvests their labors brought forth in the new land. Joining with their neighbors, they shared together and worshipped together in a common giving of thanks. Thanksgiving Day has ever since been part of the fabric which has united Americans with their past, with each other and with the future of all mankind.

It is fitting that we observe this year our own day of thanksgiving. It is fitting that we give our thanks for the safety of our land, for the fertility of our harvests, for the strength of our liberties, for the health of our people. We do so in no spirit of self-righteousness. We recognize that we are the beneficiaries of the toil and devotion of our fathers and that we can pass their legacy on to our children only by equal toil and equal devotion. We recognize too that we live in a world of peril and change--and in so uncertain a time we are all the more grateful for the indestructible gifts of hope and love, which sustain us in adversity and inspire us to labor unceasingly for a more perfect community within this nation and around the earth.

Now, Therefore, I, John F. Kennedy, President of the United States of America, in accord with the joint resolution of Congress, approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day, do hereby proclaim Thursday, the twenty-second day of November of this year, as a day of national thanksgiving.

I urge that all observe this day with reverence and with humility.

Let us renew the spirit of the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving, lonely in an inscrutable wilderness, facing the dark unknown with a faith borne of their dedication to God and a fortitude drawn from their sense that all men were brothers.

Let us renew that spirit by offering our thanks for uncovenanted mercies, beyond our desert or merit, and by resolving to meet the responsibilities placed upon us.

Let us renew that spirit by sharing the abundance of this day with those less fortunate, in our own land and abroad. Let us renew that spirit by seeking always to establish larger communities of brotherhood.

Let us renew that spirit by preparing our souls for the incertitude's ahead--by being always ready to confront crisis with steadfastness and achievement with grace and modesty.

Let us renew that spirit by concerting our energy and our hope with men and women everywhere that the world may move more rapidly toward the time when Thanksgiving may be a day of universal celebration.

Let us renew that spirit by expressing our acceptance of the limitations of human striving and by affirming our duty to strive nonetheless, as Providence may direct us, toward a better world for all mankind.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this 7th day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-seventh.

November 21, 2019

Fake Monks

As you walk around Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market you may see some strange signs. One of these signs are warnings about the Fake Monk Mafia.

These signs seem a bit out of place, and certainly make people think - why are these signs here? What are these people doing that so bad?

Fake Monk Mafia Boston

Things I Learned About the Signs

  • The notices started going up around the summer of 2016.
  • This is part of the North End Waterfront council community to inform people of the panhandlers.
  • The signs were put up in various places around the North End informing tourist about the fake panhandlers.
  • Local merchants were annoyed about these people asking for money for a fake cause.
  • The scam is that they slide a bracelet on your wrist and insist that you make a donation to their cause.
  • Recent sightings have been near the Holocaust Memorial and around Park Street Station.

Not a Boston Problem

The Fake Monks are a problem in major cities around the world. Just about every popular tourist spot has men posing as Buddist monks harassing passers-by for money and react angrily when told no or when ignored.

Stories from around the Internet:

Sign Text

The text on the sign reads:

Do Not Give Money to the Fake Monk Mafia!

These are not real monks. They have been harassing our visitors - please do not encourage them by giving them money.

Is you are being harassed by one of these individuals. please call Faneuil Hall Marketplace Security: 1-857-208-1585.

November 14, 2019

Commodore John Barry

In the Boston Commons is a commemorated plaque of Commodore John Barry. It lists all the accomplishments that he did to help win the American Revolution.

John Barry was an officer in the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War and later in the United States Navy. He has been credited as being "The Father of the American Navy" and was appointed a captain in the Continental Navy on December 7, 1775.

Commodore John Barry

Interesting Facts about John Barry and the Memorial.

  • John Barry was born on March 25, 1745 and Died on September 13, 1803.
  • The tablet was commissioned in 1949 by Boston?s Mayor James Michael Curley. The Mayor felt bad that there wasn't a memorial to John Barry - he wanted Bostonians to remember John Barry. The tablet was placed on the Boston Commons on October 16, 1949.
  • On April 5, 1975, the tablet was stolen allegedly by some college students. It was mysteriously returned a few years later. The original tablet is now hanging in the USS Constitution Museum at the Charlestown Navy Yard.
  • The original tablet was done by John Francis Paramino - who also did the Founders Memorial and the Declaration of Independence memorial and the John Endicott Resident Plaque among many others around the City of Boston.
  • The Henderson Foundation funded the granite reproduction in 1977.
  • President Kennedy displayed John Berry sword in the Oval Office - he admired John Barry. The sword is now in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
  • Four United States Navy ships have been named in honor of him.
  • John Barry is buried in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Text of the Memorial

Father of the American Navy
Commodore John Barry

Borm in Wexford Ireland 1745
Died in Philadelphia 1803
Received First Commission
From the Continental Congress
To Command the Lexington 1775
Sailed from Boston on the Raleigh 1778
Acclaimed in Boston in 1780
For Victories on the Alliance
Appointed in 1794 By President Washington
To Plan the Construction of And
Later to be in Command
Of First U.S. Navy
Launched 1798

Erected by the City of Boston
James M Curley Mayor
1949

Tablet restored by the George B. Henderson Foundation, 1976

Located

The Tablet is located on the Boston Commons on Tremont Street near Template Place.