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Boston Postings

Earliest: March 16, 2003Latest: November 7, 2019Total: 299
November 7, 2019

Palazzo Ducale Model in the North End

The Boston Public Library central branch in Copley Square is famous for its architecture and collection. There are 25 other libraries scattered around the city with each one offering something special and unique to visitors.

In the North End, the Boston Public Library branch is located on 25 Parmenter Street.

North End Library Branch2019
Entrance to the North End Branch.

Why Visit?

There are Three Reasons to visit the North End Library branch:

  • The building architecture is based on a Roman Villa. (There is a tiny courtyard in the center of the library that has plants.)
  • There's a scale model of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice constructed by Henrietta Macy and Louise Stimson.
  • There's a white marble bas-relief of Dante Alighieri in the center court.

The scale model of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice is a hidden treasure of Boston's North End and worth checking out!

Five Things I Learned About the Palazzo Ducale

The model isn't not visible to see when you walk in the Library. As you walk in, keep going straight. the model is located on the center wall facing away from the main entrance.

The model was put in the library in the 1930s. In 2013, the model underwent a complete restoration.

The model shows the scene of Venice from the 1500s, with political dignitaries and patricians.

There's a pamphlet that you can get that describes the model and people to look for in the model. Makes for a great treasure hunt for kids! (Can you find the begger wearing a black hood to hide his identity.)

There is a book all about the life and times of Miss Henrietta Gardner Macy. .Amazon.com: The Nun of the CA'Frollo: Life and Letters of Henrietta Gardner Macy (9781258057381): Clementine Bacheler, Jessie Orr White, Henrietta Gardner Macy: Books. Yes, you can get the book from the library!

Palazzo Ducale

The Story of the Model

An abbreviated version of the story behind the Palazzo Ducale model:

The model was requested to be built by a former kindergarten teacher (Miss Henrietta Gardner Macy) that taught in the North End. She wanted to live in Europe, and when the opportunity came she left and headed to Italy

Miss Macy kept contact with her Boston friends by writing. A couple of Boys visited her and helped her build a model of the Palace. The Boys had fun and promised to finish the project when they returned to Venice. The boys caught some bacterial infection and died.

Miss Macy was very sad to hear of the news. She decided to honor the boys by building a larger scale model. She worked hard on the model and the New York Metropolitan Museum showed interest in buying it. However, it was destroyed in a fire in England.

Miss Macy went back to the drawing board and made another model - this one to be bigger and better. Miss Macy died in 1927 without finishing the model.

Miss Nina C. Mitchell, one of her friends, decided to hire some craftmen to finish the job. Once completed, it was donated to the library for the enjoyment of the neighborhood.

October 31, 2019

Mather Tomb

One of the legends about Copp?s Hill Burying Ground is that of Reverend Increase Mather. Some people that he appears to certain visitors in the cemetery, scaring them as they walk around the graves.

I did some research and couldn't find any information about the appearances other than it happens at night. Which is weird because Copp's Hill Burying Ground is closed at dusk.

Increase Mather is famous for saying in his ?Case of Conscience? - ?It is better that ten witches go free than the blood of a single innocent be shed.?

Mathers Tomb

Interesting Facts About the Mather?s Tomb

There once was an iron fence around the tomb. (If you look at the stones around the tomb you can see the fence pole markers.)

Near the Tomb is a weeping willow which was raised from a slip taken from a tree that grew over the tomb of Napoleon at the Island of St. Helena. The slip was brought over by Captain Joseph Leonard. It was planted in 1844.

There?s a rumor that the tomb itself was actually built by Cotton Mather. Some say the proof is in his diary writing: ?The Lord gave me to see wondrous demonstrations of the love his and my people had for me. One was their building a costly tomb for the ashes of my lovely consort, and of my children, whereof there were five buried, with no more than common gravestones.?

The tomb contains the final remains of Cotton Mather?s children, his father, and several other relatives.

Cotton Mather was three times married; he had fifteen children from his first 2 wives.

The last time the tomb was open was in 1884 when a member of the Parker family was deposited into the tomb.

Top of the Tomb

On the top of the tomb is the following inscription, which is barely illegible today:

Mather Tomb.
The Reverend Doctors
Increase--Cotton
& Samuel Mather
Were entered in this vault.
Tis the Tomb of our Fathers
Mather. Crockers.
I died Aug 27, 1723 AE 84
C died Feb. 13, 1727 AE 65.
S died June 27, 1785 AE 79.

Sign Near the Tomb

On the ground in front of the tomb is the following sign:

Mather Family Tomb

Several generations of great 17th and 18th century New England divines are buried here. Increase (1639-1723),. the father; Cotton (1663-1728) the son; and Samuel Mather (1706-1785) the grandson?s belonged to a remarkable family of ministers. At a time when the church wielded its own power and religious zeal translated into political influence, the Mather?s ecclesiastical attainments assured them secular authority.

Increase was the sixth son of Richard, who was first of the Mather dynasty and a minister in Dorchester. Increase graduated from Harvard in 1656 and within a decade began a 60-year ministry to the 2nd Church of Boston. Later, he was named the president of Harvard. As a powerful statesman, Increase represented Massachusetts at the British Court and tried to secure a new, beneficial charter for the Colony in the early 1690s/ This effort and his role as personal advisor to the new Royal Governor, Sir William Phips, attracted such resentment that he was forced to resign as Harvard president and lose his political power. Increase spent his last days in the North End where he had lived much of his life and had raised his 10 children.

October 24, 2019

Archbald Gravestone

There are many famous gravestones at the Granary Burial Grounds of people that contributed to the American Revolution. One of the overlooked gravestones is the Archbald family. It's the Number 2 gravestone in the Granary Burying Grounds.

This single gravestone has 21 family members listed, six of them were children of Francis and Anna Archbald.

Archbald Gravestone

GraveStone Listing

Azor G. Archbald d. 1811
Dr. Byles 1788
Anna Archbald 1798
Huldah Archbald 1799
Annagale Archbald 1801
Francis Archbald 1801
Anna Archbald 1797
Lucretin Archbald 1809
Azor Gale Archbald 1810
Lucretian May Archbald 1811
Mary Ann Pratt Archbald 1823
Luther F. Archbald 1834
Edward Archbald 1834
Henry Archbald 1840
Mary Archbald Burnha, 1840
Anna Archbald Derby 1846
Sarah Archbald Hobbs 1848
Hannah Whitmarsh 1850
Emeline Whitmarsh Archbald 1853
Geroge Archbald 1870
Caroline Whitmarsh Archbald 1871

Story #1: Dr. Mather Byles

Dr. Byles is actually Mather Byles. He was a high ranking clergy at the Hollis Street Church (Congregational) He graduated from Harvard College and received his doctoral degree from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

During the Revolution he was an advocate of British rule. Despite his loyalty to the British, he was captured during the British Occupation of Boston. He was under house arrest while the British occupied the town.

It's unclear on why he was arrested - other than his refusal to leave his home and the Hollis Street Church.

His famous saying was, "Which is better - to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?"

He died on July 5, 1788. He is the Father in Law of Azor G Archbald.

Side Note: I am not sure why Mather Byles full name isn't on the gravestone and why his name isn't listed on the Official Granary Burying Ground Cemetery Records.

Story #2: Boston Massacre Participant

Edward Archbald and Francis Archbald were two brothers that had some minor role of a series of events that eventually led to the Boston Massacre.

According to the Boston Gazette, a publication that reported on the events of the American Revolution, this is what happened:

On March 5th, 1770, four boys - Edward Archbald, William Merchant, Francis Archbald, and John Leech arrived at Cornhill (A Street in Colonial Boston - which is where City Hall is today.)

As the four boys were walking down a narrow alley, Edward Archbald bumped into a British soldier sword. He asked the soldier to move the sword so others wouldn't bump into it. The Solder turned around and hit Edward on the arm and poked the sword at William Merchant.

William hit the soldier with a stick he had in his hand. One of the other soldiers ran to get an assistant.

One of the solders that came to help chased Edward in the alley and corned him. The soldier then "laid him over the head with the tongs."

This commotion attracted other people to see what was going on. The soldiers took the boys over to the nearby barracks and stood by them. After a few moments, more people showed up - some with clubs and bayonets.

After a while the boys left - since they didn't have the fighting equipment other had.

The ensuing mob would later start harassing the British. The British would later fire on the mob killing three instantly and two others died a few days later.

The two boys Edward Archbald and Francis Archbald are buried in the Archbald tomb. One of the other boys - John Leech is also buried in the Granary Burying Grounds.

Finding the Gravestone

The Archbald gravestone is in the back left corner of the Granary Graveyard - along the brick wall.

October 17, 2019

Thomas Seward Gravestone

Walking through the North End's Copp's Hill Burying Ground you will see a lot of unique gravestones. One is Major Thomas Seward, who died on November 27, 1800.

ThomasSeward.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

Gravestone Text

Reader!!!
Beneath this Stone is deposited
the Remains of
MAJOR THOMAS SEWARD
who gallantly fought
in our late revolutionary War
and through
its various seenes, behaved
with Patriotic fortitude
& died in the calms
of domestic Felicity as becomes
a Universal Christian,
Nov 27th, 1800, AE at 60.

On the bottom of the grave is this phrase, which is slowing disappearing into the ground:

"The lonely turf where silence lays her head,
The mound where pity sighs for hon'd dead,
Such is the grief where sorrow now doth sigh,
To learn to live is but to learn to die."

Three Things I Learned

Some things I learned while researching the history of Thomas Seward.

There isn't much information about Thomas Seward. No information on what battles that Thomas Seward participated in. No information about his life before and after the war.

When he died local papers were quick to point out his death and how he was a major contributor to the Revolution.

He was married to Sarah Seward. She died seven months before Thomas. She is also buried in the same grave - but interestingly enough, there's no mention of her name on the grave. Even though she was buried there first!

They had a son named Thomas he was born in 1770 and died in 1852. He is buried in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Gravestone Images

On the gravestone, there are various symbols. According to the Cemetery Club, here's what each one means:

  • Setting Sun - Death
  • Urn, draped - Connotes death, often of an older person.
  • Cannon - Military service.

Reference Log

This is the log entry in the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War book. There was only one entry for Seward, Thomas:

Seward, Thomas. Captain, Col. John Crane?s (Artillery) regt. ; Continental Army pay accounts for service from Jan. 1, 1777, to Dec. 31, 1780; also, return of officers for clothing ; receipt for said clothing, dated Boston, May 26, 1778, and signed by Col. Crane; also, muster roll for May 1778, dated Camp Valley Forge; commissioned Jan. 1, 1777; also, return of officers for clothing, certified at Boston, Sept. 25, 1778 ; also, list of officers who were to continue in the service, as returned by Thomas Vose, Captain and Adjutant, dated Boston, Jan. 19, 1781; also, receipt given to Capt. Lieut. Knowles, signed by said Seward and others belonging to Col. Crane?s (3d Artillery) regt., for subsistence money for June, 1782.

October 10, 2019

Doctor Joseph Warren

Doctor Joseph Warren was an American physician who played an important role in the early days of the American Revolution.

Fall Joseph Warren
"The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill" at the Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.

Eight Things I Learned about Joseph Warren

  • Married to Elizabeth Hooten on September 6, 1764.
  • They had four children: Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary and Richard.
  • Practicing Physician who attend school at Harvard College.
  • Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
  • Conducted the autopsy on Christopher Seider short after he was shot.
  • He gave William Dawes and Paul Revere the responsibility to alert John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the approaching British Army on the night of April 18, 1775.
  • Elected President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and was appointed general of Massachusetts troops.
  • Fought with William Dawes at the Battle of Bunker Hill (Breed's Hill). He died at the first day of battle.

Body Reburied Around Many Time

After Death, Doctor Joseph Warren body was relocated many times:

First Burial

  • Buried by the British Captain Walter Laurie, the British Commander who led the troops to Concord's North Bridge, at Breed's Hill.

Second Burial

  • In early April, 1776, after the British left Boston, His body was recovered by his family.
  • Paul Revere helped identify the body by verifying the dental work that he performed years earlier.
  • A formal funeral was said at King's Chapel on April 8th, 1776.
  • He was buried in the Family plot at the Granary Burying Grounds.
  • Third Burial

    • In 1824, he was exhumed and moved to the family valt under St. Paul's Cathedral.

    Forth Burial

    October 3, 2019

    Christopher Snider

    At the Granary Burying Grounds are buried some of the most important patriots that help shape this nation. You can find Paul Revere, John Adams, and many more Patriots.

    One of the "famous" gravestones that you'll encounter near John Adams is the one for those that died as a result of the Boston Massacre.

    If you look carefully you'll notice that a young 12-year old boy is buried that died a few weeks before the Massacre is also buried there.

    This is the story of a forgotten Patriot of the American Revolution:

    Christopher Snider

    The Christopher Snider Story

    On February 22, 1770, a crowd gathered at a shop on Hanover Street complaining about how a store, owned by Theophilus Lillie, was selling imported tea. The Sons of Liberty put up a sign on the shop letting people know that it was selling imported team.

    Ebenezer Richardson, a customs informer, with some bad ties with the Sons of Liberty, tried to take down the sign. The crowd got angry and he was chased back to his home.

    Once he arrived home some of the boys in the crowd started throwing snowballs and rocks at Ebenezer's house. Ebenezer went upstairs and fired several shots on the crowd injuring Christopher Gore and instantly killing Christopher Snider.

    Christopher Snider body was immediately taken to Faneuil Hall.

    John Adams arranged a funeral a couple of days later. The funeral procession started at Faneuil Hall and proceed to the Liberty Tree and finally to Granary Burying Grounds. Local reports about 5,000 people attended the funeral procession. Hundreds of children and dignitaries attended the process.

    John Adams said, "My eyes never beheld such a funeral."

    On foot of his coffin are the Latin words, "latet anguis in hebra!" which means, "a snake hides in the grass." On the head of the coffin is the inscription: "Innocence is nowhere safe."

    Ebenezer Richardson barely avoid a lynching by the crowd and was tried for his crime. He was found not guilty and moved to Philadelphia.

    Snider Marker1906

    Things I Learned about Christopher Snider

    Name on the gravestone is spelled Christopher Snider but it's also known as Christopher Seider in some British print.

    Christopher Snider was born in 1758. (His exact birthdate is not known.)

    After his death the Sons of Liberty were making plans to build a monument to honor Christopher Snider - that never happened.

    According to the Son's of Liberty, Christopher Snider is considered to be the first martyr of the Revolutionary War.

    On March 8th, 1899 the single stone was placed on the existing gravesite - it was the first time that the names of the Boston Massacre and Christoper Snider were on the same marker . On May 30, 1906, the Sons of the American Revolution dedicated a new Boston Massacre memorial. This is the memorial that you see today.

    On the old tablet, Christopher Snider is mention on the backside - "Here lies buried the body of Christopher Snider, aged about 12 years. Killed Feb. 22, 1770. The innocent, first victim of the struggle between the colonists and the crown, which resulted in independence."

    September 26, 2019

    Grant Gately Square

    At the corner of Massachusetts Ave and Huntington Ave is Grant Gately Square. This is named after ENSIGN Grant Gately who died onboard the U.S.S Ticonderoga in 1918.

    U.S.S Ticonderoga on September 29, 1918

    This is a brief version of the story told by George S. Tapley who was the chief quartermaster on the U.S.S Ticonderoga:

    On the night of September 29, the U.S.S Ticonderoga was under attack by a German submarine. The submarine was about a mile away. The men on the U.S.S Ticonderoga fought back until the submarine took out all the long-range fighting guns. The boat started to sink from a direct torpedo hit by the German submarine.

    As the boat was sinking, some of the men manage to get on a small raft. Another small boat came by and those that weren't injured managed to swim to the other boat. However, A storm was brewing and it was impacting the ability for the raft to stay with the boat and get the injured passengers.

    Grant had the opportunity to get on the small boat - as he was an uninjured ranking officer. He decided to stay with three injured men on the raft.

    The small boat made many attempts to get the men off of the raft but due to the storm and night, they were unable to get close. The boat drifted nearby hoping the morning light would make it easy to find the raft and the other seamen. At the first light, they looked around and never saw the raft. The boat drifted for about five days before being rescued by the British.

    Ten officers and 102 men were lost that night.

    Grant Square
    The tablet on the Symphony Hall building - it is 98 years old.

    Things I learned

    He died in battle on September 30, 1918 - 42 days before the end of World War One.

    The square was dedicated on November 28, 1920.

    The tablet that is on the Symphony Hall was placed on November 21, 1921.

    Grant Gately lived at 176 Huntington Ave, which is next to the Midtown Hotel - right down the street. (You can almost see the tablet from 176 Huntington Ave.)

    Grant Gately body was never found, and still classified as Missing In Action. His name is on the Tablets of the Missing Suresnes American Cemetery in Suresnes, France.

    The U.S.S Ticonderoga was once a German steamer name Camilla Rickmers.

    It dropped behind her convoy because of engine trouble.

    In 1920, there were 5 squares named after World War One heros:

    • Grant G Gately Sq - Corner of Massachusetts Ave and Huntington Ave.
    • James M. Hines Sq, - Corner of Cedar St and Center St.
    • James J. Murphy Sq, - Corner of Roxbury St and Guild Row.
    • Morris Friedman Sq. - Copeland St and Waverly St.
    • James H. Coyle Sq. - Corner of Washington and Market St.

    Boston Globe Interview - February 1919

    When he was in Boston during a schedule leave in February 1918, he did an interview with the Boston Globe. According to the Boston Globe story, he said: "all that stood between himself and happiness in France was the longing for a plate of beans."

    In the interview he also mentioned that he didn't always wear a life preserver. "We are not always thinking about the submarines. Our Daily work keeps our min pretty well occupied - you are giving yourself a little of the percentage if you keep one on."

    The Globe story ends with "Gately expects to make another trip soon. He is very fond of the sea He is a bit of an adventurer, and figures that there is only one thing to do when a sub take a shot at you an that is keep your "bean."

    Plaque Saying

    Grant Gately Square
    Named in Honor of
    Grant Gately, Ensign USN
    Born in Boston, September 27, 1894
    Died Heroically When U.S.S Ticonderoga
    was sunk in mid-ocean by a German Submarine
    September 30, 1918
    He Yield his Allotted place in a lifeboat
    that a Comrade might be saved
    Placed by
    Back Bay Post 117 The American Legion
    MCMXXI

    September 19, 2019

    Paul Revere House

    One of the popular tourist spots in Boston is the Paul Revere house. This is a good place to learn more about Paul Revere and to see how colonialists lived in Boston.

    The Paul Revere House is open year-round. You can get private tours of the house - including night tours.

    Paul Revere House
    The Paul Revere House stands out from all the modern buildings. (The Cobblestone street makes for nice background shots.)

    Ten Things We Learned on our Tour

    1. Cost $5 per adult to get in, Children (5-10) is $1. (Cash Only.) There are several ATMs on Hannover Street.
    2. You are not allowed to take pictures or videos inside the house. You can take pictures around the courtyard.
    3. This is the oldest house in Boston - built-in 1680.
    4. We were disappointed in the "self-tour" as you only see 3-rooms in the house. The whole house experience is about 10-minutes long.
    5. There is a host available on each floor where you can ask questions about the house and various objects in the rooms. Some fun ones to ask: Why is there a wall phone in Paul Revere House? How many children did Paul Revere have? Where did they all sleep?
    6. There is a small gift shop near the exit. It has some books and artistic goods that are made for the museum- worth checking as you can?t get these items anywhere else in the city.
    7. There is a bathroom next to the gift shop.
    8. You may be able to see a Revere Motar - a cannon made around the 1780s. This cannon was commissioned by the newly formed United States government. (Currently, the cannon is on loan to the New-York Historical Society.)
    9. In a room next to the gift shop, is a mini shop replica. This toy display shows what Paul Revere workshop might have looked like. Can you find the gray Cat?
    10. The Paul Revere House was listed on the National Historic Landmarks in 1961

    Finding the Paul Revere House

    The Paul Revere House is located at 19 North Square in Boston's North End. Located just 2-blocks from Hanover Street, and there are signs from Hanover on how to get to Paul Revere house.

    There is a small gift shop next door to the house. The official gift shop is only accessable for paid tour members.

    September 12, 2019

    Boston Day - September 17

    Boston was originally named Shawmut by the local Native Americans. It was founded on September 17, 1630, and named after Boston, England, a town in Lincolnshire from which many colonists originated.

    The Massachusetts Bay Company, headed by Governor John Winthrop, equipped with a land grant from the King, arrived in New England. After checking various locations, settled in Boston because of the access to shore and freshwater.

    Boston September17
    Large Boston Sign at the Boston's City Hall.

    Four Fun Facts about Boston

    The first settler on the Shawmut peninsula was the Reverend William Blackstone, who arrived around 1625. His land would be purchased by the Massachusetts Bay Company and much of it was made into the Boston Public Commons.

    Many of Boston's early building and street patterns are the results of an intention to duplicate those of English towns.

    Boston didn't become a city until May 1, 1822 - 192 years later. John Phillips would be Boston's first Mayor. Citizens of Boston votes to change the official name from the "Town of Boston" to the "City of Boston." On March 4, 1822, the people of Boston accepted the charter of being incorporating the City. In 1822, there were 46,226 people living in Boston and the city was only 4.7 square miles.

    The "Old Corner Bookstore" was considered a prime location back in 1630 because as it was near the freshwater spring.

    September 7th or September 17th?

    September 7th was the actual day on the Julian Calendar. But with the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, 11 days were dropped during the month of September in 1752.

    September 5, 2019

    George Washington Bust

    The Boston's Old North Church is one of the popular stops that people go to when visiting Boston. It's the place where Robert Newman and Captain John Pulling hung lanterns to let Paul Revere know that the British were coming by sea.

    The Old North Church is a great place to learn all about the events on April 18, 1975. There are lots of exhibits and information that explain all about how the Church played an important role in American History.

    Among the historic artifacts is a bust of George Washington Bust. The bust is located above the door on the left side of the alter.

    George Washington

    Inscription under the bust:

    "This bust of George Washington was presented to the Christ Church by Shubael Bell, Warden 1815."

    Did You Notice?

    In the left aisle, on the post where the Hymns is located is this interesting plaque:

    General Lafayette Quote

    Who Was General Lafayette?

    This quote is very significant because General Lafayette knew George Washington very well. General Lafayette was a very important person that worked closely with George Washington to defeat the British.

    General Lafayette help guide troops with major Revolutionary battles such as Brandywine, Valley Forge, Barren Hill, Monmouth and Rhode Island.

    As a General, he spent a lot of time with George Washington at Valley Forge - especially during the rough winter of 1777.

    So, for someone that spent a lot of time with George Washington, and knew him well - it puts a lot of weight saying the bust is an authentic reproduction of George Washington.

    Only at the Old North Church

    You can only find the authentic George Washington bust at the Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts.