Boston blog postings

Boston Postings - Page 7

Earliest: March 16, 2003Latest: November 26, 2020Total: 354
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

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.

August 29, 2019

Boston Police Strike of 1919

On September 9th, 1919, the city of Boston faced a strike from roughly 2/3 of Boston Police officers. It was an ordeal that caused panic in the city for several months.

Boston Police Replacements
A company of Massachusetts Militia await assignment to police duty during the strike - - Boston Police Strike - Wikipedia

Why The Police was on Strike

It all started when many officers of the Boston Police were upset that they hadn't gotten a raise in nearly six years. They were forbidden to form a Union, instead of many offerers got together and formed a social club. They argued for a raise and better working conditions.

When they were denied several times and the group decided to join the American Federation of Labor as Boston Police Union, No. 16,807.

In response to the group actions, the Boston Police Commissioner Edwin Curtis dismissed eight union leaders from their police duties.

Members of the union were upset and called a strike the next day. They organized a huge rally at Scollay Square - today it's Government Center.

How the Issue was Resolved

Several Politicians worked around the clock to maintain law and order. Boston's Mayor Andrew James Peters called out the State Guard to maintain order. Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge step in and ordered the guards to be in his control.

Governor Coolidge refused to reinstate striking policemen. Instead, a temporary volunteer police force was sought and within a few months, new patrolmen were hired. None of the striking policemen were allowed back on the job.

The new patrolmen did get the pay raise and benefits sought by the striking workers. But as Governor Coolidge stated, "there is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time." They were denied their jobs.

Read More

There's a lot to this story that could fit in a simple Blog post. You can read all about it in Francis Russell's book, A City in Terror: Calvin Coolidge and the 1919 Boston Police Strike: Francis Russell: 9780807050330: Gateway. It's a good read to all the details that lead up to the strike and the aftermath.

Don't want to buy it? The Boston Public Library has 5 copies of the book in the Copley Square branch.

Fun Facts

Governor Calvin Coolidge was reelected to another term as Massachusetts Governor on November 4th, 1919. A year later he would be part of the Harding-Coolidge in the 1920 President ticket. (Mainly for his role in handling the Police Strike.) They won the election. On August 2, 1923, President Harding died unexpectedly from a heart attack and Calvin Coolidge became President.

James Jackson Storrow was a chairman of a blue-ribbon panel that unsuccessfully sought to avert the 1919 Boston police strike. His group encouraged the police to form a union - but not be part of any major union organization. It was this action that caused the domino effect towards the Police Strike. Storrow Drive is named after him.

August 22, 2019

Encore Boston Harbor

Yesterday I spent six hours at the new Encore Boston Harbor . It was a fun day in Massachusetts newest casino. The Hotel/Casino officially opened on June 23, 2019.

Here?s some notes on my experience.

Encore Hotel Building

General Notes

  • Nothing for kids - no game room, pool or activity area. Really nothing for kids to do while the adults gamble - Definitely not a place for anyone under 21.
  • There is a Dunkin Donuts on site which offers the complete Dunkin menu. (A large hot coffee cost $3.99. )
  • You have to pay for self-parking unless you use the Membership card which gives you free weekday parking.
  • The casino is easy to get to from Boston. Getting back to Boston was a bit tricky during rush hour. If you're not familiar with the area, you might want to use water transportation.

Buffet Notes

  • Lots of great options in the Buffet - Seafood, American Fare, Chinese, and Salads.
  • The Clam Chowder was really good - highly recommend.
  • The line moves pretty fast. Don?t be discouraged if you see a long line when the buffet opens. We noticed that at 1pm the line was much smaller.
  • Buffet is in the main casino- so kids are allowed.

Encore Hotel Casino

Casino Notes

  • There are supposed to be drink servers around the casino - but I rarely saw them. This could be that we were there at an off time.
  • We arrived at 9 and noticed it was very quiet around the casino. It started getting busy around 11.
  • Lots of Slot machines- many of them are penny slots. (No you can't just put pennies in - you need to use a cash voucher.)
  • When we got there the Blackjack table minimum started at $5, but by 2 pm most tables were $25 or $50.
  • They do not sell "used" cards. You can buy souvenir dice ($14 for a pair) at the DrugStore - near the main Casino entrance.
  • There are lots of ATM machines around the casino floor.
  • You can buy Massachusetts Lottery Scratch tickets at some Lottery machines.
  • Most of the slot machines were electronic machines - like playing on a computer. There weren't many "one-arm bandits." I didn't see my favorite - Haywire.

Overall it's a fun casino. Certainly, a fun way to spend an afternoon.

August 15, 2019

Claritin Street Mass Pike On-ramp

On September 3, 2019, the Mass Pike On-Ramp from Claritin Street will permanently close. Full details are available on the blog post: Boston: I-90 Westbound Clarendon Street on-ramp Closing Permanently on the MassDOT Blog, which was posted on August 6, 2019.

Basically it comes down to safety:

This on-ramp has limited sight distance for drivers, meaning they have little visibility of other vehicles when they are merging onto the highway, and it is too short for vehicles to accelerate to the appropriate speed at the access point. The crash rate at this on-ramp is also higher than the rates at other on-ramps in the local area.

Turn Pike West

Alternative Mass Pike Entrances

The next closest entrance to the Mass Pike from Claritin Street is the entrance by the corner of Huntington Ave and Blagden Street. (Next to the Boston Public Library at Copley Square.)

To get their from the Claritin Street Garage: Take a Right on to Start Street, and then a right on to Dartmouth Street and then take the next left.

Another Mass Pike entrance is off of Massachusetts Ave, near Newbury Street. While this exit is a bit further away, the on-ramp to merge into traffic is slightly longer. This isn't a good solution after a Red Sox game as traffic tends to back up on Massachusetts Ave.

Claritin Street Garage

The Garage at 100 Clarendon Street promotes itself as "The only garage in the city with Mass Pike Access."

Looks like they will have to come up with another slogan. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • "Closest Garage to Copley Square"
  • "That Garage Formerly known as the easy way to the Mass Pike"
  • "Best Garage Deal in Boston"
  • "2,000 parking spaces can't be wrong"
August 13, 2019

Catalina Italian

Boston?s North End is well known for their Italian cooking and shopping. There are lots of great restaurants to pick from.

If your a celiac, and need to eat gluten-free it might be a bit frustrating to want to go to the North End. There are some great places to go and be able to enjoy a fine Italian meal.

Recently we discovered Catalina Italian on Hanover Street, and thought we give it a try since it got good reviews on the "Find Me gluten free" App.

Boston Cantina Italian

Six Things We Learned About Catalina Italian

  1. There?s no gluten-free menu or indicator on the menu of dishes that are allergy-friendly.
  2. The host told us said they could make any dish Gluten Free. We were surprised by the various pasta that they had available for gluten-free.
  3. We ordered our daughters an Alfredo Pasta dish. Which for her is like a Mac and Cheese dish.
  4. After we placed our order, they put regular rolls on our table. I asked if they had Gluten Free tools and they said they didn?t.
  5. When the order was delivered it was brought with the rest of the dishes and not by the manager as we have seen in other restaurants.
  6. The Alfredo was delicious. My daughter loved it. I tried a bite and it was good. She ate most of it leaving a little amount on her plate.

We would likely go back to this restaurant as they did have good gluten-free options and the service was good.

An interesting side note that the regular pasta dishes didn?t taste that fresh. It could be that lunch hour meals are quick and dinner meals are more prepared with fresh pasta.

Finding Catalina Italian

The restaurant is located on Hanover Street, not too far from the Paul Revere Statue. It's located on 346 Hanover St. in Boston, MA. It's between the St. Leonard's Church and the Paul Revere Mall.

August 8, 2019

Disney World Tribute to Boston History

In Disney World, there are two tributes to the city of Boston in America History. These are sites are located in Liberty Square - not too far from the Haunted Mansion.

Liberty Tree2019

Liberty Tree

Back in 2016, I blogged about the Liberty Tree in Liberty Square.

The Liberty Tree in Boston is where colonials would gather to talk about the future of America. In particular, they talked about how it would be much better apart from the British rule.

I'll blog more about the historical significance of the tree in Boston - later this month.

Columbia House2019

Columbia Harbor House

The Columbia Harbor House would feel right at home in the port city of Boston in the mid-1700s. It's the typical Bostonian style house that you would see along the Boston shore.

This is a great "fast food" restaurant where you can get a quick bite to eat. You might be lucky to score a seat on the second floor overlooking the Haunted Mansion.

This is one of the few places in the park where you can order a Boston Cream Pie. Bostonians will tell you that it's good, but you should try the original. When in Boston, head over to the Omni Parker House on Boylston Street and try some fresh Boston Cream Pie.