Boston Blog Posts
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:
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.
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."
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.
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."
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
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.
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
- Cost $5 per adult to get in, Children (5-10) is $1. (Cash Only.) There are several ATMs on Hannover Street.
- You are not allowed to take pictures or videos inside the house. You can take pictures around the courtyard.
- This is the oldest house in Boston - built-in 1680.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- There is a bathroom next to the gift shop.
- 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.)
- 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?
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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: Amazon.com: 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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"
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.
Six Things We Learned About Catalina Italian
- There’s no gluten-free menu or indicator on the menu of dishes that are allergy-friendly.
- 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.
- We ordered our daughters an Alfredo Pasta dish. Which for her is like a Mac and Cheese dish.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 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.
Gluten Free at Fenway Park
There is a cart at Fenway Park where you can buy a Fenway Frank that is Gluten Free! The Cart is located at the top of the ramp at the Home Plate Concourse.
Gluten Free Cart at Fenway Park
Four Things We Learned
- The Hot Dogs are the same hot dogs that are available elsewhere in the park.
- The Gluten Friendly Fenway Franks cost $5.50 each (430 Calories)
- The person at the cart has to microwave each roll before putting it on the bun. We found that the roll was still pretty stale. My daughter said that the roll tasted very much like another roll she had - just couldn't remember it. Possibly it's Rich's Gluten-Free Fully Baked Roll.
- The Gluten Friendly Desserts cost $5 each and they have two options: a brownie or a cookie.
Rich's Gluten Free Brownies and Cookies are available at Fenway Park.
Full Gluten Free Options in 2019
Homeplate Concourse has the most Gluten-Free options. That's the place to go that has the Hot Dogs, Pizza and Deserts.
Franks with buns
- Home Plate Concourse
- Home Plate Deck
- Gate E Concourse
- Big Concourse
- Home Plate Concourse
- Pavilion Level
- Home Plate Concourse (At the Gluten Free Cart)
- Coca Cola Deck
- Big Concourse
Christian Science Center Skyline
The Four Season's One Dalton Street is now open - actually has been since Memorial Day weekend.
The Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences, One Dalton Street, is a 850,000 sq ft (79,000 m) skyscraper in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the third tallest building in New England - The Prudential Tower is 7-feet shorter than the Prudential Tower.
The new building has certainly changed the skyline of the backback
View from 2013
This is the view from the Christian Science Center< from 2013:
View from 2019
This is the view today:
Some Fun Facts
- You can stay at the hotel for $660 a night. But what a view of the Fenway area.
- There is a "sky walk" on the 50th floor.
- 104th tallest building in the United States is the Prudential Tower
- 118th-tallest building is One Dalton Street.
At the corner of Columbus Ave and Stuart Street, across from the Boston Park Plaza Hotel is a small park called: Statler Park.
Six Things I Learned About Statler Park
In 1927, Ellsworth Statler donated the land (.23 acres) to the City of Boston as a part of the design of the Hotel Statler. The hotel is now the Boston Park Plaza.
In 1930, he donated the water fountain as a park centerpiece. It's called "The Fountain Figure." It was given as a gift to the City of Boston from the Hotel Statler Company. The water fountain was created by Ulysses Anthony Ricci. There is a marker in the water fountain for Ulysses Anthony Ricci. If you visit the park, Check out the various signs of the zodiac in the fountain. At one time, the water used to flow from the top of the fountain.
In 2010, major renovation was done to the park to The redesign won the Halvorson Design Partnership the Preservation Achievement Award in 2010.
There are two markers in the park, one about the history and the other about the 2010 Improvement done in the park.
2004 - As part of the Silver Line Phase 3 planning, there was some consideration to put an underground station at Statler Park. Some users thought it might have caused some serious damage to the little park.
The park is located across the street from the Coconut Grove Night Club and was probably used as a staging area during the night that night club caught on fire.
Swan Boat Experience
The Swan Boats in the Boston Public Gardens is a great way to experience Boston. Hop on board and enjoy a few minutes around the Boston Public Gardens.
Six Things to Know about the Swan Boat Experience
- The Boston Public Garden's lagoon is very shallow - maximum 3-feet deep. This is why you won't see any life jacks on the boats.
- This is a very short ride - about 12 minutes. The total duration depends on the number of boats in the water and the number of passengers on each boat.
- Each Swan boat has six rows of benches, with room for 2-adults and 2 small children in each row. Rarely will they fill the boat in each ride - as they don't want to crowd people in.
- The line for the Swan Boats move pretty fast. It's about a 10-minute wait from the trash can - just outside of the stone circle.
- Pro-Tip: You'll want to sit on the right side of the boat so that you can pay attention to the island as you go around it. You'll have an opportunity to see nests and babies around the island. Keep an eye out for turtles.
- Tickets are good forever. Cost $4 for adults and $2.50 for Children over 2.I would recommend getting some extra tickets as a souvenir when you return to Boston. (If you're a local, it makes for unique stocking stuffers or birthday gift!) The Swan Boats accept MasterCard and Visa - I believe they were once an all-cash business. (In 2016, the ride was $3.50 for adults and $2.00 for children)
This is what the lagoon water looks like in the early March 2018. As you can see the lagoon is very shallow:
Sailing the Charles River
One way to enjoy Boston is to take on the views from the Charles River. Certainly, you can do this by the Boston Duck Tours, but it would much more adventurous and rent a sailboat.Community Boating Inc, has small sailboats available for daily retails. They have two boat types available:
- Cape Cod Keel Mercury which carries 4-person ($89 day)
- Rhodes 19 which can hold 5-people ($119 a day)
Some Key Rule on Rentals
- Sailing is limited to the Charles River Basin between the Mass Ave bridge and the Longfellow bridge.
- Lifejackets are provided and must be worn at all times.
- Must be able to swim 75 yards.
- Prior experience is required, candidates are interviewed by the dockmaster on duty.
- Minimum rental age is 18 years old. Guests under 18 may crew with parent or guardian permission.
About Community Boating
Community Boating, Inc. (CBI) is the nation's oldest, continuously running public sailing center, incorporated in 1946. The mission of Community Boating is to enable “Sailing for All". We offer sailing and other water sports to people of all ages, abilities, and means in the greater Boston area.
Five things I Learned About Community Boating
- When the non-profit Community Boating first open in 1946 it was America's only public Yacht club.
- In 1956 they had 51 boats. Today they have 63 Centerboard Mercuries, 20 Keel Mercuries,2 RS Venture Connects, 4 Rhodes 19s, 7 Sonars, 6 Ideal 18s, 12 Lasers, 18 E420s, 30+ Sit-on-Top Single/Double Kayaks, 20+ Windsurfers, 15+ Stand-Up Paddleboards.
- Every March the Community Boating house has an early season open house. It's a great way to learn about their summer sailing program.
- During the July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular you can get reserved seating at the Boat house! It's the only public reserved seating event on the river. People that attend the event get to watch the Pops on Jumbotrons, enjoy Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, face paintings and much more.
- There is no on-site parking. The nearest parking lot is the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary. If your taking public transportation, get off at the Charles/MGH Red Line station.