Making tracks

Old track work in Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can spot the time and place of this photo. See it larger.



Free tagging: 


Another King's Chapel Shot

This is taken at the intersection of Tremont / School / Beacon looking north towards what would now be Government Center.

You can see the King's Chapel iron fence on the right through the scaffolding and the taller building on the extreme right is 10 (18?) Tremont Street.

Since we are doing subway work, and it looks like the digging has already be done, I'd say the photo was taken in the Spring / Summer of 1897.

Same view today, if you toggle the picture north.


I think you're right. It

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I think you're right. It looks like they're re-laying the streetcar tracks on Tremont Street after covering the subway tunnel. However, what I wonder about is whether they still ran trolleys above ground on that stretch of Tremont Street after the tunnel was completed. In which case this could have been taken earlier than '97. The X-Zalia ads underneath the trestle over the sidewalk are interesting. X-Zalia was billed as a "cure all" medicine that was introduced by the X-Zalia Corporation of Boston in 1893.


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Most lines that terminated at Tremont House were changed to loop at Park Street after the subway opened. Lines to the "Northern Depots" and crosstown lines (i.e. Lenox-Davis) were either routed underground or diverted via P.O. Square/Washington Street once the northern portion of the subway opened. For some reason the Grove Hall-Columbus Avenue crosstown lingered on Tremont Street for a month or two before being put under. All Tremont Street trackage 'twixt Scollay and Boylston was abandoned for good on October 1, 1898.


Scollay Square?

The little info I've been able to find about Higgins Oyster House suggests that it's in that area.


Higgins Oyster House

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I found some pics of old currency that has the address of Higgins Oyster House as 126 Court Street


Tremont Street

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J. Newman & Sons (left) was a florist on Tremont Street, #24 (although it appears to be #31 in the photo?) so I'd have to say the first response here is probably correct. Style of dress appears to be turn of the 20th century.


The Answer

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Thanks for playing everyone! This is Tremont Street near School Street on September 12, 1897. The photo is labelled "repaving Tremont Street," and we suspect that they were repaving after putting down tracks.