History

By - 11/18/17 - 11:15 am

Walter Baker in Dorchester is normally the only chocolate guy people think of in Boston, but it turns out the North End had a chocolate maker of its own. The Old North Church reports it's won a $13,000 Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant from, yes, the maker of Mars Bars, to study the life of Capt. Newark Jackson, a parishioner who owned a chocolate mill and store in the North End back in Colonial days.

The church will also use the money to research colonial cacao trade routes.

Via J.L. Bell.

By - 11/14/17 - 9:21 pm

The Boston Preservation Alliance reports the Boston Landmark Commission tonight ordered a developer to hold off on tearing down two adjacent townhouses on Maverick Street built in the 1870s, for at least two years. Read more.

By - 11/13/17 - 11:39 am
Scene in old Boston with horses and trolley tracks

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.

By - 11/9/17 - 8:31 pm
Poster showing the Great Fire of 1872

Today is the anniversary of the start of the Great Fire of 1872, which destroyed 776 buildings over 65 acres in downtown Boston (and which spread quickly in part because of the flu - which had stricken many of the horses that would otherwise have pulled fire engines to the scene).

The Boston Architectural College Library posted this drawing of the fire tonight (the fire started around 7 p.m.).

By - 11/7/17 - 9:50 am
Old support beams for Orange Line tracks at Forest Hills

Liam photographs a couple of the beams that workers on the new residential complex on Hyde Park Avenue near the Forest Hills T stop have dug up.

Before 1987, when the new Orange Line alignment opened up ... Read more.

By - 11/7/17 - 8:38 am
No smoking or liquor in Boston polling places

Back in the day, Boston voters had to be reminded not to drink. Also, lady voters needed their own instructions.

Image from the Boston City Archives used under this Creative Commons license.

By - 11/6/17 - 10:33 am

Ron Newman took in the opening of Waltham's new Telephone Museum over the weekend. Read more.

By - 11/1/17 - 11:23 am
Old Usen and Co.

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

By - 10/31/17 - 1:04 pm
Memorial to black regiments who trained in Hyde Park

The Saint-Gaudens memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts across from the State House is better known, but there's a memorial in Hyde Park to the three black regiments who prepared for battle at Camp Meigs there. Read more.

By - 10/31/17 - 9:46 am

J.L. Bell recounts one young man's hair-raising experience as he walked his cow to Boston Common for some grazing.

By - 10/27/17 - 11:55 am

Make It in Massachusetts - early 1980s TV campaign

If you're old enough to remember when Ed King was governor, you probably remember his "Make it in Massachusetts" campaign. Eileen O'Leary pointed us to this collection of ad spots from the campaign, featuring a number of companies that no longer make it in Massachusetts.

By - 10/26/17 - 11:53 am
Mystery floor plan

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out what this floor plan was for. See it larger.

By - 10/19/17 - 9:09 am

Aline Kaplan introduces us to the architecture and possibly haunted history of the Charlesgate, a hotel turned dorm turned rooming house turned dorm again turned condos at Beacon Street and Charlesgate on the edge of the Back Bay.

The glowing spirits of horses that died in a flood have been seen on the ground floor where a stable was supposedly located. The building’s original plans show no stable on the premises, although you can have night-mares without real horses.

By - 10/17/17 - 1:14 pm
Old construction site in Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.

By - 10/10/17 - 1:37 pm
Vaulted ceiling in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City archives wonder if you can place this scene.

By - 10/3/17 - 8:09 am

All boarded up and ready to go.

The Globe reports the Secretary of State's office, which oversees historical stuff in Massachusetts, has given its OK to remove a Georges Island memorial to the Confederate soldiers and sailors who died while prisoners there during the Civil War. DCR had boarded up the marker earlier this year.

By - 10/2/17 - 12:10 pm
Gym class in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.

By - 9/29/17 - 12:44 pm

Associated Press wins today's headline award for a story about an archaeological dig in the North End that may have uncovered Paul Revere's outhouse.

By - 9/25/17 - 11:23 am
Men with sacks in old Boston

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