Hey, you kids, get off that fountatin!

Where were these kids?

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out where and when this photo was taken. See it large - from which the following comes (which won't help you figure out where it was taken, but which is kind of cool):

Mystery kids



Free tagging: 


    I see..

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    Readville Carriage Factory sign in the background between the kids on the fountain.

    F.W. Sawtelle and Co

    according to a 1899 report from the Dedham public schools, F.W. Sawtelle and Co was a coal company based in Readville.

    Navy yard

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    I'm guessing the Charlestown Navy yard. The monument is in the background and they look like they're on some sort of field trip.


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    Middle kid looks like he could be a young Menino.

    Wolcott Square looking north

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    Readville Station on the left. Dunkin Donuts would eventually rise to the left right behind them. Sawtelle's was on Wolcott Ct. At the corner was a building that housed the post office.

    I would even go as far as to assume that this is currently the traffic island, but that would also be a stretch.

    A smokestack?

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    A smokestack?

    The Stafford Company, Weaving Machinery

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    The 1912 Bromley Atlas of Hyde Park shows a large factory occupied by "The Stafford Company, Weaving Machinery" in approximately the same location as that smokestack. That would be on the west side of Hyde Park Ave., north of the Milton Street Bridge, between the avenue and the Amtrak line.


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    Yes, that would be the location. I don't know why I wanted to put it on the other side of the Providence tracks.

    Sturtevant Blower Works

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    would be my guess, or one of the other factories in the area. Sturtevant was the biggest factory in the area, both in size and employment. They made industrial fans. If you see an industrial fan built in the first 65 years of the 20th century, the odds are that it was built in Readville.

    Depends on when the photo was

    Depends on when the photo was taken. Sturtevant didn't move to Readville until after 1901. It certainly looks like it's in the right location.

    Second Guess is

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    Knight Cotton Mills, which is currently the moving company (Gentle Movers?) I think their stack is still there. There is a drawing of the grounds at the bottom left of this map.

    My gut is that since the City of Boston has the photo, and since the area became part of the city in 1912, it's Sturtevant.


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    Boston Blower Works was where the moving company is on Business Street. I was thinking about Knight, but they were a bit further up River Street, where the Mother Brook hits that dam and narrows into rapids (when it is flowing.)

    I guess Boston Blower Works would be my third choice, but I am still loyal to Sturtevant first, then Knight.

    Thanks for playing

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    Thanks for playing everyone!

    This is Wolcott Sq in Readville. We're estimating between 1890 and 1905 for the date. On the back of the photo, someone had penciled "The Fountain of Youth"

    Wolcott Sq

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    If you look at a close up of this less-than-optimal postcard taken from the Readville Sq. parking lot, check under the bridge and you will see on the left (behind the trolley) the wooden rail fence that is behind the children in the black-and-white photo.


    The berm behind them is the Fairmont Line. The photo was taken from about this location (the only thing unchanged is the blue three story house on the right of the photo. It has, unfortunately, lost the charming shutters.

    There is an entire store block in front of that house visible on the right, where it says "Sawtelle & Co". That building can be seen more clearly in a 1940 photograph taken from the railroad station bridge

    If anybody has any more photos of Wolcott Sq. from this area I'd love to see them - specifically the long demolished train station.


    The Square is named for the Wolcott family of Milton, presumably after Gov. Wolcott who died in office in 1898 or 9. What was it known as previously?

    What became of those buildings on the right that did not survive? How about the fountain?