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Boston History

By Boatguyboston - 10/17/18 - 1:31 pm
The Lovells Island Oil House

Built in 1903 the Lovells Island Oil House is the last remaining fragment of it's kind in Boston's Harbor. https://northendwaterfront.com/2018/10/friends-of-boston-harbor-islands-... Tells more about the Oil House and our story can also be found https://plus.smilebox.com/play?g=52ce2462-23ab-4406-9787-122bb909953b&sb...

By NoniB17 - 5/23/18 - 11:05 am

Was the name change from Boston Airport made also made on May 20, 1956, when the statue of General Edward Lawrence Logan was dedicated?

Again, thanks to all of you whose answers to my questions have contributed to the authenticity of the background for this story. We're still on track for a June release and I can honestly report that this novel has been the most fun to write of any so far. I laughed out loud several times but also sank into a pretty dark place in a couple other scenes, based on some first-hand knowledge of others' experiences in the area.

By NoniB17 - 4/15/18 - 2:32 pm

The main characters in this new novel are members of an Italian family in Boston, c. 1950s, that includes several plasterers. Many scenes occur in the home of one of the extended familes and on the job. I can easily script the plastering and construction aspects with accuracy (thanks to my own family history and no, I'm not Italian but do have a Sicilian s.i.l..) It's the details about the city and neighborhoods where I have to do loads of research and that's actually how I found this wonderful site. As I noted elsewhere, I used to live in New Hampshire and have been lost in Boston several times. Hey, I know where Mike's bakery is.

By JohnAKeith - 1/22/16 - 1:16 pm

Burning Greed RC VO Test

It was a full house last night at the Fenway Community Center at 1282 Boylston Street where Burning Greed was screened. A second screening will be held tonight at the Capitol Theatre, in Arlington.

Burning Greed is a documentary produced by Sonia Weinhaus covering the arson-for-profit ring operating in The Fenway in the late-1970s. Read more.

By JohnAKeith - 8/21/15 - 4:48 pm
Hancock image

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library (BPL) is hosting an exhibition, "We Are One, Mapping America's road from revolution to independence" to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the colonial resistance to the British Stamp Act.

This week, four new maps from the King George III Topographical Collection and other collections at the British Library were added to the exhibition. These maps are "one-of-a-kind", watercolor paintings in a beautiful 18th-century style. Read more.

By JohnAKeith - 4/29/15 - 4:11 pm

In April 1965, the Boston City Council was arguing over urban renewal plans for Charlestown.

Probably the only time a city councilor has called another one a "bald-headed s.o.b." at a public meeting (but not the only time someone has thought about it).

By JohnAKeith - 3/1/13 - 5:22 pm

It's a happy ending for the Hayden building, located on Washington Street, on the edge of Chinatown and Downtown Crossing.

The five-story office building, long run-down and in rough shape, has been renovated as four apartments, with retail at street level. Most-recently, the first floor was a bank. In the 1970s, it was an X-rated "peep show" cinema and gay bathhouse.

During its 135-plus year life, the building has been home to "tailors, jewelers, engravers, printers; a dental parlor advertising $6 false teeth and innovative cocaine-free dentistry “without the least particle of pain or danger’’; a uniform company and an employment service; a record shop; an Army-Navy store," according to the Boston Globe.

A re-dedication of the renovated building, built circa 1875 by H.H. Richardson (of Trinity Church fame), was held yesterday. According to the Boston Herald, the developer faces a unique challenge:

By JohnAKeith - 2/26/11 - 7:44 pm

CNN ran a story yesterday about a near-forgotten piece of 20th-century African-American history.

Victor Green, a resident of Harlem came up with the idea for a travel book to prevent African-Americans from being "humiliated" (his word) while on the road.

"The Green Book," as it was known, was first published in 1936. Initially, it pointed out friendly restaurants and hotels in New York. It eventually expanded to include everything from lodging and gas stations to tailor shops and doctor's offices across the nation, as well as in Bermuda, Mexico and Canada.

You can find copies of various editions of the book on the Internet. The 1949 edition included shops and restaurants in Boston and other Massachusetts' cities.

Below, names and addresses of several beauty salons, barbers, and "tourist homes" for those visiting the South End. A second column included several Roxbury locales. (Even then, the dividing line between the two neighborhoods was an open question.)

By JohnAKeith - 8/5/10 - 10:29 am


The Central Burial Ground is located on the Boston Common. It is believed to be the fourth cemetery to be located in the city of Boston, after the Copps Hill, King's Chapel, and Granary burial grounds, dating back to 1750's.

According to the internet, this cemetery was "least desirable" due to its location furthest from the rest of the city (at least, at that time). The city of Boston's website states that those buried here include "British common soldiers who died in combat or of disease during the Revolution, foreigners who died while in Boston, American patriots from the battle of Bunker Hill and the Boston Tea Party; painter Gilbert Stuart, and composer William Billings".

The Central Burial Ground is mentioned in the recent book, A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston 1850-1900 by Stephen Puleo.

When the Boston Transit Commission began building the first subway, back in 1895, they dug up the land on the south end of the Boston Common bordering Boylston Street between Tremont and Charles Street South.

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