Tag Archives: Boston History

Community Connections: Young Men’s Catholic Association of Boston College records, 1875-1941

The YMCA of Boston College was not “the” YMCA, nor was it an official part of Boston College. It organized in 1875 when Boston’s Catholic newspaper, the Pilot, published a letter from Boston College President, Robert Fulton, SJ, proposing the … Continue reading

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Digging into Funeral Home Records: The Ledgers of J.D. Fallon & Son, Jamaica Plain

Funeral practices in the United States moved from personal residences to funeral homes in the late 19th century. Until that period, families laid out their own dead, wakes were held in houses, and burials — by necessity — swiftly followed … Continue reading

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The Avatar and Fort Hill Community

When we think about the history of cults and communes in the United States, we often jump to the big names: The Manson Family, Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, the Branch Davidians, the Ragjneeshpurams. What we may not consider is that … Continue reading

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Fenway Park: Boston’s Bandbox

Fenway Park is one of the long-standing treasures of New England, that contains within it the history and tradition of many generations and their beloved baseball team, the Boston Red Sox. Nestled on the intersection of Lansdowne and Yawkey Way, … Continue reading

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Charitable Irish Society St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, March 17, 1953

A January 27, 1953 Western Union Telegram invited the newly elected, Senator John F. Kennedy (D. Massachusetts), to respond to the traditional toast to the United States at the 216th anniversary dinner for the Charitable Irish Society of America. Senator … Continue reading

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Jane Jacobs Exhibition Explores BC’s Connections to Famed Urban Theorist and Activist

Jane Jacobs would have turned 101 today. She died just short of her 90th birthday following tours for her last book, Dark Age Ahead. Yet, as a letter on exhibit from her archives at Burns Library indicates, she had plans … Continue reading

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Edward Hartwell Savage’s Police Department Questionnaire of 1877

Question: Number of miles of streets in your jurisdiction? – Edward Harwell Savage, Chief of Police, Boston, Massachusetts Answer: A Philadelphia Lawyer could hardly answer this interrogatory. –  A. Erickson, City Marshal, Houston, Texas Edward Hartwell Savage (1812-1893) joined the … Continue reading

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James Brendan Connolly: Olympian, Author, Bostonian

Did you know that the first American Olympic medalist was a Bostonian and also a writer of sea stories?  James Brendan Connolly is perhaps no longer a familiar name, but he was once considered the “foremost among sea-writers”(Dwyer,1).  Fabien P. … Continue reading

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Jerome Van Crowninshield Smith

INFORMATION WANTED 9 February 1856  OF PHILIP SHANAHAN, who left the parish of Inley, co Limerick, Aug 25th, ’51, and when last heard from was in Rappahannock co, Va. His sister Mary, at Rainsford Island, wishes to know of his whereabouts. … Continue reading

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The Fairy Sisters Ephemera

In the middle of the nineteenth century, Americans of all ages flocked to exhibits of people with physical abnormalities, more commonly called “freak shows.”  P.T. Barnum, of Barnum and Bailey Circus fame, played a major role in popularizing freak shows, … Continue reading

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