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tioned above. An old book,* published near one hundred and fifty years ago, gives this account of the creek. "The N. E. part of the town being separated from the other, with a narrow stream cut through a neck of land by industry, whereby that part is become an island." By the above it seems to have been an artificial canal.
MILL POND] Is a large basin or reservoir of water, at the bottom of the creek, receives its supply through it, and is bounded by an artificial dam or causeway.
THE CAUSEWAY.] It connects West Boston, with the north part of the town, and is a communication from one to the other for foot passengers. It is also a direct conveyance from Charles river bridge to West Boston, without visiting any other part of the town, when despatch is the object. The causeway runs E. by N. from West Boston, and is about two thousand feet in length. West Boston is separated from the south part of the town by the range of hills, which runs from the head of Hanover street-(see article-Beacon hill.)
MILLS.] Contiguous to the Mill bridge in Middle street, at the mouth of the pond, is a grist mill. At the bottom of it, at the entrance on the Causeway, three mills more are constructed, viz. a grist mill, a saw mill, and a chocolate mill.
Soon after the town was settled, mills were found necessary to grind the native grain of the country, Indian corn, which the new comers, (the greatest part of them at least) had probably never seen before their arrival here. Some mills had been fixed on the islands, and at Dorchester. These were too remote for the inhabitants of Boston, and the general court granted to a number of persons in it, the right of a marshy spot of ground at the extremity of a stream, which had its source from the harbour, and was bounded by a rise of ground to the west. This stream divided the south part, which was joined to the main by a narrow isthmus or tongue of land from the north part. The condition of the grant above mentioned, was, that the proprietors should erect and support a grist mill, on the western boundary of the stream, and throw over it two bridges, as convenient conveyances between the north and south parts of the town. This condition was complied with. A Mr. Crabtree, we are told, undertook to raise and widen the rise of ground, which had served as a foot path for the native Indians, and is now the causeway or dam to retain the water, conveyed through the stream on the marshy ground, which has now the name of Mill pond. The stream had on the margin of each side trees and bushes, which were removed to make the stream a creek, as it now is, for the more speedy conveyance of water from the harbour to the pond. The name of the first miller, I understand, was Farnham. The original proprietors of the mills, sixty-four in number, are now reduced to eight. The ancient marsh or the present Mill pond, contains forty-two acres and three-fourths, and is nearly equal to the contents of the Common.
AVENUES.] The only avenue by land is from Roxbury, by way of the Neck, or Washington street. The other avenues are from The book is entitled " Wonder working Providences," &c.
Charlestown, over Charles river bridge; from Cambridge, by West Boston bridge; and from Chelsea, by Winnisimmet ferry. This ferry is one mile and three quarters across, and eight hundred and three yards from the Mill creek.
STREETS] The following enumeration at this period (1794) is the most accurate that can be obtained, viz. ninety-seven streets, thirty-six lanes, twenty-six alleys, eighteen courts, a few squares: besides which there are some short passages from wharves, and from one street to another. The streets are paved with beach stones, and mostly irregular. The most noted and spacious street in the town is State street, until the American revolution called King street. It is broad and straight, and is in length about eight hundred feet from the State house at the top of it, to the entrance on the Long wharf or Boston pier. On each side this street are large handsome brick buildings, occupied as dwelling houses, publick offices, warehouses, and auction offices. It is the general mart of business. Hither the gentlemen in trade repair, as on the Exchange in London, for the purpose of transacting commercial matters. For their accommodation in inclement weather were two genteel publick houses. One of them lately called the American Coffee house, is now occupied by the Massachusetts Bank. At the upper part of the street, not less than twenty handsome commodious hackney coaches daily take their stand, to convey passengers from one part of the town to the other, and to the towns in the vicinity.
There are some other regular broad streets; but in general they are irregular and narrow. In Long-acre street is the Common burying place, on the west side of it, enclosed with a brick wall; on the outside of which trees are planted under their shade you may pass into the Mall. At convenient distances in the streets glass lamps are placed, which are lighted when the moon withdraws. The lamp lighters are appointed by the selectmen; the lamps, oil, and attendance are paid by the town.
WHARVES.] There are eighty wharves and quays, chiefly on the east side the town. Of these the most distinguished is Boston pier or the Long wharf, which extends from the bottom of State street, one thou-. sand seven hundred and forty-three feet into the harbour. The breadth is one hundred and four feet. At the end are seventeen feet at low water. Adjoining to this wharf, to the north of it, and near the centre, is a convenient quay, called Minot's T, from the name of its former proprietor, and the form of it resembling that letter. Its present owner is Dr.Martin Brimmer, who, at much expense,has dug through to a spring of fresh water, whence the vessels lying at the wharf may be supplied. Boston pier has a long range of handsome warehouses erected on the north side of it built of wood. These and the wharf are private property, and have a number of proprietors, who appoint a wharfinger to collect the dockage and wharfage, and superintend all matters relative to the wharf. Here the principal navigation of the town is carried on, vessels of all burdens load and unload, and the London ships generally discharge their cargoes. It is the general resort of all the inhabitants, and is more frequented, we think, than any other part of the town.
At the north end of the town is Hancock's wharf (the late Governour Hancock having owned it) formerly known by the name of Clarke's wharf, and was, in the early settlement of the town, the most noted wharf in it. At this early period some of the principal inhabitauts, for the advantage of trade, removed from the parts of it, where they at first pitched their tents, the foot of the eastern side of the range of the three hills already mentioned. They settled themselves at the north end, which was in that day the most flourishing part of the town. But notwithstanding the advantage of the deepest water for shipping, for launching vessels of burden, and conveniency for many mechanical arts, the trade has gradually returned from the north to the south side of the mill creek, and Boston pier has rivalled Hancock's wharf. At the end of the latter wharf are fourteen feet at low water. It has on it a number of commodious stores, and is well calculated for vessels of burthen to load and unload. The probable reason it is not occupied now, so much as formerly, is its remoteness from the centre of the The other noted wharves are at the south part of the town, viz. Foster's (late Wheelwright's) wharf, Griffin's, (now in a decayed situation and constantly washing away) Russell's (formerly Gray's) and Tilestone's; the latter occupied chiefly by its owners.
The wharf at the lower part of the north end, on which the North battery stood, was purchased by a private gentleman, and repaired and made very commodious for vessels of burthen, there being a good depth of water. The battery being demolished, the wharf is now appropriated to the business of navigation.
DWELLING HOUSES.] The census taken in 1791 gives the number of dwelling houses to be two thousand three hundred and seventy-six ; the number of inhabitants, eighteen thousand and thirty-eight. The number of houses now (1794) is twenty-five hundred ;* and of inhabitants, about nineteen thousand. The town is capable of great increase, as many large spots of land still remain vacant. The houses are built chiefly of pine and oak, in general about three stories high. There are however many large handsome brick houses, some of which are very elegant. In Cornhill, on both sides the street, from Market square to the Old South meeting house, the houses are all built of brick, the front of the lower floors generally occupied as shops for the sale of dry goods, &c. The beauty of the buildings, which would otherwise strike the eye very agreeably, is somewhat impaired by the irregularity of their height, no two adjoining houses being equal in height, but one rising above another: A large building of brick on the Town dock, having three towers, was formerly occupied for three publick offices, we suppose the Collector, Naval, and Impost. There are also in the town four stone dwelling houses, including the late Gov. Hancock's (noted under the article Mall.) The three others are situated,-two of them in School street, and one in Cross street; all of them ancient buildings. A mason who lately repaired the latter, informed the writer, that he found a number of loop holes through the walls, suitable for From the number twenty-five hundred, must be deducted the houses consumed by the fire, July 30th, 1794. Ꮋ Ꮒ
small arms, whence he conjectured it must have been originally designed for a garrison house.
The new Tontine buildings claim particular notice.
"The Crescent in Franklin place, consists of a range of sixteen well built and handsome dwelling houses, extending four hundred and eighty feet in length. These houses are three stories high, and are finished in the modern style, with every family convenience. The outside is of the Ionick order,raised on a basement. The general appearance is simple and uniform. The doors, steps, pavement, &c. are all finished in the same manner. The outline is varied by a large arch and publick rooms over it, with an Attick in the centre, and two houses at each end, which project in advance, and are decorated with pilasters and a balustrade. The open space in front of these buildings is one hundred feet wide in the centre, and fifty feet at the ends. A grass plat three hundred feet long occupies the middle of that space. This is surrounded with trees, and enclosed with posts and chains, and is supposed to serve the purposes of health by purifying the air, at the same time that it adds a natural ornament to artificial beauty. The opposite side is intended to be built in a straight line, and in a varied style of building; and we may anticipate, that when complete, it will be a favourite part of the town, and in some degree its boast."
The dwelling houses in Boston have an advantage above most of the large towns on the continent with respect to garden spots. Few houses are without them, in which vegetables and flowers are raised, in some fruit trees are planted; and what is still more intrinsically good and valuable, the inhabitant is supplied with pure wholesome water from a well in his own yard. Few houses are without pumps, which not only serve the occupiers of the houses, but are also greatly beneficial in extinguishing fires, that may happen in their neighbourhood.
PUBLICK BUILDINGS.] The State house, called the Town house. The building first erected for governmental business was placed at the head of King street, and was consumed by fire in 1711. In the year following, a new brick building was raised on the same spot, and met a like fate the 9th of December, 1747; when some of the records, and other publick papers were destroyed. It was repaired in the year following in its present form, and is in length one hundred and ten feet, in breadth thirty-eight feet, and three stories high. On the centre of the roof is a tower, consisting of three stories, finished according to the Tuscan, Dorick, and Ionick orders. From the upper story is an extensive prospect of the harbour, into the bay, and of the country adjacent.
The lower floor of the building serves for a covered walk for any of the inhabitants. On this floor are kept the offices of the clerks of the supreme judicial court and court of common pleas. The chambers over it are occupied by the general court, the senate in one, and the representative body in the opposite chamber. The third story is appropriated for the use of the committees of the general court. On the lower floor are ten piilars of the Dorick order, which support the chambers occupied by the legislature. This building is in Cornhill, one mile two hundred and seventy-nine yards from Washington
street, the late fortification entrance from the neck into the town. Its latitude and longitude may be found above, page 241.
The Province house (formerly so called) is a large brick building erected in Marlborough street, in the year 1679. It is three stories in height, stands back at a convenient distance from the street, a small plat of land lying before it, and a railed fence, at the gate of which are two large trees on each side, which agreeably shade the passage to the house. The entrance into the house is by an ascent of stone steps. Upon the cupola on the roof, a pedestal supports a figure of bronze, an aboriginal native, holding in bis hand a bow and arrow, well executed by Deacon Drowne, formerly an ingenious artist in the town. This house was designed for, and was the residence of the governours of the province, till the revolution of 1776. Since which it has been occupied by the council of the commonwealth. The secretary and treasurer also keep their
offices in this building.
The Granary is a long wooden building: stands at the top or entrance into the Mall in Long-acre street. Previous to the American war, various sorts of grain were purchased and stored in this building, by a committee chosen at the annual March meeting for the accommodation of the inhabitants, particularly the poor, in times of scarcity and dearness. Here they were supplied with small quantities from time to time, as they could purchase it, at not more than ten per cent. advance for charges and trouble. The building will contain twelve thousand bushels. It is now occupied as an inspection office, by the inspector of pot and pearl ashes.
The Alms house is an ancient brick building in Beacon street, in form of an L, two stories high, with a gable roof, provided for the aged and infirm poor of the town, and is made use of for this purpose. Here they are supported at the expense of the town, and subject to the rules of the house. Over it a person is appointed to preside, and manage the affairs of it, under the superintendence of twelve respectable citizens, called overseers of the poor, (chosen annually by the town) who meet at the Alms house the first Wednesday in every month, to examine and regulate the business of it.
Since this building was erected, the poor and infirm have increased with the number of inhabitants in the town; so that the habitation provided for them is not now sufficiently commodious for their reception and comfort." It is wholly inadequate to the purpose. It wants every requisite to a place of refuge for age, sickness, and poverty. The benevolent Howard would say, it is rather a dungeon than an hospital. It can neither be ventilated, nor properly cleansed. And it is altogether disproportioned to the number of those, whom necessity drives to the melancholy retreat. The evils unavoidably resulting from bad air and filth, are notorious. These evils, neither the physician nor the overseer can prevent. As long as our poor are so ill accommodated, poverty and dependence will be the smallest of their calamities. How powerfully then, does humanity plead in behalf of these suf