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Boston Beckons: 1906

Boston Beckons: 1906

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Navy Yard docks and Charles River from Charlestown." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.


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Charlestown beckons.

The coal-handling equipment shown may be part of the gigantic Boston & Maine RR coal bunker, which is in close proximity to, or may even be the POV for this photo.

Somewhere in my 10k+ photo collection is a view taken from the Boston end of the bridge (Keaney Sq.). Long a City Square landmark, the coal bunker, nearly 10 stories high, was destroyed in a massive 1957 fire. B&M's regular steam locomotive operations ended in 1956. HTH

This thing

Enclosed conveyor for coaling.

Look at all that smoke!

These old buildings have a big chimney for venting the coal smoke from their boilers, but most of them also have a steam vent next to it as well. I occasionally see these on modern central heating plants or factories too, but what's the purpose of it? Is the heating system just fired continuously and the excess steam/pressure is then vented to the outside?

Charlestown Bridge

Charlestown and the Charles River were named after the English king, who incidentally was beheaded by his people. The bridge connects the Charlestown section of Boston to the city's North End to the left and the North Station area to the right.

This is a great picture in HiDef. Note the elevated railway that runs along Commercial Street to the left and Causeway Street to the right. The original causeway ran along Mill Pond. The area to the right, behind the shed on the elevated rail, is all filled in land.

The street behind the shed on the elevated rail is North Washington. On the left behind this shed is Saint Mary's Church, now gone. On the building after you cross the bridge you will see a "Garden Party" sign with a mention of Revere Beach, north of Boston, which was America's first public beach. To the right of this sign if you look carefully you will see a banner mentioning St. Mary's. It served the parishioners of the North End and Charlestown as well as many from other areas of the city.

About a quarter of a mile down on Commercial Street to the left after crossing the bridge is the site where there was a great molasses tank explosion in 1919. Twenty-one people were killed.

Also worth noting are the clothes drying on the roofs. In 1920 there were 40,000 people living in the North End. It was an area more densely populated than Calcutta.

Time for a change?

The sign for St. Stephen's Garden Party & Field Day appears to be a little out of date; or the photo date is actually 1905.

[The sign says 1906. July 18 in 1905 was a Tuesday. - Dave]

Townie no longer !

My dad was born the year this photo was taken in Charlestown! Myself, I was born across the river in Boston so I lose my status as a "townie"! Still trying to figure out exactly where this was shot from.

Is "swinging bridge"

the proper term for that span? if so, those people standing there must be waiting for a ride.

["Swing bridge." - Dave]

Peculiar Building

I'm at a loss as to what the elevated narrow structure is here in the foreground.
It seems to be on top of an existing roof so must be very high.

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