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Here Lived Paul Revere: 1900

Boston, 1900. "Home of Paul Revere, North Square." The British were coming, and the Italians, too. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.

Boston, 1900. "Home of Paul Revere, North Square." The British were coming, and the Italians, too. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.


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Traditional Sicilian Salute

Two of the cheeky little scamps are giving the photographer the "up yours" gesture. I haven't seen that in awhile -- though it brought a smile to my face.

Sixscore-plus years ago ...

Cigars and Dispatches home to Italy were the thing.

Welcome to Boston! Today, it is a museum and a big stop along the Freedom Trail. The trail is quite the tour of the historic sites in Boston. It can be done in a day, but you can probably get more out of it in two. The North End is about halfway through. Most folks start it at the Commons and walk north. The city has even laid out the trail in bricks and cobblestones so you can follow without relying on a map or phone.

If you're in shape and want to walk the trail in a day, the North End is well-placed for a midday meal ... it's the neighborhood for delicious Italian fare - home to the best pizza anywhere in New England (look for the intersection of Thatcher and N. Margin).

Here is a page for the house itself:
Happy summer vacation planning ... and one more thing: save the money and don't rent a car - you won't need or want one!

More about the Revere House in the 19th century

I recently read an interesting "virtual exhibit" about the excavation of a mid-19th-century privy behind the Revere House including some history of perhaps the owners immediately previous to these folks (they sold the building in 1891), who ran the building as a saloon and boardinghouse. (The exhibit also covers a nearby house that was operated as a brothel during the same time period.) - A Tale of Two Privies

Revered Location

This photo shows one of the last uses of the Paul Revere House before it was made into a museum. After the Revere's moved away, the house served at different times as a "sailor’s boarding house... immigrant tenement...candy store, cigar factory, Italian bank, and vegetable and fruit business. Two years after this photo, Revere's great-grandson bought the house and raised funds to open the museum by1908. The restoration removed the third story extension to return it to the way it was in Revere's time.

A place for flowers

At corner of the second floor, building on the left, perched in what seems a precarious way, a flowerpot with some small blossoms. Daisies, perhaps?

Che dolce!

Precarious history with a happy ending

Paul Revere owned the house until 1800, when it was about 120 years old. It became a tenement with shops and businesses (including cigar makers). As the DPC photo shows, this situation continued for a century. In 1895 a plaque was installed by the Daughters of the American Revolution. But evidently the house was in worse condition than appears in the 1900 photo.

A fire in 1901 (caused by a kerosene lamp being used to ripen bananas) brought attention to the precarious situation. In 1902, Paul Revere’s great-grandson John Phillips Reynolds Jr. bought the building for $12,000. However, terms of the sale allowed a vegetable and fruit seller to finish out the lease on her premises, which expired in 1905. A group of Revere descendants, preservationists, and officials formed the Paul Revere Memorial Association, which bought the house and began restoration in 1907. It opened to the public the next year.

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