Five Days in Old Beantown- Day Two- Beacon Hill and Boston Harbour

I jumped off the trolley in Beacon Hill and fell in love with Charles Street and the various side streets that lead off into the Beacon Hill neighbourhood.  I started at one end of the street and walked down to the other. I could have stayed here forever. I was really torn, would I want to live in the Back Bay Area in one of those fabulous Boston Brownstones, or here in Beacon Hill? It was a tough tough call, but loads of fun to dream about.  I loved the paving bricks on the street which led me to a wonderful post office! The Charles Street Post Office.

Any Post for me?

Charles Street is lined with shops and all the signs have to be in wood, or in keeping with the area. No neon flashing lights or chain shops here!

I stopped for a coffee in the Charles Street Meeting House, which was formerly, a church. But I think its call to fame would be the meeting place of some great minds, all bent on ridding the world of slavery. It was a good place to sit and just wish I could have been there to hear some of the speeches from anti-slavery activists such as Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. 

Harriet Tubman, full-length portrait, seated i...

Harriet Tubman, full-length portrait, seated in chair, facing front, probably at her home in Auburn, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fortified with a good cup of coffee ( actually a spicy New England Pumpkin Latte)  it was time to jump back on the trolley and take a short tour of the Boston Harbour.

Sitting outside in the Boston Sunshine at the Charles Street Meeting House

Sailing along in Boston Harbour gives you a fantastic view of Bunker Hill and Old Ironsides who was built in 1784 at the cost of  some three hundred thousand dollars. What a sum in those days!  She still goes out today with a crew of 60 sailors for education runs and I suspect just the sheer fun of getting those sails up and gliding through the harbour!

 

The Grand Old Girl

It was a glorious day out in the bay and the boat trip far too short, but  it was time to head back to shore and over to the famous Quincy Market. But before we got to shore there was this marvelous view of Boston.

In the centre of the photo, it’s hard to spot, but there is a little green domed building, and that is where all that tea was dumped into the harbour.

The plaza and the Quincy Market building were worth seeing, but…the market was full of tat, and around the market…well brand names everywhere. On that level it was disappointing. But market are what they are and will always sell what’s wanted. If you want tee shirts and that sort of thing, this place is heaven!

I had been recommended dinner at the Oyster Bay Union House, for not only the amazing seafood, but it is also the oldest restaurant in the United States. I couldn’t pass on a bit of history along with dinner.

The Oyster House on Union Street,  is so old there are no records of when it actually was built. Union Street was laid on in 1636 and records show that in 1742 this building became a seafood house!  No one knows when the actually building was created.  Before the clams were cracked open, the house was a fancy dress goods importer. Apparently the water came up to the back door making it very easy to deliver goods!

The building has history coming out of every nail in the floor boards, the American Revolution stirred here when the printer Isaiah Thomas published his newspaper in 1771, The Massachusetts Spy. I love that name. No one hiding behind secrecy here!  In 1796 the future King of France lived upstairs apparently giving French lessons to pay his way whilst hiding out!  A modern American King, J. F. Kennedy had a favourite booth upstairs. I love the history Boston has to offer.

I have to say though the two and half hour wait for a table was not worth it. The food was good, yes, but the wait was well…ridiculous.  I was on page one of the wait list and didn’t get seated until they had well gone through page three, ( I did keep checking to see if they had forgotten me) but they were clearly favouring the larger parties over smaller, instead of doing the fair thing- First come First served. I would have gotten seating faster if upon arriving, I had put my name down, then gone outside,rang them for a reservation. Never mind, the history was worth it.  However, I would recommend just getting some clam chowder in the bar, skip the long wait of a meal, and still you’ll get to soak in the atmosphere!

It was time to head back, and on the way to the bus stop, I sat on a park bench and watched the families do the maze. Good Fun. Boston just has parks galore!

And as always, back at the hotel, a friendly greeting from Katie! Nite Nite Katie!

About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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8 Responses to Five Days in Old Beantown- Day Two- Beacon Hill and Boston Harbour

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wow, was the sky really that blue that day or did you modify the image? Gorgeous. I was recently in New Hampshire and would have liked to have a day to spend in Boston, but there was too much going on to get away. Next time, I guess. 🙂

  2. I’m liking your Boston experience, Susan!

  3. zannyro says:

    Yipes….that was terrible that they made you wait so long for dinner! The rest of your trip sounds wonderful 🙂 Your pictures were wonderful and now I want to move to Boston!

  4. Chris says:

    I am inspired by the picture of Harriet Tubman, recently for school I I made a biography about her. Her story is amazing

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