It is not a rare occasion that we find ourselves heading into the city for a day long stroll. No destination in particular, no plan. Just to wander at a decent clip through some of the most interesting parts of the city. Last Sundee found us on Beacon Hill.
Back before the time of the Revolution there were three hills here, one of which had a beacon at the top-Beacon Hill. To the south was a town common where British soldiers would drill and farmers would bring their cows to graze.
Off to the east was the harbor and the docks were busy with the comings and going of sailors with goods for the New World. When these soldiers and sailors were inclined toward unseemly activities they would saunter over to the northern slopes of the hills for cheap grog and a wench. This area became known as Mt Whoredom. It was so disreputable that (gasp!) ne’er do wells could be found playing nine pins in the middle of the night.
“Dissipated the players at Nine Pins at Mount-Whoredom. Benjamin Davis, Chairmaker, and Jacob Hasy were two of them. Reproved Thomas Messenger for entertaining them.”
-excerpt from the diary of Judge Samuel Sewell, 1715
As the city grew and more homes were required, these hills were flattened, the land used as fill,
and mansions were built overlooking the Common for the city’s prominent residents. Over the years the unsavory element was replaced by a more genteel crowd and Mt Whoredom eventually became one of the most affluent locations in MA.
After winding through the brick-clad back streets we sauntered down to Beacon St where it runs along the parks.
A quick picture I took just for the lamp. It’s difficult to see but that is a charming little art deco lantern. There are many architectural treasures to reward a stroll around this area and I didn’t take nearly enough pictures
These are the wonderful old doors behind which the Cabots and Lowells enjoy a quiet whiskey. The Somerset Club is a enclave of old Boston Brahminism that sounds to me like a little slice of heaven. But since my forebears came over on a steamer from Glasgow only 70 years ago rather than a wooden sailing ship from England almost 400 years ago, my family cannot be found on the club list. I would be very responsive to an offer of membership, if there is anyone out there that can put my name forward…
Walking down Arlington St. we turned into Boston Garden where we discovered people traipsing around the frozen pond. I was hesitant at first and rapidly tried to calculate the rough displacement of a swanboat when it dawned on me that the pond is probably no more than 4ft deep.
Good afternoon General.
Then we headed out of the Public Garden and into the fashionable boulevards of Boylston & Newbury Streets.
When I returned home that evening I happily informed Mr. Bebe that I wished to move into Beacon Hill. He responded to my enthusiasm with a patient but clearly dismissive grunt that caused a sharp frost to settle upon my countenance-obviously I will have to reconsider my options.