Anniv of Boston Tea Party, Boston Harbor (1905)

Boston and environs

Boston and Environs by Walker (1905)
Boston and Environs by Walker (1905) image detail
Date: 1905
Author: Walker
Dwnld: Full Size (9.28mb)
Source: Library of Congress
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This map isn't part of any series, but we have other maps of Boston that you might want to check out.

In honor of the 238th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, I bring you this beautiful 1905 birdseye map of Boston Harbor [gmap].

Much of the harbor depicted on this map is now filled-in. I'd have never have guessed how much. This was brought home to me in a pretty interesting way a couple years ago.

My buddy Chad and I periodically have to travel for work, and sometimes the work is of the "hurry up and wait" variety, where we'll have a couple hours to kill in an unfamiliar city. One develops ways to cope with this, and we'll usually try to look for an art museum, or see some tourist thing.

Well in Boston, on a tourist map, we see "Site of the Boston Tea Party", and figure "what the hell", and go to check it out.

Well, you walk out on this bridge -- the Congress Street Bridge if I'm remembering correctly -- and there's this plaque that says "Site of the Boston Tea Party". Then just as, presumably, a wave of patriotic reflection is to be washing over you, you read on.

The body text then says, (paraphrasing) "The Boston Tea Party didn't happen here. We have no idea where it happened. It was filled in at some point and we lost it. Sorry.".

Well, it's hard not to feel a bit mislead by being brought out there just to get okey-doked like that. Boston board of tourism: were you just trying to get more foot traffic on that particular bridge?

Double-check me on this if you doubt me; you'll be surprised to find -- as I was -- that this is absolutely true. We have no idea where it happened.

For more map resources and imagery from this period in Boston's history, check out the Massachusetts Historical Society's website.



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