Boston Groupie News

WHILE the main section of Winthrop was developing as has been described, what is now Point Shirley was not inactive but for the sake of clarity, the growth of this distinctly separate part of Sobriety the town has been kept until this point. purchased the old house from the Pitts heirs, thus bringing it back into the Bill family, for his wife was Anna Bill, daughter of Jonathan Bill 2nd.

Cheseborough constantly went armed and greatly increased his income by the heads of wolves he shot, for there was a bounty on the great, grey dog-like creatures then. Aside from a fondness the Indians had for cow meat in place of venison, which resulted in many petty difficulties, the chief cause of friction Alcohol dependence between the reds and the whites was that of land titles. Legally, of course, title came down from the King of Great Britain. However, to make doubly sure, especially with the Gorges suits either pending or threatening, it was the common practice for the Puritans to also “buy” their lands from the Indians.

BIll Stover, because of his youth, was not able to mix the chemicals so Edison stepped in behind the counter and mixed the brew himself. Towards the end of 1884, Winthrop was amazed at the report that a human skeleton had been found buried at the foot of Woodside Avenue. The British soldier’s body had drifted ashore at the foot of Woodside Avenue and had been buried where it was discovered. Identification was made by the presence of a bronze badge with the British coat of arms — a sort of buckle or fastener employed as part of the uniform belt British marines then wore. Soon after July first every available cottage was occupied and the hotels were comfortably filled from then on until Labor Day.

Jonathan Belcher and his son, Jonathan, Jr., occupied the southerly and easterly side together with Hugh Floyd, who had leased the old Winthrop farm, although he also owned farms in Revere and in Malden, being a man of considerable means for the times. Andrew Tewksbury and Nathaniel Belcher were then farming on Deer Island and, although legally citizens of Boston, considered themselves citizens of Pullen Poynte. During the Indian Wars, Winthrop’s sole share seems to have been to act as a sort of wall to aid in the confinement of the Indians imprisoned on Deer Island during King Phillip’s War. The Colony simply dumped the Indians upon the bleak shore and left the wretched people to their own devices.

One of the most prominent summer residents at the Point in the later part of the 18th century was Governor John Hancock, who built himself a villa next to the old brick house standing today on Siren Street. Here, as evidence, a friend at Boston sent a letter to Mrs. Hancock, addressing it “Att Point Shirley, via Apple Island.” Contemporary critics laid the blame at the door of the proprietors, saying they were so fond of pleasure and good times they neglected the business.

Thanks to this group, the house was repaired and it is now safely protected against time and the weather and although 300 years old and more should continue for many years to come — one of the oldest houses in Greater Boston. Deane Winthrop died on his birthday, March 16, , (O.S.) at the age of 81. Of his nine children, only one son and three daughters survived him. He was buried at the old church on Beach Street, Revere — at the time the only churchyard in the vicinity.

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On January 23, 1916 the location of the Sunday School was changed to Columbia Hall, Wadsworth Block. At subsequent meetings Readers, officers and By-Laws were voted upon and accepted. An Executive Board was also elected and sixty-eight members, thirteen of whom were recognized Christian Science Practitioners, signed the Association paper or the Charter of the Church.

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Thomas Pratt, who a few years later purchased the Winthrop Beach and the Point Shirley sections of Winthrop. He was originally associated in the mill venture with other citizens and it was operated for many years but apparently with less and less profit. In 1790 the town was asked to excuse the mill from taxes and in 1792 the town was requested to purchase the mill as a public utility. So in 1795, the mill shut down and Alcoholism the whole site went to ruin, a condition which continued until 1835 when the Slade Spice Company purchased the property and erected the mill which has been in operation, more or less continuously, ever since. Winthrop was still a country town and there was no need for good roads. The original way laid out by the committee of which Deane Winthrop was a member in 1698, previously mentioned, sufficed for many years.

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It seems unlikely the proud and able Indians of eastern Massachusetts would have allowed white men to seize their land and level their forests. However, about 1617 or 1618, a fierce pestilence swept through the Indian villages. Possibly it was smallpox; probably it was a European disease which was communicated to the Indians by some fisherman or sailor. In any event, the Indians were very nearly wiped out of existence; only an impotent handful remaining.

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Winthrop thus by 1910 was well developed and its character firmly fixed. In the state as a whole, transportation flourished as various inventions of the industrial age were put into practice.

While most folks are curled up on couches, winding down from the long weekend, 50 or so people—mostly white, many over the age of 50—have filed into the basement of a YMCA in East Boston’s Orient Heights neighborhood. I’ve forgone the lure of my own couch north of the Charles to check out the dynamic of discord in Boston’s hottest new real estate market. There are 103 one-bedroom units, 148 two-bedroom apartments, 117 three-bedroom apartments, and 28 four-bedroom apartments, adding a diverse flavor to the community. There is a laundry room on each floor of the mid-rise apartment building and laundry hookups in the townhouses.

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There were slaves, of course hut they were mostly house servants in homes of wealth. There was an attempt made to enslave after a fashion or else to hire Indians to work — but this was a dismal failure. The Indians, once their bellies were filled, would not work until they were hungry again. The first were criminals — you could be hanged for stealing a loaf of bread in England then — who were given the choice of transportation overseas and working out their penal sentences as laborers. There was no silverware; indeed no forks at all, for they were then unknown. Instead, Cheseborough used his hunting knife both to cut and to convey solid food to his mouth. Liquids he ate with a wooden spoon, probably, although there were silver and pewter spoons at Boston.