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IV. THE CENTRAL DISTRICT, Final Section.
On Washington, corner of Boylston Street, lately stood the Boylston Market, a plain brick structure. This was built in 1809, and at that time its site was on the outer margin of the town. It was designed by Bulfinch, dedicated with a speech from John Quincy Adams, and presented with a clock by Boylston. A fine stone structure, erected in 1888 for the Continental Clothing House, now occupies the site of the old Market. The building opposite, near the corner of Essex Street, bears a brownstone bas-relief commemorating the famous elm which once stood on that site, of which Lafayette said: “The world should never forget the spot where once stood LIBERTY TREE.” Here the Sons of Liberty used to assemble, before the Revolution, to organize resistance to British oppression. On Tremont Street, between Boylston and Mason streets, is the new and highly decorated Tremont Theatre, which has been built with many extensions in the building once occupied by Codman Hall.
On Boylston Street, midway between Washington and Tremont Streets, is the building of the Boston Young Men’s Christian Union. This organization was instituted in 1851 and incorporated in 1852. Its building is a handsome structure with its clock-tower above the Gothic front of Ohio sandstone. The building contains parlors, reception-rooms, class and reading-rooms, apartments for games, for correspondence, and President and Directors’ room, besides a gymnasium and a public hail. There is also a library of 7,000 volumes; and the collection of curiosities includes, among many other things, 475 birds whose habitat is in Massachusetts. The Union Hall seats 520 persons, and has a stage and side-rooms suitable for theatricals, for which it is often hired. Norcross Hall (which also may be hired) seats 275 persons. During the spring and summer months of 1883 the building was considerably enlarged by the addition of a wing, so that the ground area now occupied is 11,000 square feet. By this addition the library and reading-room are considerably Young Menu Christian Union. enlarged, the latter becoming the largest reading-room in the city. The area of the gymnasium is also enlarged. Many new appliances have, moreover been added to the latter, and it is now one of the finest and best equipped in the city. The benevolent work of the Union includes an employment-bureau, a boarding-house committee; committees for receptions, Christmas and New Year’s festivals to needy and worthy children, Thanksgiving dinners for members unable to be with kindred, clothing for poor children, “the country week” (vacations in the country for poor children), and rides for invalids; and a committee on churches (of all denominations). There are also ladies’ committees associated in these and other charitable and kindly labors. Lectures, readings, dramatical and musical entertainments, and practical talks on matters of science, art, history, literature, and political economy are given during the winter season. Classes are held in a great variety of branches, and also social meetings and suburban excursions for information and pleasure. The Union is free from debt.
Young Men’s Christian Union.
The Hotel Boylston, on the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets, has lately been remodelled for business purposes, and is no longer an apartment hotel. It belongs to the estate of the late Hon. Charles Francis Adams. Its architecture is pleasing and tasteful, and its location gives it a great advantage over some other fine buildings that must be viewed from the opposite side of a narrow street. Steinert Hall, an attractive and favorite hall for chamber concerts, is in the second story.
The Masonic Temple stands on the opposite corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets. The headquarters of the order for many years was the building on the corner of Tremont Street and Temple Place, remodelled for business purposes in 1885. Subsequently the several organizations, or a large number of them, were gathered in the building adjoining the Winthrop House, at the corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets. Both the hotel and the halls were destroyed by fire on the night of April 7, 1864. It was then determined to build a temple worthy of the order on the same site. The corner-stone was laid with imposing ceremonies on the 14th of October of the same year, and the temple was dedicated on the Freemasons’ anniversary, St. John’s Day, June 24, 1867. On the latter occasion President Johnson was present, having accepted an invitation to participate in the ceremonies, which drew together delegations of brethren of the order from all parts of Massachusetts and New England. The building is of fine granite. It has a front of eighty-five feet on Tremont Street, and its height is ninety feet, though one of the octagonal towers rises to the height of one hundred and twenty-one feet. It has seven stories above the basement, of which only the street and basement floors are occupied for other than masonic purposes. There are three large halls for meetings, on the second, fourth, and sixth floors, finished respectively in the Corinthian, Egyptian, and Gothic styles. On the intermediate floors are ante-rooms, small halls, and offices; while in the seventh story are three large banqueting-halls.
On Tremont Street, between Boylston and West, is a marble structure of architectural beauty, which has added not a little to the attractiveness of Tremont Street. It is occupied by the Mason & Hamlin Organ and Piano Company for their warerooms. In this building is the Boston Conservatory of Music, an admirable institution, directed by Julius Eichberg, one of the foremost of Boston musicians. In the building adjoining is the Chickering Hall, in which some of the finest chamber concerts are given during the musical season.
The retail trade of the Central District is chiefly transacted in that section bounded on the east by Washington Street, the greater part of the territory between Washington Street and the wharves being given up to wholesale business. The ladies’ quarter has its centre in the neighborhood of Washington and Winter Streets. On any pleasant day the sidewalks and stores in the immediate vicinity of that corner are crowded with ladies engaged in the delightful occupation of “shopping,” and the streets are lined with their carriages.
On the east side of Washington Street, occupying the spacious lot between Central Court and Avon Street, is the building occupied by Jordan, Marsh, & Co., as a retail dry-goods store. It has a fine front of dark freestone, five stories high. At first the building covered only a portion of the lot, and the firm occupied the street floor and basement, the second floor being used as a warerooms by Chickering & Sons, with a beautiful hall at the rear known as Chickering’s Hall, while the upper floors were arranged into suites of lodging-rooms mostly occupied by artists and other professional people. in course of time the business of the firm spread over the entire building, and large additions to the structure, extending it to Avon and Summer Streets, were made. The several floors are reached by elegant passenger elevators, and there are an abundance of conveniences for shoppers.
The dry-goods store of H. H. White & Co. is nearly opposite the Boston Theatre, and one of the chief ornaments of Washington Street, with its palatial front and the skillfully arranged displays in the windows. This establishment is perhaps the largest in New England. It now occupies the entire building extending through to the Harrison Avenue extension; and upon the corner of Bedford Street and Harrison Avenue is a fine new entrance of impressive appearance. The first and second stories of the great building are given to retail trade; the third is reserved for the wholesale trade; and on the fourth hundreds of women are engaged in making ladies’ garments. The structure occupied by this firm is a fine specimen of the commercial architecture of Boston. Their richly furnished reception room is well worth visiting.
Another great dry-goods establishment in this vicinity is that of C. F. Hovey & Co., occupying a large and massive granite building on Summer Street. There are several other great structures devoted to this business in Winter Street. One of the handsomest commercial buildings in the city is on the west side of Washington Street, near Winter Street, — a lofty edifice of light-colored stone, rich in fine carvings.
On Washington Street, east side, north of Summer Street, is the marble structure occupied by Macullar, Parker & Co., for their great wholesale and retail clothing manufactory and sales-room. Its fine front is very striking, and its internal arrangements are as perfect as its architecture. It is one of the largest buildings in the country wholly devoted to the business of clothing manufacture. It fronts forty-six feet on Washington Street, and extends back to Hawley Street two hundred and twenty-five feet. This building is nearly an exact copy of that on the same spot which was destroyed in the great fire.
Macullar, Parker & Co.’s Building.
Boston owes to the fire of 1872 a group of buildings which are among the most stately and costly of any in the city. These have been erected by life insurance companies for the most part in the immediate neighborhood of the new Post-Office. The magnificent marble building of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York is one of the most beautiful as well as one of the most expensive of them. It fronts sixty-one feet on Milk and one hundred and twenty-seven feet on Pearl Street, and is constructed of fine white marble from the Tuckahoe quarry. It is intended to be fire-proof, t h e window-sashes of iron being set in marble frames, while all the floors a reconstructed wholly of incombustible material. The architecture of the exterior is the modern French detail, adorned with elaborate carvings, and crowned by a lofty Mansard rod The chief feature is a beautiful marble tower, rising from the centre of the main front to a height of 130 feet, and terminating in a graceful spire. On the upper part of the tower is a large clock; and an alarm-bell hangs inside. Near the top of the spire is an observatory, surrounded by a brass railing.
Building of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York.
The handsome new building of the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company stands on the corner of Milk and Congress streets, with a frontage of fifty feet on the former and one hundred and eighty-one feet on the latter street, arid is one of the chief ornaments of Post-Office Square. It is built of white Con cord granite, except the basement, which is of Quincy granite, in the Renaissance style of architecture. The building is admirably constructed. A fine marble staircase runs from the first to the sixth story. The building is furnished with numerous vaults and safes, the basement alone having no less than ten safes for the accommodation of the Boston Safe Deposit Company. The New England Mutual Life occupies the second story of its building.
Building of the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company.
The Cathedral Building is a handsome iron structure on Winthrop Square, occupying the site of the ancient Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the scene of the labors of Bishop Cheverus, who was afterwards Cardinal-Archbishop of Bordeaux. It was a part of the estate of the late Isaac Rich, and its revenues formed a portion of the endowment of Boston University, until it passed to the University to which it now belongs.
The Cathedral Building.
At the south end of Winthrop Square is the Beebe-Weld Building, a large and imposing granite structure.
The Equitable Building is a lofty and massive structure on Devonshire, corner of Milk streets, opposite the Milk Street end of the Post-Office, and as near as possible to the centre of commercial Boston. It is owned by the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and was built in 1873, at a cost of $1,100,000. The walls are of Quincy and Hallowell granite, with ponderous brick backing, the floors being of impervious artificial stone on brick arches, the partitions of brick and the roof of iron amid slate. There are nine stories above the basement, which are reached by three elevators and broad stairways of marble. The basements are occupied by the massive fire and burglar-proof safe deposit vaults of the Security Safe Deposit Co. Above these are banks, railroad and mining corporations, and other offices, occupying the various stories, which are divided by heavy fire-proof partitions, with artificial stone floors laid on iron girders and arches. The roof, easily reached by elevator, commands a fine view of the city and harbor. It was formerly occupied by the United States Signal Service, with its wind-vane, anemometer, and other scientific appliances, which now uses the great roof of the Post-Office opposite. The officers of this department are continually making observations here. The cautionary signals to the vessels about to sail are displayed here, and warn of approaching storms. At another point on the roof is the great time-ball, which falls daily at precisely noon, being connected by telegraph with the Observatory of Harvard University.
The site of Franklin Street was a miry swamp, and was drained a hundred years ago by Joseph Barrell, a wealthy trader on the northwest coast of America. The reclaimed site of Franklin Street became Mr. Barrell’s garden and fish-pond, his mansion being on Summer Street. In 1793 Bulfinch and Scollay built here the first block of buildings in Boston, a line of sixteen dwellings, called the Tontine Crescent, in front of which was a grass-plot three hundred feet long, containing a monumental urn to the memory of Benjamin Franklin. Ten years later the Cathedral was erected, farther down the street, and was a great structure in Ionic architecture, designed by Bulfinch. In 1860 the Cathedral had become insecure, and the ground on which it stood was sold for enough to aid greatly in the construction of the enormous and costly Cathedral at the South End. The old Cathedral fronted on Devonshire Street, which was then known as Pudding Lane, a narrow and winding alley running by the old Boston Theatre. Several of the ancient churches were also in this vicinity, and among them was the Federal Street Church, which rose in 1744, near the corner of Federal and Franklin streets, and was conducted by Belknap, Channing, and Gannett. At the corner of Federal and Milk streets once stood the stately house from which Governor Shirley was buried, in 1771, and which was afterwards the home of the able and witty Robert Treat Paine, father and son.
One of the most extensive business blocks in the burned-over district is that erected by the late Gardner Brewer, Esq., on Devonshire, Franklin, and Federal streets. it is of Nova Scotia free-stone, and is in general highly satisfactory from an architectural point of view, though not so rich in ornamentation as others.
The Brewer Building.
Among the other large buildings whereof the architecture or the material are worthy the attention of strangers are all of those in Winthrop Square, which are almost uniformly rich in design and handsome in form; two fine buildings erected by the Sears estate, one at the corner of Summer and Chauncy streets, and the other at the corner of Franklin and Devonshire; the store at the southern corner of Washington and Summer streets. On Thanksgiving day, 1889, a most disastrous fire swept Bedford Street from Columbia to Chauncy streets, completely destroying the superb Ames building, designed by Richardson, the New England Shoe and Leather Exchange, and many other flue structures. The damage was estimated at $6,000,000.
Within the limits of this district are, as we have said, all the daily newspaper offices, and many of those of the weeklies. The section of Washington Street, between State, and just south of Milk Street has come of late years to be called “Newspaper Row.”
The office of the Transcript, the oldest of the evening newspapers, and next to the Advertiser the oldest daily in the city, is the farthest south. It is a literary paper, and noted for the excellence of it a miscellaneous reading matter. It has been long the favorite afternoon paper of Boston and vicinity, and its present quarto form is in marked contrast to its diminutive beginning. The Transcript was first published in July, 1830, and until the spring of 1875 the senior partner of the original firm was still the head of the house. The experiment was for some time one of doubtful success, but no paper in Boston is now more firmly established. During the entire period of its publication it has had but six editors-in-chief. The late Mr. Daniel Haskell, the fourth of the line, held the position for nearly a quarter of a century. The Transcript has always been a pleasant, chatty, tea-table paper, full of fresh news, literary gossip, and choice extracts from whatever in any branch of literature is new and entertaining. The large and attractive building in which it is now located is on the corner of Washington and Milk Streets. It has several special features that make it a particularly cosy and convenient office. The Transcript was unfortunate in the fire of 1872, for it was driven suddenly out of an office almost new, and gunpowder used in the cellar of the adjoining building destroyed its presses, types, and other material stored in its fire-proof, but not gunpowder-proof basement. The present building is much larger and finer than the one destroyed. Edward H. Clement is the present editor-in-chief of the Transcript.
Washington Street: Transcript Office before the Fire.
A few steps from Washington Street, on Milk Street, is the office of the Boston Post. The Post building occupies the spot which tradition declares to have been the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin. The first number of the Post was issued on the 9th of November, 1831, by Charles G. Greene. In that first number the editor promised “to exclude from its columns everything of a vindictive or bitter character;” and although he announced his intention to discuss public questions freely and fearlessly, he agreed to do so “in a manner that, if it failed to convince, should not offend.” The promise has been faithfully kept. The Post has frequently maintained the unpopular side in political controversies, but it has always done so in such a manner as to make almost as many friends among those it opposed as among persons of its own political faith. It has also always maintained a reputation for liveliness and cheerful humor that has been well deserved. In May, 1885, it passed by purchase into the hands of entirely new owners and under an entirely new management, and it has since been conducted as an independent paper. It devotes a large portion of its space to financial, commercial, and marine news, and addresses itself to business and Boston Post Building. literary men. The Post was first published in its present quarters on the morning of August 31, 1874. The street floor is used for a counting-room, the press and mailing rooms are in the basement, and on the upper floors are the editorial and composition rooms. The Post is a quarto, and is sold at two cents a copy. It is to remove at once (March, 1891) to new and spacious quarters on Washington Street, next to the Herald building.
Boston Post Building
The Boston Journal is both a morning and an evening paper. It long ago obtained an excellent reputation as a general newspaper, both for the counting-room and the family circle. It has a very large sale throughout Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire, and in consequence of the peculiar character of its constituency has always been especially strong in its New England intelligence. The Journal was founded in 1833, appearing for the first time on February 5 of that year as the Evening Mercantile Journal. On the beginning the publication of a morning edition, it took its present name. The Journal was the first newspaper in Boston to procure a Hoe press. it is now equipped with the Hoe perfecting presses, and prints from stereotyped plates. The Journal is Republican in politics. The present building was occupied in September, 1860. In March, 1880, the interior was badly injured by fire. Then it was practically rebuilt, many modern conveniences being introduced. The Journal has now one of the most convenient newspaper offices in the city. The retail price of the paper was in the winter of 1883 reduced to two cents, and the circulation was in consequence considerably increased. William W. Clapp is the present conductor of the Journal.
The Boston Journal Building.
The Herald Building is on the west side of Washington Street, nearly opposite that of the Journal. The Herald is a morning and evening paper, with a Sunday edition, and has an average daily circulation of over 100,000 copies, which is second to that of but one newspaper in America (the New York Sun). It has issued as many as 302,030 copies in a single day, a feat which is extraordinary in the history of journalism. The forms are stereotyped, since no other method would enable it to print the requisite number of copies within the limited available time. This paper was founded in 1846, as a one-cent daily, by the name of the American Eagle; and two years later assumed its present title, and took an independent position in politics, which it has maintained ever since, The editorial staff includes 44 persons; and there are 84 compositors, 30 men in the business department, and 11 in the stereotyping foundry. Early in 1878 the Herald occupied the present building which had been erected for it, with a façade in the French Renaissance style, 100 feet high from the side-walk, massively constructed and liberally equipped, with copious ornamentation in pure marbles, sculptures, metal work, and precious woods. It is quite worth while to look into the business office, on the ground-floor, and see its sumptuous adornment of many-colored polished marbles, plate-glass, and mahogany, and the busy scene which is there continually presented to view. The Herald publishes a Sunday edition, in 16-page form, of which great numbers are sold. John Holmes is the editor-in-chief of the Herald, and is a member of the Herald Publishing Company, to whom the paper was sold in 1888 by the former proprietors.
The Advertiser Building, on the east side of the street, was, before the erection of the new Globe Building adjoining it, the tallest office in “Newspaper Row.” It is a marble-front structure, extending through to Devonshire Street; and from its location in the bend of the street as well as its striking appearance architecturally, it is one of the most conspicuous buildings in the quarter. The street floor is occupied by the counting-room, a finely decorated and uniquely furnished apartment; the extensive basement accommodates the stereotyping, printing, mailing, and delivery rooms; and the upper floors are devoted to the editorial rooms, editors’ library and reception room, and the composition room. The building is provided with all the modern improvements and appliances which are to be found in the best equipped modern newspaper offices; and the entire Advertiser establishment is lighted at night by the Edison electric light. The Advertiser is the oldest daily paper in Boston, established in 1812. It was edited for many years by Nathan Hale. It is an interesting fact that the site of its former building on Court Street, from which it removed to its present building in the spring of 1883, is that from which James Franklin issued the first number of the New England Courant, in 1721. The same spot was again occupied as a printing-office in 1776, by the Independent Chronicle, to the rights of which the Advertiser succeeded. The Advertiser is accounted one of the leading morning journals of New England. In politics it is now Republican. The Boston Evening Record, started Sept. 3, 1884, as a campaign paper, became so manifestly popular that it was made a permanent enterprise. It increased rapidly in circulation, reaching a daily issue of 35,000 in little more than a year. It is a large four-page paper, is sold for one cent, and is published by the Advertiser. Its leading feature is the prompt publication of the news in attractive shape, with pithy comment. W. E. Barrett directs the business and editorial departments of both papers.
The Boston Globe occupies the lofty freestone building, next door below the new Advertiser building. The first number of the Globe was issued from its present office March 4, 1872. It was a quarto sheet, published every morning except Sunday, handsomely printed, and Edwin P. Whipple was its literary critic. Though professedly independent in politics, it advocated and maintained the cardinal doctrines of the Republican party. Subsequently it changed hands, and was for several years conducted more independently. In 1878 the Globe again changed its tone, and also its form, becoming a four-page Democratic paper. It now publishes morning and evening, and Sunday editions (the latter of twelve or sixteen pages), competing with the Herald. The present conductor of the Globe is Charles H. Taylor.
The Evening Traveller occupies a building at the corner of State and Congress streets, — quarters in which it has been established since 1854. The Daily Traveller was first issued on the first of April, 1845, as a two-cent evening paper, — the first in Boston to adopt a price so low. The weekly American Traveller had then been issued more than twenty years, having been first published in January, 1825. In its day the American Traveller was the great paper for stage-coaches and steamboats. When the daily was founded, it adopted a course quite different from that of any other paper in Boston. It aimed to be a moral and religious organ as well as a medium of news. The old traditions are still retained to some extent in the Traveller, but it long ago adopted the purveyance of news as its leading object. In this particular its reputation is firmly established, the news department, under a liberal management, being always prompt and full. The editorial and composition rooms are on the third and fourth floors of the building. The Traveller is owned and managed by Roland Worthington, for some years collector of the port of Boston. A view of the Traveller Building is given in the illustration of State Street, on page 70.
Within “Newspaper Row” or its immediate neighborhood are the offices of the several exclusively Sunday papers, — the Saturday Evening Gazette, conducted by Colonel Henry G. Parker, which is largely devoted to society news; the Boston Courier, formerly one of the leading dailies, now conducted by Joseph R. Travers, and edited by Arlo Bates; the Boston Sunday Budget; and the Boston Times. Here also are the offices of the Beacon, a literary and society paper published Saturdays, the Commercial Bulletin, the Republic, and other serial publications devoted to special interests.
Farther up Washington Street, nearly opposite the Globe Theatre, is the office of The Boston Pilot, which is the headquarters of a vast influence over the Roman Catholics of America. It is a weekly paper of large size — the largest Catholic paper in America — and has a circulation unequalled by that of any other Catholic paper in the world. The Pilot is owned by Archbishop Williams and Mr. John Boyle O’Reilly, and is ably edited by the latter, whose pen has done distinguished service in other directions, and who has a well established reputation as a graceful poet.
In connection with the newspapers, general and class journals, it may be interesting to glance at the cosmopolitan character of the Puritan City, and to note the widely divergent elements which go to make up the Bostonian of today. According to the census of 1885, out of a total population of 390,393, there were born in foreign countries 133,295. By far the larger part of the foreigners are from Ireland, which has sent 67,745 of the present citizens of the New England metropolis. Canada (British America) comes next, with 30,356. Great Britain has given us nearly 13,650 in the following detachments: England 10,197; Scotland, 3,193; Wales, 254. It seems that the stream of emigration from the British Isles, which Maverick and Winthrop started, has not yet ceased to flow to the shores of Massachusetts Bay. Germany has now 8,810 representatives in Boston; Sweden and Norway have 2,533; Holland, 326; Denmark, 225; and Russia and Poland, 1,854. The Latin nations have made but slight contributions to this great Gothic migration, although 2,378 have come from sunny Italy, 1,039 from France and Switzerland, 1,122 from Portugal, and 274 from China.
The clubs located within this district are the Temple, the oldest in the city, and the Paint and Clay, one of the youngest. The club-house of the former is in West Street, situated in its own building, No. 35, opposite Mason Street and near the rear or “carriage” entrance to the Boston Theatre. This is a social club organized in 1829. The character of the Paint and Clay is well indicated by its name. It is a club of professional men, largely artists. Its rooms are on the upper floor of No. 419 Washington Street. It was established in 1880. Exhibitions of work of its artist members are made annually, generally in the spring.
We end this chapter, as we began it, with a view in State Street. This time our sketch shows the magnificent row of warehouses at the lower end of State Street, known as State Street Block, which contains some of the most substantially built and commodious stores in Boston. The building, or rather the collection of buildings, covers an area 425 feet long on State and Central streets, and is of a uniform depth of 125 feet. The walls are laid in rough granite ashlar. The stores have each five stories and a double attic above the street, and the height of the buildings from the street to the crown of the roof is about 92 feet. The general appearance of this block of fifteen stores is of extreme solidity. The excellence of construction was proved by fire but a week after the great conflagration of November, 1872, when one of these stores, filled with exceedingly combustible material, was wholly destroyed without doing injury to the stores on either side.
Many other wharves in Boston besides Long Wharf are covered with solid and capacious warehouses, though this State Street Block is the largest and most elegant of all. The visitor in the city will find agreeable occupation for many a leisure hour in wandering about the wharves, where there is, under the revival of commerce in Boston, a perpetual scene of activity. The most important wharves in Boston proper beside Long Wharf are those in the immediate vicinity of State Street, — especially Central, India, and T Wharves, where most of the large steamers in the coasting trade arrive, and whence they depart. Atlantic Avenue, which has become an important channel of communication between the several wharves, passes directly across the fore-ground of our view of State Street Block. This avenue was laid out in 1868, extended 1874. It is a broad, well-paved street, which is almost entirely given up to the heavy drays that transfer freight from wharf to wharf, or from vessels to the business warehouses. Through its centre runs the Union Freight railroad, which unites by a short and easy route the northern and the southern railway lines. The line reaches front the Lowell Railroad freight station, on Lowell Street, to the Old Colony, on Kneeland Street. This company owns no rolling-stock whatever, and its sole office is to transfer freight-cars from one line to another, or from the railroads to the wharves. This is done chiefly or altogether by night, and thus the regular traffic is not interfered with in the least. By the use of this line it has been made possible to load vessels at the large wharves directly from cars brought into the city over railroads that have no deep-water connection in the city proper. It is owned jointly by the Old Colony and Boston and Providence Railroad Companies.
State Street Block.
Before leaving this section of the city notice should be taken of the new system of sewerage. By this system the mouths of the numerous common sewers which formerly opened into the ocean at different points along the water front of the city are connected by intercepting sewers which encircle the city, and join the new main sewer on the south side of the city. This main sewer, which is 34 miles long, ends at the Pumping Station at Old Harbor Point, on the seacoast in Dorchester, about a mile from any dwelling. In flowing by gravitation to this point, the sewage descends from 11 to 14 feet below the elevation of low tide. To reach its final destination, about 2 ½ miles further, it is raised by pumping about 35 feet and flows through a tunnel under Dorchester Bay to Squantum, and thence through an open flume to Moon Island, where it is stored in a reservoir, and let out into the harbor twice a day at high water. The two principal evils of the old system are thus practically corrected. These were: First, the damming up of the common sewers by the tide, by which, for much of the time, they were converted into stagnant cesspools; the air in them was compressed, and to find outlets was driven into house-drains and other openings. Second, the discharge of the sewage on the shores of the city in the immediate vicinity of population, thereby causing nuisances at many points. It was estimated that in 1869 there were 100 miles of sewers in Boston, and in 1886 about 226 miles.