Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Old age ain't no place for sissies

At a width of only 9 feet, 200 ½ Montgomery Street of Baltimore may trump Boston's narrow house at 44 Hull Street. Yet I hear my loyal readers harken their humble correspondent to the defense of our town. Surely, I hear them say, we will not be bested by Charm City. Surely, their words falling upon my ears, St. Botolph can outdo Cæcilius Calvert in another regard.

To which yr humble correspondent says, Yes, dear readers. Yes we can — for Boston has age, and the age of our structures will surely top those found in the city of (Lord) Baltimore.


Image: North End Boston

Three of the oldest houses in the United States can be found in Boston, as can the oldest public building and the oldest continuously-operated restaurant. The Parker House makes the same claim, being the nation's oldest hotel, and one that played host to presidents, assassins, revolutionaries, inventors and authors.

Yr humble correspondent has already remarked upon the city's oldest set of stairs, but has neglected to point thirsty readers to the city's oldest tavern. The Bunker Hill Monument predates the Washington Monument by quite a few years, making it, yr humble correspondent believes, the oldest major obelisk to be constructed in this country.

Boston is also home to a number of other "oldests," which are, granted, not buildings, but are still deserving of recognition. There's the oldest professional organization of chefs, the oldest geneaological and historical societies, the oldest public park, and quite a few of the oldest cemeteries. Berthed in Boston Harbor is the oldest still-commissioned vessel in the United States Navy, the USS Constitution, and let us not forget that the nation's oldest recorded living man is a Red Sox fan.

As a city known for its institute of learning, my dear readers should know that Boston Latin is the oldest public school in the United States, opened in 1635, followed close-on-the-heels by Roxbury Latin, established ten years later. Our city's Athenaeum hosts one of the oldest independent libraries, and the nation's oldest public library is located in Back Bay.

(Oh, and then there's Harvard, the nation's oldest college.)

1 Comments:

Blogger Charles said...

Not only is the Bunker Hill Monument the oldest obelisk, the railway which was created to bring the granite from the Quincy guarries to the Neponset River is one of the oldest railroads in the country.

Regards.

http://bostonhistory.typepad.com

3:15 PM  

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