The Boston Stone

Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Stone is a unique structure just off Boston’s Freedom Trail. The history of the stone is mostly unknown and its inscription raises questions.
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About This Location

Nestled amidst the bustling streets near Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, lies a hidden gem of historical intrigue: the enigmatic Boston Stone. Tucked away at the base of a nondescript alleyway, this unassuming granite marker bears a simple inscription: “Boston Stone 1737.” Yet, behind its unassuming facade lies a rich tapestry of lore and legend.

According to local folklore, the Boston Stone was originally brought to the city from England in either 1635 or 1700 by Thomas Childs, a painter who used it as a millstone for grinding paint pigments. Lost to obscurity after Childs’ passing in 1706, the stone resurfaced centuries later during the construction of a new building on Marshall Street. Embedded in the foundation, it became a curious relic of Boston’s colonial past.

Debate surrounds the true significance of the Boston Stone. While some claim it marked the geographic center of Boston, serving as a reference point for colonial surveyors, evidence suggests otherwise. Historical records indicate that the stone’s inscription may have been a marketing ploy by a local merchant in the 19th century, rather than a genuine landmark for measuring distances to the city.

Today, the Boston Stone remains a quiet observer of the city’s evolution. Despite its disputed origins, it continues to captivate the imaginations of passersby, serving as a subtle reminder of Boston’s rich history. Embedded in the foundation of a building on Marshall Street, it stands as a testament to the enduring allure of the past in the heart of one of America’s oldest cities.

Location

Address: Marshall Street, Boston, Massachusetts
Place GPS Coordinates: 42.361712, -71.056825
Parking GPS Coordinates: 42.361712, -71.056825
Parking Notes: No parking is available along Marshall Street, but there are plenty of public parking options nearby along other streets and in garages as well as lots.

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