Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Two Scollay Scenes
I fell in love with this 1860 photograph of a horsecar passing by Pemberton square along Tremont Row.This is Scollay square wayyy back in the day. The day in this case is pre-Civil War days, when the horse car was a new conveyance on the streets of Boston. Just a few years before this photograph was taken, there were no rails in the streets, and passengers would have been riding in omnibuses, which were long, multi-passenger coaches pulled by a team of horses. With the use of rails, horses were able to pull significantly more weight, and cars got larger.
When I first saw the top photograph, I wondered if I could identify S. R. Niles. Sure enough, Stephen R. Niles showed up in the 1855 Boston Directory at 1 Scollay's building. And the 1865 Directory identifies him as an advertising agent, with a home at 17 Pinkney street. The city took the building to open the street in 1870, and in 1870 Niles' business is located at 6 Tremont street.
George R. Hichborn, auctioneer, first appears in the Boston Directory in 1855 at 10 Faneuil Hall. In 1865, Hichborn (and son, apparently) are in the Scollay building as seen above. In 1872, the building has been removed, and Hichborn & Co. is at 63 Court st. They were still present at that address in 1885, but by 1905, the company is not listed, and Samuel Hichborn is principal assessor in City Hall.
George H. Chapin doesn't appear in the 1865 Directory, showing up in 1870, just as the building is going to be taken and pulled down. This dates the second photograph above (if we can trust the directories) to a date between those two years. Google informs me that the farm agency was a real estate agency selling farms. When Scollay's building came down, Chapin moved to 24 Tremont Row, basically across the street. In 1885, Chapin is also listed as a publisher, and is located on Washington street, and in 1905, the listing is 'real estate and publisher' - no mention of farms any more - although in 1925, it's back to 'farm agency.'
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