Tag Archives: boston hidden gems

Spooky Hidden Gem: Boston Light

Boston Light haunted

As one of the oldest cities in America, Boston has more than its fair share of spooky history. An often overlooked location for this is Boston Light; it is both the first lighthouse to be built in the United States and the home to multiple chilling catastrophes.

Located on Little Brewster Island in the Boston Harbor, Boston Light was first lit in September of 1716. Its first keeper, George Worthylake, had a starting salary of £50 guiding all vessels bound for the Hub. It wasn’t long after this humble beginning that disaster struck. In 1718, when returning from a visit to Boston, Worthylake drowned with his wife and daughter when their boat unexpectedly capsized. The tragedy inspired a ballad written by a young Benjamin Franklin, who sold the “wretched” poem as a printer’s teenage apprentice.

BL1The misfortune surrounding the island, however, continued to affect those working in and around the lighthouse. When held by British forces during the American Revolution, the redcoats sustained “heavy losses” after an ambush by the colonists. Ever since reconstruction in 1783, it has witnessed the deaths of both light keepers and sailors alike. From Confederate prisoners to shipwreck victims, Boston Light has seen the demise of countless individuals on and near her shores.

Are the spirits of Boston Light’s dead still haunting the lighthouse and the island it sits on?

BL2Members of the Coast Guard, after taking over management in the 1930s, have reported numerous sightings and events that aren’t easily explained. Sometimes a man in an old-fashioned uniform is spotted in the lantern room; others times it has been a woman in a white gown, both disappearing before others could enter and investigate. Visitors and workers have also heard ghostly sounds, including “horrible maniacal laughter” and a little girl crying for a long-passed slave.

Whatever noises that the dead may make has no effect on the “Ghost Walk,” an area nearby that no sound can pierce. This part of the sea spooked even the most seasoned mariners, as neither the lighthouse bell nor its powerful cannon could be heard within it. Not even a team of MIT students, who studied the phenomenon in 1893, could crack the mystery. The silence of the Ghost Walk remains an unsolved anomaly to this day; an ominous counterpart to the haunted Boston Light.

Source Credit: New England Lighthouses
Photo Credit: Boston Harbor Beacon and New England Lighthouses

Hidden Gem: The Museum of Modern Renaissance

boston hidden gem

The Museum of Modern Renaissance has given many Tufts University students and Somerville residents pause at its eye-catching location near Powder House Square. Originally a Unitarian Church and then a masonic lodge, the building at 115 College Avenue was transformed in 2002 into a vibrant “Temple of Art”.

 

boston hidden gem

The creation of the museum was the dream of two Russian artists, Nicholas Shaplyko and Ekatrina Sorokina. They fashioned a playful space filled with their own artwork that brings the visitor into another dimension. Covering almost every surface of the Museum with fresco-like paintings called “Mystical Realism,” the artists transformed their home into a fantasy world full of mythological themes. From the front hall, which they call the “Parade of Planets,” to their workroom that also serves as an indoor garden in winter, to the teapot-themed bathroom, their artwork graces the entire building. All the art is a collaboration of the two married artists.

 

museum of modern renaissance

The outside of the building (pictured above) is as kaleidoscopic as the interior. The facade is reminiscent of an Incan ruin, with a large stone face above the doorway and a colorful bull on the door. Although the museum is not open to the public, there are tours available by appointment. The doors also open for various concerts and the annual Somerville Open Studios.

Source Image Credit

 

Hidden Gem: The Judson B. Coit Observatory

Boston University Hidden Gem

Have you ever wanted to see the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter or the other planets and stars close up? Then the Judson B. Coit Observatory at Boston University is the place to go. Members of the pubic are allowed to view the wonders of the solar system on their Public Open Night, held most Wednesday evenings throughout the year, weather permitting. Visitors are given telescopes and binoculars to observe the night sky. Since weather is a factor, observations are canceled when there are clouds, haze, or rain. As well as observing the stars, you will also have a great view of Boston from the roof.

Boston Hidden GemsThe Observatory is named for Judson Coit, who spent the major part of his professional career as Professor of Astronomy at Boston University where he created the Department of Astronomy. He also developed a teaching and research observatory, which is named in his memory. The Observatory was originally located on the roof of the College of Liberal Arts Building on Boylston Street until the late 1940s, when it was moved to its current location on Commonwealth Avenue.

Hours & Admission: The Open Nights are held most Wednesday evenings throughout the year, weather permitting. Admission is free.

Source | Image Credit