Logo   History of Boston, Massachusetts
The Pilgrims settled in Plymouth in 1620, and soon afterwards in Boston, which had a better harbor, and the story starts from there....




Soon Boston was the prime English colonial town, and the other great cities of New England were offshoots from this early colony.

In its earliest days (1630s) Boston was called "Trimountain," for the three hills around which the settlement was built.

At that time Trimountain was almost an island, connected to the mainland only by the narrow natural causeway called "Boston Neck."

Boston was the first large colonial town in British North America, first in resistance to British measures that brought on the Revolutionary War, and first in learning, science and culture during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The pattern of arriving by ship in Boston and then pushing on into the hills beyond was to be a permanent feature of New England life. Much of New England was settled in this way.

Thomas Hooker set out from Cambridge MA in 1636 to found Hartford CT, and about the same time Roger Williams fled Boston to found Providence RI.

Consequently, today Boston is a rich mixture of ethnic neighborhoods, almost a little United Nations, from Chinatown to the Italian neighborhood of the North End and Irish South Boston.

During the Revolutionary War, Boston was the site of a signal strategic victory by General George Washington at Dorchester Heights. More...

In the 19th century an ambitious urban development plan resulted in the leveling of two of Trimountain's three hills and the moving of the dirt to fill in the Back Bay adjoining Boston Neck.

The marsh and bogs that were filled in to make the Back Bay district soon became a prime residential area with a Manhattan-style grid of streets and a wide, shady central boulevard called Commonwealth Avenue, an essential link in Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks and green spaces.

"Boston is the Hub of the Universe," or at least that's what many people remembered Dr Oliver Wendell Holmes, the great 19th-century poet, writer and physician, as saying.

Actually, his statement about his beloved city was less ambitious: "The Boston State House is the Hub of the Solar System."

—by Tom Brosnahan

Finding Your Way in Boston

What to See & Do in Boston

New England History

Famous New Englanders

About Boston

Excursions from Boston

Tourist Information

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Acorn Street, Beacon Hill, Boston MA

Historic Acorn Street, on
Beacon Hill in Boston MA.





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