J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Still Standing in Framingham

From Along the King’s Highway and the Metrowest Daily News, I learned of the following event last Friday:
A Framingham man told police yesterday that he had a “couple too many” before he crashed his car into the Blacksmith Minuteman statue on Union Avenue, police said. . . .

The force of the crash turned the statue 45 degrees, Pereira said.
But the blacksmith was tough enough to survive undamaged. He’s a blacksmith, after all.

According to Framingham Historic Preservation, this Minuteman statue was designed by Henry Kitson, who also did Lexington’s, and executed by his wife Theo Alice Kitson. It was dedicated in 1905 and moved to its current location in 1941, before being moved again very slightly last week.

ADDENDUM: But Universal Hub shows that a colonial-era milestone in Allston wasn’t so lucky, and now needs to be remounted. Charles Bahne tells me:
Despite the date mentioned on the web, it’s a 1729 milestone erected by Paul Dudley, marking six miles from the Old State House. Research I did a few years ago showed that it was discovered in 1916 during excavation of a nearby lot. It’s one of four stones still surviving between Roxbury Crossing and Harvard Business School, all erected by Paul Dudley in 1729. . . . This was the only one of the Dudley stones that was erected this close to the street—all the others are set back behind the sidewalk, some embedded in brick walls.
Dudley (1675-1751) was a son of a colonial governor and former colonial attorney general sitting on the Superior Court when he installed a set of milestones. They can be recognized by his initials or name under the travel information.

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