My historical novels Rebel Puritan and The Reputed Wife, Herodias (Long) Hicks Gardner Porter, colonial New England, travels, and whatever else seizes my fancy...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Modern Look at 17th-Century Boston

Here is a link to an article from Archeology Magazine about the unearthing of some of Boston's most significant sites, including the home of John Winthrop, Boston's first governor:

Boston in 1649
Winthrop's home was located on the main east-west road, almost due north of Corn Hill, to the left of the word "Boston." 

Modern Boston with Big Dig

To the right is a modern map of Boston, with the Big Dig shown (image from  This image is rotated about 45 degrees from the 1649 map.  The leveling of Corn Hill and other Boston hills, and a great deal of wetlands fill has altered the outline of Boston's peninsula.  Winthrop's home was located near the lower/southeast end of the red Big Dig line which runs diagonally across the peninsula.

It's exciting to see such places as Winthrop's home come to light, after being buried for centuries by more recent development.


  1. When I compare maps of today and hundreds (even thousands) of years ago, I'm amazed that many roads still follow the same path. I suppose it's partly the terrain, but also that roads and byways stay while structures around them change.

  2. Good point! I suppose the roads were set into place as soon as they started putting up buildings. Creeks get sent underground, hills get leveled, but some of those 17th century buildings are still there.


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