Episode 60: Holidays on the Harbor

If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you’ll know that the Boston Harbor Islands are one of our favorite local destinations.  This week, we’re sharing three stories from the Harbor Islands, all of which originally aired within the first 20 episodes of the podcast.  We’ll hear about the zoo shipwreck, a hermit who made her home on the harbor, and the secret Harbor Island base where Nazis were smuggled into the country after World War II.


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Episode 59: Corn, Cotton, and Condos; 378 Years on the Mother Brook

Everyone knows the Charles River and the Neponset River, but have you ever heard of the Mother Brook?  It is America’s first industrial canal, built by Puritan settlers in the earliest days of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and vital to the development of Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Dedham.  Plus, by connecting the rivers on either side, it turns the landmass occupied by Newton, Brookline, and most of Boston into an island!


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Episode 58: Harvard’s Human Computers Reach for the Stars

During an era more associated with the Wild West, a group of women in Cambridge made historic advances in the field of astronomy, discovering new stars and fundamental principles about how our universe works.  In the beginning, they were treated as menial clerical workers and paid a fraction of what their male counterparts got.  Only decades later did they win academic respect, earning advanced degrees and finally the title Professor.  They were the Human Computers of the Harvard University Observatory.


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Episode 57: Boston and Halifax, a lasting bond

On December 6, 1917, a munitions ship blew up in Halifax Harbor, causing the largest explosion until the atomic bomb was invented.  The city was devastated; thousands were killed and injured.  Before the day was over, Boston had loaded a train with doctors, nurses, and supplies.  The train raced through the night and through a blizzard to bring relief to the desperate city.  Today, Nova Scotia gives Boston a Christmas tree each year as a token of thanks.

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Episode 55: The Boy Fiend, Boston’s Youngest Serial Killer

Jesse Pomeroy was a Victorian era serial killer who stalked the streets of Boston. He predated Jack the Ripper by a decade, and the Boston Strangler by almost a century. At only 14 years old, he was known as the Boy Fiend, a child who tortured and killed his fellow children, becoming Boston’s youngest serial killer.


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Episode 49: The Tong Wars and the Great Chinatown Raid

This week’s episode takes on the early history of Boston’s Chinatown, two murders that took place there at the turn of the twentieth century, and a terrifying crackdown on Chinese Americans in Boston that sparked an international incident and has parallels in today’s headlines.  


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Episode 44: Perambulating the Bounds

Since 1651, Boston has had a legal responsibility to mark and measure its boundaries every few years.  Despite advances in technology, the practice of “perambulating the bounds” means that someone has to go out and walk the town lines.  This law is one of the oldest still on the books, but when was the last time Boston perambulated its bounds?  Listen now!


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