Being one of the oldest cities in the United States, the capital of Massachusetts offers plenty of stories every year. Featuring a long history of inventions and a unique layout, Boston has so much that makes it stand out from other major cities in the country. Here are some of the most interesting facts about this city.
1. It has 23 Neighbourhoods
An amazing thing about this city is that there are so many districts making up this city. It has 23 neighbourhoods in all, comprising it in entirety, each having its own cultures and specialties. Downtown and the North End are the two famous neighbourhoods for tourist attractions while East Boston, Roxbury and Dorchester are quite diverse with their own vibrant heritage and culture. Roslindale and Jamaica Plain offer beautiful green spaces and community shops and the district of Allston is a mini-college town in itself. Beacon Hill, the Back Bay and South End host wonderful streets lined depicting the history of this place.
2. There was a ban on Christmas
One of the laws imposed by the Puritans when they were in Massachusetts was the ban on Christmas celebration in 1659. There were varied reasons for the prohibition including the way it was celebrated but one who was caught celebrating Christmas had to pay a fine of 5 shillings. It was in 1681 that the law was discarded after over 20 years without a Christmas holiday.
3. A large part of Boston was covered with water
The majority of the area was once underwater and a part of the Charles River. It was in the 1800s that the place started getting filled along the coast and the city took its form. The presently called West End was first filled with the landfill of Mill Pond and was followed by the big expansion project that added more than 300 acres to the town. The waters around Charlestown, East Boston and South End were eventually filled with the land and gravel. A total of 5000 acres of the city was filled by man.
4. It was home to numerous firsts
Being one of the oldest American cities, it has seen a lot of firsts. The Boston Public Library was the first municipal library in the United States while the Boston Common was the first public park. It was in 1897 that the first subway system in America started in this city. The first public school in America was the Boston Latin School established in 1635 while Harvard is the first higher education institution. Apart from this, the first American lighthouse was made in this city and the first telephone call was made by Graham Bell in his laboratory in Boston. The first chocolate factory also started here.
5. It has many weird laws in place
After the arrival of Puritans, many strict laws were imposed most of which would seem to be fun activities today. These include the ban on drinking and card playing. Eventually, many of the laws were changed though a number of them are technically effective until today. Some of the examples of these weird laws include the need for a license to wear a goatee, the need for a prescription to take bath, ban on snoring with windows or doors open. Though they exist in books, most of them are not followed at the time.
6. It is the only US state capital with a coastline
While it was not the first state capital in the United States, it has a title for being the only capital with a sea coastline. The mainland has a shoreline of 47 miles and there are 34 harbor islands open to the public during a specific time of the year. People can walk along the coastline of 43 miles on a public walkway called Boston Harborwalk spread along the shores and beaches of this city.