Monday, February 13, 2012

Some South End Images: Postcards

A few years ago, the SEHS received a donation of several dozen South End postcards.  Most date from the early 20th century.  Some were never sent but many have writing, notes, and postmarks on the back- city visitors or residents describing something or sending a note to their family members or friends.

I've posted some of the postcards for your enjoyment on this chilly Monday.
The postcard above shows the Beal Nurses' Home and Registry at 406 Massachusetts Avenue.  I believe that they rented rooms in this building, known as the Palmerston.  Today, the old Savoy building (a barbershop now) and part of a Tenants' Development Corporation building occupy the site. 

The postcard above shows a room in a lodging house at 37 West Newton Street.  The postmark on the back of the card reads 1912 and the note reads "Dear Eva, Please give me your dress-maker's address.  Josephine has been very sick with measles. Call in and don't be such a stranger. Your Friend, Mrs. Fitzgerald."

This image, taken about 1912, shows Tremont Street Methodist Church, now New Hope Baptist Church, on Tremont Street between Worcester and West Concord Streets. 
This group of women is standing outside of the Trade School for Girls, located at 618-620 Massachusetts Avenue.  The Dunkin' Donuts parking lot occupies most of this space today.  This image dates to about 1917.  The note on the back is addressed to "Miss Mabel S. Long, 290 Lincoln St. Allston, Massachusetts" and reads "We are glad you like your work so much.  Thank you for writing.  Have you a kit that belongs to our set or where did you leave it?  Come back and see us when you are through work.  F.E.L."

This is one of my favorite images of the South End.  This postcard shows the corner of Columbus and Massachusetts Ave., looking east.  The building on the corner houses a market in this image and later became the home of the Hi-Hat club, a well-known center of South End and Boston nightlife.  Fire destroyed the building and Hi-Hat in 1959.  United South End Settlements' Harriet Tubman House stands there today.

The Columbia Theatre stood at 978-986 Washington Street at the intersection with Motte Street (Herald Street today) until it was demolished in 1957.  Built in 1827 as the South Congregational Church, it became a theater in 1891.  The theatre showed dramas, burlesque, vaudeville, silent movies, and talkies. 
The Herald building stands there today- .
A performance at the Columbia (the outside of the building is pictured in the postcard above this one).
The Union Rescue, pictured above in 1908, was located at 1-3 Dover Street near the corner of Tremont and Dover (now East Berkeley) Streets.  The back of this postcard is addressed to "Mrs. George Morrison, 64 West Main Street, Marlboro Mass." and says "A word home all O.K. Have eaten the (nameless) that George gave me and we liked it very much.  Baby is a different child.  I don't have to pay any attention to him he is so happy.  Hope you have a pleasant vacation.  Hastily, Minnie"
Castle Square Theater stood at the corner of Ferdinand (now Arlington), Tremont, and Castle (now Herald) Streets.  Before Castle Square Theater, the Bunker Hill Cyclorama was built here in 1888 and welcomed visitors until it shut down in 1889.  The circular Cyclorama building remained, housing the Garden Theater Arena in 1892 and then a riding club.  Most of the building was demolished to make way for the new Castle Square Theater in 1894.  The theater was renamed Arlington Theater in 1919 and then returned to the name Castle Square in 1925.  The building was torn down in 1933.  The Animal Rescue League moved into its new building on the site in 1956

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