This St. Patrick’s Day, Boston Uncharted are releasing a Boston Irish history map and running a photo-scavenger hunt around Boston’s city center, which highlights the historic Irish history and living connection to Ireland throughout the Bean Town.
It’s no surprise that Boston’s history is riddled with great Irish figures. As part of the 2012 U.S. government census, 34.1 million people claimed Irish ancestry, and of course Massachusetts has the highest percentage.
During the Great Hunger, 100,000 Irish refugees found solace in Boston. Now, as Uncharted Boston put it, “the heritage of Boston is so deeply entwined with that of its Irish population that it is sometimes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins”.
While many who walk through Boston might not notice these monuments to Irish figures, the Boston Uncharted map and photo-scavenger hunt will highlight important Irish sites and figures throughout Boston’s history.
Here are just a few of the highlights from the map, to whet your appetite:
The Irish Famine Memorial
(at Washington and School Streets)
These two bronze statues were erected in 1998, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Great Hunger. The first statue shows the Hunger: a starving woman looking up to the Heavens as if to ask "why?" while her children cling to her. The other statue signifies Hope and shows the tired, hungry, and poor immigrants arriving in America.
The James Michael Curley Statues
(at Faneuil Hall)
This politician, whose parents were both born in County Galway, served as mayor of Boston a total of four times and one term as the Governor of Massachusetts. It’s no wonder he has two statues!
Curley was known by several names in Boston—among them “the Purple Shamrock”, “The Rascal King”, or just plain “Curley”.
His popularity in Boston was such that he was once re-elected mayor while serving time in prison for a felony conviction.
John Boyle O'Reilly Memorial
(at Boylston St and The Fens)
An Irish-born poet, journalist and writer, this County Meath man was exceedingly prolific. As a youth in Ireland, he was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, or Fenians, for which he was transported to Western Australia. After escaping to the United States, he became a prominent spokesperson for the Irish community and culture, through his editorship of the Boston newspaper The Pilot, his prolific writing, and his lecture tours.
These are just some of the highlights to be featured on Uncharted Boston’s fun map for St. Patrick’s Day and photo scavenger hunt. If you’d like to get your own business involved in these St. Patrick’s Day activities, email BostonUncharted@gmail.com.
Visit www.bostonuncharted.com for more.