BHCA Community Corner

Another Halloween has passed

What makes Halloween on Beacon Hill so special is more than the hoards of trick or treaters, colorful and lavish door and window decorations, and scores of visitors on themed walking tours that thrill with spine-chilling stories about the grisly Parkman House murder and terrifying tales of the Boston Strangler.

It is about the community coming together every year to share in the celebration. It’s about parents as much as children having fun dressing up in creative costumes. It’s about watching children grow up, neighbors greeting neighbors and inviting each other into their homes.

“We at the Beacon Hill Civic Association like to think we have something to do with this,” said President Suzanne Besser. “For at least 20 years we’ve been behind the scenes securing necessary city permits, making arrangements with the Boston Police Department and hauling barriers to close the streets so our community can celebrate Halloween in a safe and welcoming place. Last night we set up a tent to greet neighbors and give spooky bracelets to all the goblins and ghosts who stopped by.”

It’s that time of year again

Wanted: 2,860 yards of laurel garlands and 2,400 red bows to decorate 1,100 lamp posts on Beacon Hill.

This can only mean one thing: It’s time again to kick-off the holiday season by joining the magic at the 21st annual ‘Garlands and Greens: A Holiday Gathering,’ to be held at The Hampshire House on Wednesday, November 16 from 6-9 pm.

The popular party that draws folks from all over the community is hosted by Tom Kershaw, the Hampshire House chairman who is considered to be the founder of the neighborhood’s annual tradition to dress the lamp posts in their holiday finery. He generously offers guests a festive evening of camaraderie with live jazz music by local musicians Lisa Macalaster & Richard Pierce, all to help raise funds for the holiday decorations.

Tickets for this year’s Garlands and Greens are now on sale now for $35 for BHCA members and $40 for non-members at Tickets include two complimentary glasses of beer, wine, or a holiday martini, hors d’oeuvres and the chance to take home a drawing prize.

Be sure to follow the Beacon Hill Civic Association on its website, Facebook page and Twitter as holiday events grow near.

A Piece of the Past

Despite the 1920 widening of Charles Street, by 1928 the BHCA told the mayor that the street, which bordered “the best residential district in the city,” was now experiencing the worst traffic ever. Its leaders proposed a diversion of trucks to downtown streets, installation of new lighting, the removal of existing rail tracks and a new subway station at Charles and Cambridge streets.

Despite considerable opposition from government leaders and the city of Cambridge, BHCA leaders, along with other advocates such as Mass General Hospital, kept at it until 1930 when a further widening of Charles Street and a traffic circle at Charles and Cambridge were planned. Finally, a new subway station seemed a legitimate expense for the public to bear. Construction followed and on February 28, 1932, a new Charles Circle station opened to the public.

[Source: Beacon Hill: The Life and Times of a Neighborhood]

Looking with compassion for a solution

Don’t miss the Town Meeting on Homelessness at 7 pm on Thursday, November 10 at 74 Joy Street. Sponsored by the BHCA Safety Committee in conjunction with the Area A-1 Boston Police Department, Captain Kenneth Fong, district commander, and Community Service Officers John Doris and Kerry Wells, who oversees its homeless programs, will talk about ways to deal with various aspects of the homeless population. This program is being held in response to recent concerns about the increase of intoxicated individuals loitering and littering on their properties that were expressed by residents living near Cambridge Street.

City Hall To Go Truck

The City Hall To Go Truck brings City Hall to 66 Charles Street from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm on Friday, November 4.  From parking permits to dog licenses, it offers a selection of city services.

Get involved

Our committees and special events comprise volunteers working together from all over the neighborhood to assure that we all have a good quality of life here. We welcome you to jump aboard.

Garlands & Greens: A Holiday Gathering

Wednesday, November 16. 6-9pm

The Hampshire House

Town Meeting on Homelessness

Thursday, November 10. 7pm

74 Joy Street

Holiday Decorating Days

Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4

Throughout the neighborhood

Visit our website and/or call the office (617-227-1922) for more information on how to get involved.


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