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Friday, August 14, 1942
in What's New In Town
W. J. Sidis
We maintain that the original Pooh-Bah, the champion office-holder who held all offices in sight, was not as commonly reputed a Jap, but a Bostonian. His name was Edward Devotion, and it was about 1685 that he built his own house on the far side of the Back Bay (then a real bay). About that time the Muddy River section of Boston acquired the privilege of choosing a number of officers of its own, to avoid the neglect that non-contiguous regions are frequently troubled with; and Edward Devotion was all those officers. He held most of his offices in Muddy River for about twenty years until that district acquired complete independence of Boston, becoming the town of Brookline. His grandsons were the last of his line, and they left the estate to the town for school purposes. The place, however, was neglected for a century and a half, and the only "school purpose" the place was put to was using the wood from the grounds to heat the schools in winter. In 1890, however a school was finally built on the estate in the shape of three fine brick buildings surrounding old Pooh-Bah's original house in the center of the court. The school is appropriately named the Devotion School, and has served as a model for a new style of school architecture—the arrangement of three separate buildings with a square court in the middle.
According to legend, on [Tuesday] July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, a vision simultaneously occurred to two of the signers who had both become Presidents later. These were Thomas Jefferson, in Virginia, and John Adams, in Quincy. The story is that they re-lived on that semi-centennial date, the entire experience of 50 years before, but with the advantage of being able to see in the light of fifty years of later experience, the world importance of the step they were taking. And, the vision finished, both of them peacefully passed away that very day.
Permit us to correct a typographical error. In the August 7 issue of "Meet Boston," it was stated that Winthrop never had street cars. It should have stated "electric street cars." Some twenty years ago, a gasoline-operated street railway car kept chugging its way back and forth between Winthrop Beach and Point Shirley. This lone car was laid up for awhile, as the result of an auto collision, but recovered and was good for a few years more.
One of the first electric car lines in the world was the Highland Circuit in Lynn, with the cars going 'round and 'round the same loop in one direction. It has been operated with busses for the last six years, but still retains the one-way operation.
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