The Patriots’ Day explosions at the end of the Boston Marathon were placed on Boylston Street. So far, 176 were injured and three have died, caused by two pressure cooker-style bombs in black duffel bag, left concealed near the race’s end stretch.
The first bomb was placed in front of LensCrafters, 699 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116, near the end of the Boston Marathon, next to a shop called Marathon Place, to the side of a reviewing stand. The white ash of the bomb is visible above. The second bomb (below) was across from the Lenox Hotel.
What do we know about the general but specific site? The location? If we dig more deeply into the toponymy (the study of place names) of this event, what do we find?
Boylston Street is the name of a major east-west thoroughfare in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston street was known as Frog Lane (or Frogg Lane) in the early 18th century and was later known as Common Street. The street stretches from the Fenway neighborhood to Copley Square and the Boston Common.
Ward Nicholas Boylston (1747-1828; born Ward Hallowell), a descendent of the physician Zabdiel Boylston, was a man of wealth and refinement, a merchant, a philanthropist and a great benefactor of Harvard University. He was a brother of Admiral Sir Benjamin Hallowell Carew, one of Nelson’s Band of Brothers, and a nephew of Governor Moses Gill.
He was born in Boston and spent much of his life in it. His father, Benjamin Hallowell, Esq., was the Commissioner of Customs, and the family lived in the Jamaica Plain end of what was then the town of Roxbury, just south of Boston. His mother, Mrs. Mary (Boylston) Hallowell, was the daughter of Thomas Boylston, and a first cousin of Susanna Boylston, the mother of the 2nd President of the United States, John Adams, and grandmother of the 6th President, John Quincy Adams.
Ward received his early education in the free public schools of Boston. In 1770 at the request of his uncle Nicholas Boylston, he dropped his surname of Hallowell and changed it to his uncle’s name, Boylston, who promised to leave him certain large estates in his will.
In 1773, Boylston left Boston for an extended journey through Europe and Asia. In 1775 he arrived in London, living there for twenty-five years and in various aspects of trade.
In 1800 he returned to Boston.