Sunday, May 11, 2014

Faneuil Hall

A Part of Boston’s Great History
by Martha Rogers

We’ve been to Boston several times, and always visited Faneuil Hall. It was once the market place for Boston and is a central market type area now with restaurants and shops filled with tourists as well as citizens of Boston. We were there around noon on our first visit and the place was so crowded we ended up shopping until after one when the crowds thinned and then had lunch. It was well worth the delay. I enjoyed it so much that I made sure it appeared in two of my novels with Boston connections. This picture is from the early days of the building and is the original building.

Faneuil was built in 1742 by Peter Faneuil, a wealthy Boston merchant who gave it as a gift to the city. Merchants, fishermen, meat and produce sellers sold their wares to Boston shoppers. It is also where some of the country’s most famous orators spoke. The colonists protested the Sugar Act there in 1764 and established the doctrine of “no taxation without representation.” George Washington toasted the nation there on its first birthday. It was expanded in 1826 to include Quincy Market designed in the Greek Revival style

Faneuil played host to many speakers from Oliver Wendall Holmes to Susan B. Anthony and to modern politicians Ted Kennedy and President Bill Clinton. As famous and busy as it once was, the edifice fell into disrepair and many of its shops or stalls stood empty. The city tagged it for demolition in the early 1970’s, but a committed group of Bostonians sought to preserve it. In 1976, the first urban renewal project began and thoroughly changed the face of downtown Boston as the hall was restored along with additional market areas.

For two centuries a gilded grasshopper weather vane has adorned the top of  the original building and has become the symbol of Faneuil Hall. It was created by Deacon Shem Drowne in 1742, and today stands as the only totally unmodified part of Faneuil Hall.

Today it is thriving marketplace that is still a central meeting place in Boston. It offers visitors and residents alike an unparalleled urban marketplace. It is filled with an array of shops, restaurants and outdoor entertainment venues. Fanueil Hall is the destination of more than 18 million visitors annually.

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009 and writes a weekly devotional for ACFW. Martha and her husband Rex live in Houston where they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren.  A former English and Home Economics teacher, Martha loves to cook and experimenting with recipes and loves scrapbooking when she has time. She has written two series, Winds Across the Prairie and Seasons of the Heart as well as several other novels and novellas. Love Stays True, the first book in her new series, The Homeward Journey, released in May, 2013 and book 2, Love Finds Faith, in February 2014


  1. I know where I'm going when I visit Boston- Fanueil Hall. I will be looking for it. An interesting post about a man who gave a building as a gift. sharon wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Oooo...this sounds like a nice place to visit, if I ever get to Boston. It reminds me of the old city market place in Charleston.