Okay, last time, I had Martha, Me, and Linda on the beach. It was getting dark, and a little chill, so we’d headed back to her house. We arrived, and she ushered us into her home.
She then made us a lovely light supper and we ate. Then, I left the two of them to their conversation in the front room...teaching, educational theory, pedagogy, mutual friends, family, politics...and I wondered off to read on the front porch. It was a beautiful evening, and the weather was mild, and my little kindle provided its own merry light.
About The photos: Two today. First, Martha on the beach collecting a few shells. We mailed them home to us later on the trip.
I then wondered why the area was called “Point Of Pines.” There is obvious answer--i.e., at one time, before the place was all houses and swimsuits, there had been pine trees growing there. Like I say, the obvious answer. Which means, of course, that it is probably wrong. I haven’t been able to find a definitive answer, but I gather that the whole area was originally known as Chelsea Beach, and that the “Point” was an area that projected out into the Atlantic. Here, there were three major hotels catering to tourists and visitors, of which one was “The Pines Hotel.”
And, I’m guessing the hotel gave its name to the land upon which it sat. Which is... interesting, in its own odd way. (I’ll keep digging and see if I can find any other information on it.)
Anyway, the whole area has a complicated history. What is now the town of Revere, and with it, Revere Beach, was originally inhabited by Native Americans of the Pawtucket people. They encountered Europeans and, alas, were soon decimated by European diseases, particularly smallpox. This was a far too regular fate for the indigenous peoples of the area.
One quick story. I used to live in a New England town further inland. It had a wonderful library which had been decorated, at some point in the 20th century, with a mural depicting the sale of the land on which the town stood by a group of Native Americans -- Squaw Sachem of Mistick, and her sons -- to English settlers.(2) The paintings were lovely, really, with the Native Americans presented as vital people, with outstanding physiques and great beauty. And the sale of the land? That was an honorable affair carried out by two groups of hard headed business people, each in search of an honest profit.
Except...they weren’t. In the real world, the one not depicted on the wall, there had been a smallpox epidemic in the recent past. It had killed off many of the local people, and deformed those who remained. At least one of the men who was selling that land was known as “George No-Nose”...because, well, he didn’t have one. A nose, that is. He had lost it to the disease which almost killed him, and did kill his two brothers.(3)
And as for the “sale” of the land (if that’s really what it was), well, I’ve always suspected that it may been conditioned by the fact that Squaw Sachem knew her people were so reduced in number that they could not effectively defend it from others. Better to get something for it, now, rather than be given nothing when (inevitably) it was lost in some future battle.
History is not a pleasant subject, frankly.
Anyway, what is now the Point of Pines neighborhood of the town of Revere was first settled by Europeans in the 1620s and 1630s, at which time it was known as “The Rumney Marsh.” It became a farming center, and then a region, and then a series of towns, and there were some wars, and a Revolution. And, well, things were just messy and I’ll let you read all about it for yourself on Wikipedia.(4)
Second, another shot of the evening on Revere Beach, this time at sunset.
But I will mention that along the way, Rumney Marsh got re-named Chelsea (for obvious reasons. Who wants to suggest they live in a swamp?). Then, in 1871, in a bout of patriotism, the citizens of North Chelsea decided that they wanted to be the Town of Revere, named after he of Listen My Children And You Shall Hear Of The Midnight Ride. There was a lot of that sort of thing going around at the time. Americans had just fought a perfectly awful Civil War and were busy looking for reasons to be united. Nationalism was as good a means to that end as any, and Paul Revere, being involved in an anti-British conflict, was a hero everyone -- North and South -- could get behind.
But one thing that was constant with the town of Revere, or whatever you wanted to call it, was a need to make a living. It needed an economic purpose. And, for many of the town’s inhabitants, industry and shopping, mills and stores, met that need.
However...there was another option. Maybe a better one.
Remember those hotels? One of which was named “The Pines?” Well, we’re about to see them again.
Plus The Cyclone, The Whip, and a demon called The Derby.
More to come.
2. Squaw Sachem’s real name is apparently lost to history. But, for more about her, and her remarkable career, see her Wikipedia entry here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw_Sachem_of_Mistick
3. For the story of George No-Nose, see his Wikipedia entry here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wenepoykin
4. Revere’s Wikipedia page is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revere,_Massachusetts#History
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