Letters to ...

East Boston Ferry

... Ella's piece on East Boston brings back memories

by Jim Ross Jr.

{Editor's note: On July 23, 2015 Jim Ross Jr. wrote referring to a story by the late Ella Letterie. The story was titled "East Boston Ferry" published in November 1999.}

Hello!  My name is Jim Ross, Jr. and I live in Wakefield. I read Ella's article regarding the East Boston Ferry with great interest. My Mom is 94 years old (young!!!) and is the last of 14 kids of the marriage of Frances and James Magee.

Nana & Grampa were married in the North End of Boston in the late 1890's and resided there for many years before moving to East Boston and finally to Winthrop. Grampa was a clerk for a wholesale liquor firm at 176 Blackstone St. in the North End until Prohibition arrived in 1919. He then started up a "Hackney Carriage Livery Service" of which he was owner/operator. According to the 1919 Report of the Commissioner of the Boston Police Dept., Grampa was issued Hackney Carriage Chauffeur Badge #2377. He was also issued a "License to Set up and Operate" a hackney carriage stand at 667 Bennington St.. This license # was 14,863.

I've been searching for badge #2377 as well as any and all ephemera connected to Grampa's livery service. Mom has told me many stories of Nana and Grampa's relationship with the Kennedy and Fitzgerald families. The Irish clans really looked out for one another in the old North End, East Boston and Winthrop!
 
When the Great Depression hit in 1929, Grampa went to work for a funeral home in either Charlestown or Dorchester. He passed away in 1945;  Nana passed away in 1960. I'm wondering if anybody reading this has any knowledge, info., etc., of my Grampa's horse and carriage "taxi" service on old Bennington St..  Just an "F.Y.I.":  Grampa was commonly referred to as "Blue Eyes" due to the
strikingly blue color of his eyes (obviously!!!).

Well, my long rendition comes to a close.  Thank you all for tuning in and for giving me a "soap box" to get my story out to you. I'm looking forward to hearing from anybody and everybody with any and all input regarding Eastie and Winthrop in the old 1900's. Thanks and take care!!!  

Jim    (pezdaddy53@hotmail.com)


August 7, 2015


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