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Watch the WNED/PBS episode about Boston above
MORE THAN A PIT-STOP OFF THE 219
This well-loved town was once called Boston Corners and Torrey Corners and comes with a little shop area and the aforementioned small, grassy area serving as a proper square that holds a few veterans monuments and memorials.
To me. To see Boston… The authentic Boston, requires a little digging n’ driving on the public’s part here in WNY.
Listen to the Boston podcast above
You see, what most of us call “Boston” is “North Boston” and a subcommunity “Creekside.” That’s the area right off of Route 219 where the 391 and 277 converge and is really all that most of us see of the town and think of when we think of the town of Boston. Drive a little farther on down Boston State Road, past the famous Charlap’s Ice Cream shop and manufacturing buildings, through Patchin, and soon you’ll run right into a really cool little hamlet of buildings and a small grassy triangular park-like area. And THAT my friends, to me, is the tried and true, authentic Boston.
This is the type of place that I live to discover. You can feel the history here even just driving by, but step out of the car, take a breath and take a good look around and soak it all in.
The little row of buildings includes the third iteration of the Boston Hotel, a deli/grocer and a hair salon. The original wood and secondarily brick, regionally famous Boston Hotel sadly burned down. Most recently a former waitress bought it and moved it across the street to its current location. The place has been receiving rave reviews for their food, drinks, and service ever since.
Businesses like this are so, so much more than just a tavern and restaurant. These are the hearts of the community, and the New Boston Hotel is just such a place. It beats with the heart of its hamlet. It’s a place whose walls and patrons hold the town’s folklore, legends and deepest secrets and celebrations and all that there is to see in the grand scope of life. I’m sure most everyone in the area down here has been to the Boston Hotel at least once or twice.
These types of establishments are so vitally important to any region and thankfully, with the Boston Hotel now fully recovered and receiving accolades once again, this little hamlet has a bright future once again.
And the history there is notable and deep. And maybe that’s why, to me, you can almost take a bite out of it when you’re here.
During the towns seminal days one would have found the typical farms of the day with wool, saw and grist mills peppered all along Eighteen Mile Creek, although there’s hardly any trace of them left at this point.
The largest Bell Factory in the United States used to be located here just below the Catholic Cemetery across the creek from Boston, and then behind what is today St John's Church, making up to 500 cow and sheep bells a day along with staples and hasps. Bells at that time were used to locate your herds or stray members of the herds, but once the area around the town was cleaned and the pastures fenced up, there was little need of bells and the factory shut down.
At one point, the town had three tanneries as the hemlock trees whose bark was used to tan the hides into leather, were so plentiful.
The road to Springville was and is an important aspect of Boston’s history and, like most seminal roads in the region, was on an Indian trail. It was initially founded around 1812, and in 1840-1842 the current State Road was put into place. But it was a narrow dirt road until a private company took it over and built a plank road that inevitably become a hot mess to ride upon. In 1909, New York State finally took the road over, paving it as the automobile was soon to change the nature of rural travel forevermore.
Boston, whether the older town or the newer, more well-known areas, is a place steeped in regional history that makes a really beautiful destination drive any time of the year with a rewarding stop at the end of the road to enjoy. ~AA
The Boston page from the companion paper available here and on Yumpu