A Conversation for April 2015 Create: Claim to Fame

Bolton, Massachusetts, the town where I grew up

Post 1

paulh, hiding under my bed

Despite Wikipedia's claim that Bolton's 10 square miles of area are 19.9 square miles of land and 0.1 square miles of water, this is not really true in Spring, when the place seems like one large pond punctuated by occasional hills. Wikipedia also doesn't cover the town's history prior to 1738, when the town was incorporated. The town was part of a much larger tract called Nashaway Plantation, started in 1740. Unlike nearby Lancaster, which produced Johnny Appleseed, or Leominster, which produced Luther Burbank, Bolton has never had any really famous people. Napoleon, the one famous person that the town might have had, slipped from its grasp when the powers that be decided not to exile the troublesome emperor there after all.

•How did your town/village/megalopolis get its name?

From Bolton, England. Unfortunately for the Massachusetts version, which has never boasted more 5,000 in population, the original in England has almost 140,000 people.

•What do 'they' claim about that dangerous bend in the road or dizzying waterfall?

Not too long ago, Bolton made the news because it had the highest percentage of gun-owning citizens of any town in the state. Little old ladies in remote farmhouses have been known to shoot burglars.
Like any town, Bolton has had its share of eccentrics. I lived there in the 1950s and 1960s, when a woman called Crazy Mary struck terror in the hearts of town motorists. She as just a colossally bad driver -- she only had one eye, so maybe she just couldn't help it. When anyone saw her on the road, they would call all their friends to warn them not to try driving anywhere.

•What kind of history are you sleeping on? Was this place a battlefield? Or a native burial ground? Does the local bus stop at the scene of the Mahabharata, or to view Philip of Macedon's lion, or just to gawk at the river Washington crossed while chased by angry tribes?

No, a different Philip was involved: King Philip, a 17th Century Indian chief with mayhem on his mind. The truth is, not a whole lot ever happened in the town. Maybe a farmer fell out of an apple tree, or a cow kicked a milkmaid, but nothing on an epic scale.

There is, however, one aspect of Bolton that is *almost* unique: Boltonite, a type of quartz found only in Bolton and on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Yeah, nobody even thinks about Bolton once they hear about that famous Mount Vesuvius.

Bolton, Massachusetts, the town where I grew up

Post 2


Gun slinging grandmas and a one eyed crazy driver...must be the Boltonite in the water! smiley - cheers

Bolton, Massachusetts, the town where I grew up

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Did Wikipedia really say that '10 square miles of area are 19.9 square miles of land and 0.1 square miles of water'?

If so, we can laugh at them even more now. smiley - winkeye I once got similar results in Organic Chemistry 101, which is why I am not a chemist.

So your town was in the middle of King Philip's War, eh? smiley - yikes Dangerous place.

And have you left Mags a message on the 'Submissions' thread for Create? smiley - smiley

Bolton, Massachusetts, the town where I grew up

Post 4

paulh, hiding under my bed

I erred. It was 20 square miles, not 10.

Also, I meant to say that in Spring the town is mostly swamp, not pond. The water then evaporates, and the land becomes dry by Summer.

I was confused by the setup. Was I supposed to leave Mags a message? What should the message say? smiley - huh

Technically, I live in West Roxbury, a section of Boston, now. One little letter - an S for an L, makes a lot of difference. What can I say about West Roxbury? Well, a vast dump/landfill on the western edge of the city was so fragrant that you could see the seagulls circling overhead from miles away. Then the dump was capped, topsoil was poured over it, and Millennium Park was created.

What else is there to say about West Roxbury? Center Street, the main drag, is dangerous for pedestrians to cross, no matter what time of day or night. The drivers are fast and fearless. smiley - yikes

Chestnut Hill is at the edge of West Roxbury, though I don't think I've ever seen a single chestnut tree there.

VFW Parkway, a.k.a. the Arbor, a.k.a Route one, sweeps majestically along on its way south toward Providence and points further out. There are numerous huge oaks lining the parkway. You can tell that some of the road's curves are dangerous, based on the number of trees with gouges at the base of their trunks smiley - bruised.

Frankly, If I hadn't been to Taipei, Rome, New York, and London, I would have assumed that Boston drivers are the world's most reckless. smiley - yikes

Bolton, Massachusetts, the town where I grew up

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Forget I said that. smiley - blush I'm subscribed to your journal, so I thought (without looking) that this was there, rather than in the Submissions thread. That's what I get for being subscribed to everything. smiley - rofl

This is great, and we can put it in smiley - thepost sometime soon. smiley - ok

I'll just change that that square mileage when we do. smiley - winkeye

Really interesting what you find out, though, isn't it?

And I think the world's worst drivers must live in Greece. They're in the running, anyway.

Bolton, Massachusetts, the town where I grew up

Post 6

paulh, hiding under my bed

I rather imagine that it's the *pedestrians* who are doing the running.smiley - biggrin

Bolton, Massachusetts, the town where I grew up

Post 7

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

smiley - laugh

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