Posted by: Staff | 05.19.2008

The Mysteries of Beaver: Heritage and Beaver Place

MADDY KIEFER ‘08

It’s common knowledge that Beaver was founded in 1920, and, as mentioned in my third mystery, the current building was built in 1924. In the four years prior to this, however, the school was located at Beaver Place, a street adjacent to the Boston Common.

Hundreds of years ago, before the land beneath its roads was filled in, Beaver Place was a pier at which the HMS Beaver was docked during the Boston Tea Party. (A replica, the Beaver II, resides at the Boston Tea Party Museum.) The ship gave its name to the street and, by extension, to our beloved school.

Last weekend, I, along with a few other members of the Beaver Reader staff, went into Boston for the day and made a pit-stop at Beaver Place. Located right off of Beacon Street (about a block down from Cheers), it is now an upscale neighborhood (and just happens to intersect Brimmer St., which may or may not be related to the Brimmer and May School). We walked around, trying to find a building that might have once been a school, but, considering we had never seen as much as a picture of it, it wasn’t easy. We thought we found one building, home to “The Vincent Club,” that could have been Beaver, but, after some further research, discovered that the club was founded in 1892, so that option was eliminated.

Our best information comes from Ms. Boylan, who works in the archives. She says, “from what I know, the Beaver school building is still standing.” Furthermore, apparently “it is now up on a high foundation, but still looks very much like an old schoolhouse on the corner of Beaver Place,” near the Arthur Fiedler footbridge.

Of course, there is strong chance that we completely overlooked the building, or that it has been renovated so that it’s not so recognizable after all, and no longer looks like a building built at least 88 years ago. If you have any information on the building, know its exact location on Beaver Place, or happen to have pictures of it, please leave a comment! Help is always appreciated when my mysteries remain unsolved.

Photos by Maddy Kiefer and Taylor Haigler

HMS Beaver restoration
Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum
Boston Attractions: Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum
Map of locations mentioned

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