Boston BERy Relics in Unexpected Places

General discussion about fallen trolley and interurban lines in North America, past and present.

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Boston BERy Relics in Unexpected Places

Postby Arlington » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:34 pm

Today (7/29/12) found what I believe to be a "leftover" from the Boston Elevated Railway's Clarendon Hill Car House: A man-hole cover along the banks of the Alewife Brook with the letters B E Ry on it.

The manhole has been uncovered (really just the riverbank trees/bushes cleared away) as part of boardwalk now under construction as part of the Alewife Brook Greenway.

The manhole is located in the narrow space between the Alewife Brook Parkway and the channelized Alewife Brook. In order to widen the sidewalk to "multiuse path" widths, they are now building a boardwalk whose riverfront footings are on a wall just above water level, and whose roadside footings are about 4' higher (but still 2' below road level). In between, on the sloping bank, is the un-worn cover looking freshly-cast (It seems to be access for a rainwater outlet, but I couldn't get a view of its outfall).

When the boardwalk is completed, it will pass 2' above the manhole. Not removing it, but covering it up as completely as the trees once did.

To be specific, it is located just to the west of the parkway, and about 50' north of the Cross St Bridge. In this "current" view in Google Maps, it is just into the trees to the west of a white vehicle with a teal roof at the center of this map: (you'll need to turn off "45 degree" view to see the teal-topped vehicle, but even if the images change, the spot will always be at the center of this map). Eventually a "boardwalk" view will replace view that still had trees in it.

I figure the Clarendon Hill Car House, depicted on (Arlington & Somerville 1899-1915 Plate 17 at the Somerville-Arlington Line south of Broadway (and now the site of parking for the tall apartment buildings there), must have somehow "backed" on to the river, or at least dumped its stormwater there.

Of course everywhere in Arlington and Medford that we see lone steel utility poles we know those once supported trolley wires. Any other interesting, obscure relics?
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Re: Boston BERy Relics in Unexpected Places

Postby The EGE » Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:57 pm

There's a BERy manhole on the south side of the JFK Street bridge - across the river from the old Eliot Yard. I believe it's the manhole in the concrete island here: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=4 ... 53,,0,8.86
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Re: Boston BERy Relics in Unexpected Places

Postby Gerry6309 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:45 pm

The EGE wrote:There's a BERy manhole on the south side of the JFK Street bridge - across the river from the old Eliot Yard. I believe it's the manhole in the concrete island here: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=4 ... 53,,0,8.86

BERy manhole covers are everywhere the trolleys ran in Boston, and some still serve active conduits. Underground feeders were often used to reduce the amount of heavy (4-ought+) feeder wire on line poles. There were also 11kV-25Hz underground distribution lines to the substations from Lincoln and South Boston.
Gerry. STM/BSRA

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Re: Boston BERy Relics in Unexpected Places

Postby Arlington » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:18 pm

Arlington wrote:Today (7/29/12) found what I believe to be a "leftover" from the Boston Elevated Railway's Clarendon Hill Car House...When the boardwalk is completed, it will pass 2' above the manhole. Not removing it, but covering it up as completely as the trees once did.

ANd for the record, the completed boardwalk did/does pass above the manhole described above, meaning it'll be protected from most elements for another half century.
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