Townie Tidbits

May 11, 2018
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FORGET BAKED POTATOES

THINK FAKE POTATOES WITH SHED MEMORIAL

More news on the recently discovered Charlestown Potato Shed public art monument that sits almost invisible to the eye by the on-ramp to the Tobin Bridge and points north. I wish to thank Seth Daniel from Independent Newspapers for bringing this story to light.

I had also known about the history of the Potato Sheds, thanks mostly to the fact, it was part of my family’s Charlestown history. I had an uncle who owned one of those sheds back in my childhood. My mother always took my brother and I over to Uncle Jim’s (Callahan) shed. He owned F.J. Ward Produce Company, having bought the place from the original owner a guy named Ward.

I remember quite well the fire that destroyed the place back on May 10, 1962, I had just turned 14 years old at the time. I was intrigued by what Seth Daniel found not only because it brought back old memories of that place but because I wondered why this monument was hidden in plain sight. If it is public art why wasn’t it publicly accessible?

Today many younger Townies and new people to the area probably don’t know anything about the sheds or its part in the history of Charlestown. Up until 1962, the shipment of potatoes across the East Coast all started at the Charlestown Potato Sheds. This rail yard site was as much a part of the Town’s culture as the Bunker Hill Monument itself.  Also, the beautiful Plaque on the ground in front of those sacks of potatoes is fake news. The fire that destroyed the sheds happened in 1962 and not the 1930s as the plaque states. That needs to be corrected, too.

I actually found the visual artist behind the potato shed public art work. His name is Ross Miller and he is still in art design. The whole purpose originally was to integrate art into the public landscape but as we know what’s government gets involved anything can happen. I did find out that it was part of the Big Dig that apparently ran out of funds for this public art piece. The fiances didn’t come until President Obama’s shovel-ready stimulus funds came along. I did hear that a number of Townies did work with Ross Miller on this project. If anyone out there worked with Ross, please contact this writer. Also, anyone out there wanting to get together with other like minded individuals to possibly relocate this piece of public art, please contact me too. at sal.giarratani@gmail.com.

Here’s a chance for Townies to become part of its new chapter in history. It is our job to pass on correct history to future generations and show them that each generation in this Town has an awesome opportunity to remember its past as a gateway to its future.

Charlestown Potato Shed Memorial’s fake new plaque

 

CHIEF MARSHAL’S BANQUET- JUNE 8

 

Before we know it, it will be time for the Annual Bunker Hill Day Parade, this year on Sunday, June 10. The annual Chief Marshal Banquet will be held on Friday, June 8, at the Conway-Bunker Hill Post #26 American Legion. This year’s parade marshal is John Tkachuk, U.S. Marines and Boston Fire veteran.

For more information, you can call Doc Sheehan 617.242.0180, Billy Boyle 617.645.3278 or Arthur Hurley 617.242.2724.