Townie Tidbits


A while back Charlestown started a town-wide conversation right here concerning the recently discovered Charlestown Potato Shed fire of 1962 Monument  over on Bunker Hill Community College property near the on-ramp for the Chelsea-bound Tobin Bridge. It has been there for a while and until recently really unknown to anyone in the community.

I believe it is time as I have already written to relocate this monument to a more appropriate site where all can see it. Hiding it as has been done is an injustice to Charlestown history. Many have contacted me about sharing my vision and now is the time to do something. Send me an email now to start the potato rolling no spud intended at [email protected]. Let’s create a Potato Brigade.



On Wednesday, July 26, Engine 50 will be celebrating its 100th anniversary which is a big deal for the Boston Fire Department and the people of Charlestown. Plans are in the works to celebration the history of Engine Company 50 on July 26 up at the Monument. A number of folks in the community including the Charlestown Historical Society Everyone seems excited. Big plans for July 26 are being put together as we speak. Keep the day open on your calendar.

As a member of the Peoples Firehouse Committee #2, I will be there representing how Townies saved Engine 50 from getting deactivated in 1981.

Attention, if you were part of the Peoples Firehouse contact me at [email protected]. Let’s get a big showing. Engine 50 Strong!

Here’s a photo of Engine 50 in the 1983 Bunker Hill Day Parade. By 1983, the apparatus was restored to traditional red During the occupation of the Winthrop Street Firehouse in 1981, the apparatus had been repainted an ugly lime green. Thank God it was only a temporary painting job.



Everyone was shocked to hear of the passing of Bob Gillen. UAp until recently, he had still been pretty active in town. I caught up with him a the Chief Marshal’s banquet for the Bunker Hill Day Parade. I had no idea he would be gone so soon. When I picture him, he is in his full dress uniform. I am sure the highlight for this Townie had to be his term as commander of the USS Constitution. I remember when he was the parade chief marshal too. He will be missed, a bright light in town has faded into history.

I have learned his brother Moe has been hospitalized recently. Condolences go out to the Gillen Family and prayers for Moe too. These two brothers were pillars of this community that had a lifetime commitment of making Charlestown the best neighborhood of Boston.


Shown in photo at the recent chief marshal’s banquet are City Councilor Michelle Wu, Moe Gillen, City Councilor Lydia Edwards and Bob Gillen ( l to r).

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