Un-Welcoming: Thompson Square ‘Welcome’ Sign Swiped Again

The welcomes in Thompson Square just don’t seem to last for the long haul, at least when it comes to proclaiming such a thing on a sign.

So it is, once again the wooden, ‘Welcome to Charlestown’ sign has been stolen from its long-standing place on the island at the intersection of Rutherford and Austin Streets. It has been stolen before in 2017, but through the work of then-Mayoral Liaison Chris Breen, it was returned.

This time, however, the operation was more than just unscrewing some bolts. Members of the Charlestown Preservation Society (CPS) and Mayoral Liaison Quinn Locke said the sign disappeared sometime this month. This time, they not only took the sign, but took out the sign posts as well.

“The City did not remove this sign, nor has it turned up anywhere in our searches,” said Locke. “We’d like to see the sign returned to its original location and if anyone has any information on the sign they can call our office (617-635-3549). We’d love to get it back.”

The sign was placed on the island in 2006-2007, and came at a cost of $1,200 – some paid by residents and some paid by grants. It was manufactured by the Richard Honan Sign Company of Winthrop, and after the 2017 thievery, Honan attached it with bolts that locked. However, no one thought about someone unscrewing the sign posts to get the sign – which is what happened this time.

“Maybe the 2017 thief took the sign away again, but took a lot of nerve to undo the sign posts,” wrote Judy McDonough in an e-mail requesting another search for the sign.

Locke said they have also started work on trying to recreate the sign within City Departments, but have run into various issues along the way. He said they are exploring all possible options and are also looking for other solutions – while also scouring the earth of the Town to see if the original turns up.

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