Did you know that Boston's Beacon Hill is home to some of the nation's few remaining authentic cobblestone streets?
One such street is the famous and oft-photographed Acorn Street, which also happens to be the city's narrowest throughway.
Many movies, ads, travel guides, and regular citizens have taken advantage of Acorn Street's beauty by capturing it on film. This time of year it is even more magical.
Today, Acorn Street is a prestigious address lined with privately-owned brick row homes, but it was once so much more. Here's a bit of background on one of America's most famous streets.
Acorn Street was once home to artisans and the servants of Beacon Hill's elite. The historic structures that line the south side date back to the late 1700s and early 1800s, while on the north side of the street, the area's famous hidden gardens are sheltered behind brick walls.
In the nineteenth century when Acorn Street was in its heyday, people traveled by horse and buggy or good old fashioned shoe leather. A difficult feat considering the authentic cobblestones.
“Cob” is an Old English word for a rounded mass or lump, something that was easy to find in Boston’s rocky soil. Builders used these troublesome stones to erect walls, provide balance to ships, and of course, to pave the roads. These “cobbled-together” streets became known as cobblestone roads.
While cobs were free and easy to use, the uneven ground led to many a broken wheel and twisted ankle. Most of Old Boston's cobblestone roads have since been replaced, but a few still exist in Beacon Hill, including Acorn Street.
Residents take great pride in their homes and go all out for the holidays, decorating their windows and stairways with subtle touches of evergreen and red ribbons.
It is especially beautiful at night when the vintage street lamps reflect their yellow light off the snow drifts.
If you decide to visit Acorn Street this holiday season - or anytime - remember to be courteous to those who live there year-round.