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Quirky & Curious Tours (Mix & Match)

Visit with us, the Boston Harbor Oceanfront Sewage Treatment Facility – which isn’t nearly as yucky as it sounds – and learn what happens when you flush a toilet.  Afterwards, you can take a break and sip a Sam Adams Beer at a pub with seats facing the grave of Sam Adams himself – which happens to be just 200 feet from the grave of John Hancock.

Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Facility

Mr. Hancock, the wealthiest man in Boston at the time, was buried with an expensive ruby ring on his left hand – a year after his death, grave robbers dug him up and fled after tearing off the entire hand that bore the ring.  The cemetery staff arrived the next morning to find the remains of John Hancock reposing on the grass.  It would be interesting – to say the least – to find out where that ring is today!

In those days, doctors and hospitals hired “body snatchers” to dig up fresh graves, so that student doctors would have corpses to dissect – dissection was considered an abomination in the law and in the minds of citizens and churches 200 years ago, and was legally forbidden.

Nearby, in the same cemetery, visit the grave of Mother Goose – and later visit the area where Boston hanged witches, pirates, and petty thieves.  Learn the grisly tale of what they did with unclaimed bodies of hanged criminals and witches.

Next, we can take you to the Etherdome, where the first use of anesthesia took place in 1846, and you’ll learn about the very high death rate that occurred back in the “good old days” when doctors thought nothing of using the same old scalpel for days without washing it.  In 1846, sterilization was completely unheard of.

How about a poignant visit to the National Braille Press?  The press was founded in Boston by an Italian immigrant in 1927.  Here you can see a 3-foot-tall stack of books printed in Braille, which represents just one of the Harry Potter books.  You’ll learn the Braille alphabet, see charts and graphs “printed” in relief, and observe the Braille “printing” presses.  Here, about ¼ of the staff is completely blind.  This is a very touching tour – no pun intended – and very memorable.  We can also show you where Helen Keller lived and Radcliffe College from which she graduated.  It’s an especially appealing tour for young people and children.

Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller – Tewksbury, Massachusetts

We have had parents and grandparents request this tour, and the feedback we receive is that the children and grandchildren recall this tour more than they do most of the other tours.  We also receive comments to the effect that the children really come to appreciate not only the needs of the blind, but also thereafter recognize the special needs of the handicapped.

On the same day, we can take you for a nearby walk through a 30-foot high stained glass globe!

The globe is 28-feet in diameter, and is a historical artifact itself – it’s over 75-years-old.  A sound and light show accompanies your walk right through the middle of Earth.  This “interior view” of Earth gives you a unique, eye-opening perspective of our home planet.  This globe has a whispering-gallery acoustic effect, so while inside the globe; you can talk and then hear your own startlingly clear voice projected back towards you in surround sound.  This is one of the largest globes ever built, and in which the creator used 608 convex panels of stained glass.

A visit to one of the many observatories is possible during any of our Boston Tours, The Marriott Custom House offers tours, as does the skywalk at the Prudential. For a sweeping city skyline view we can take you to the top of the tower at Mount Auburn Cemetery and tell you stories about the history of America’s oldest horticultural cemetery while overlooking beautiful Boston.