Boston in Suffolk County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Proclamation of the "Bells" Journey
Oldest Tavern in the United States
— 1795 —
“Old Jimmy” Wilson, Boston’s last town crier, first hoisted the sign of the “Bell” in 1795 under the Exchange Coffee House in Congress Square. The tavern gained a popular reputation for selling “the best Ale in Boston,” and flourished under a succession of keepers.
When it’s stock in trade was relocated to Pi Alley in 1853, the ale house thrived amidst the bustle of “Newspaper Row,” and soon became a social hub for newspaper men, bankers, Harvard professors, artists and writers.
After another move to Devonshire Street, the Bell-In-Hand, under the proprietorship of Morris Levi, continues its centuries old tradition here on the corner of historic Union and Hanover Streets.
This landmark building seems an appropriate location for “Old Jimmy” Wilson’s sign to hang.
Today the Bell-In-Hand is managed by Eddie and Bryna Kaplan.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment • Industry & Commerce.
Location. 42° 21.688′ N, Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 45 Union Street, Boston MA 02108, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Green Dragon Tavern (a few steps from this marker); Ebenezer Hancock House (a few steps from this marker); Union Oyster House (a few steps from this marker); Samuel Adams (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Faneuil Hall (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Faneuil Hall (about 600 feet away); Birthplace of the Telephone (approx. 0.2 miles away); New England Courant (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boston.
Also see . . .
1. Bell-in-Hand Tavern: Our Story.
What was it about the Bell that made it so popular? Maybe it was Jimmy Wilson, the first owner. Everybody in Boston knew Jimmy. Not that they had much choice. You see, Jimmy was Boston’s town crier for fifty years. Good news or bad, Bostonians heard it all from Jimmy. He reported on everything from the Boston Tea Party to the birth of the nation. When he retired, he decided to open a tavern. He was proud of his former occupation and that’s why he called the place the Bell-in-Hand. (Submitted on March 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Bell-in-Hand Tavern.
The Bell-in-Hand is the longest continuously operating tavern in the United States, having been built in 1795 by Boston’s retired Town Crier. The Town Crier’s job was to shout the big news across town, and the original proprietor of the Bell-in-Hand shouted about the Boston Tea Party, the Declaration of Independence, the impending Battle of Bunker Hill, and of course, the defeat of the British. The building last changed venues in 1844. Famous patrons include Daniel Webster and… no surprise here… Paul Revere. (Submitted on March 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on March 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 22, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.