Boston, Massachusetts: Potato Sack Monument

A monument shaped like potato sacks commemorates "millions and millions of potatoes" that were once stored in sheds on this spot.

Address:
Millers River Littoral Way, Boston, MA
Directions:
Difficult to get to. From New Rutherford Ave., eastbound only, turn right at the fuchsia sign for Bunker Hill Community College Parking. Drive to the stop sign. Turn left, then turn left again onto the parking lot. Park, walk to the highway on the east side of the parking lot (Millers River Littoral Way), then turn right onto the sidewalk. You'll soon see the potatoes, on the right.
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Monument depicting sacks of potatoes.

Potato Sack Monument

The potato sheds that occupied Millers River Basin from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s were crucial to the local community. Millions of potatoes were transported by train to Charlestown, where they sat until they were shipped elsewhere or purchased by locals. Some people even swiped taters from the sheds, which were open and not well-guarded. After the sheds burned down in a ten-alarm fire in May 1962, the smell of baked potatoes reportedly lingered for weeks. Ross Miller, a visual artist associated with Boston's Big Dig, led efforts to commemorate the potato sheds. The result was a sculpture of a stack of four potato-packed burlap sacks, with spuds spilling out of of the top bag. Real sacks and potatoes were used to create the monument , which was cast of fiberglass-reinforced concrete. A plaque in the sidewalk explains the sacks' significance.

[Kurt Deion / kurtshistoricsites.com, 09/02/2019]

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