Scollay Square

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Scollay Square (ca.1838-1962) was a vibrant city square in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It was named for William Scollay, a prominent local developer and militia officer who bought a landmark four-story merchant building at the intersection of Cambridge and Court Streets in 1795. Local citizens began to refer to the intersection as Scollay's Square, and, in 1838, the city officially memorialized the intersection as Scollay Square. Early on, the area was a busy center of commerce, including daguerreotypist (photographer), Josiah Johnson Hawes (1808–1901), and Dr. William Thomas Green Morton, the first dentist to use ether as an anaesthetic.


Scollay Square was located "at the junction of Tremont and Court streets, Cornhill and Tremont row." Initially the city designated it Pemberton Square, but changed the name to "Scollay Square" when Phillips Square changed its own name to "Pemberton Square." The building that gave the area its name, Scollay's Building, was "at one time a wedge-shaped row of wooden buildings, extending from the head of Cornhill to opposite the head of Hanover street, separated Tremont row from Court street (see Bonner's map, 1722); at the southeasterly end the second schoolhouse in the town was erected, 1683-84; at various times portions of these buildings were removed, leaving only the Scollay brick building, supposed to have been built by Patrick Jeffrey, who came into possession in 1795; ......
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