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Historic New England delves into the rich history of Boston's Haymarket


BOSTON – Haymarket, Boston’s centuries-old open-air food market, has weathered economic downturns, the advent of the supermarket, and massive construction projects like Boston’s Big Dig. For most of the twentieth century, Italian produce vendors lined Blackstone Street. Today the market reflects the city’s changing population, and includes Halal butchers, artisanal cheese mongers, and Cambodian fruit sellers, with vendors and customers from South America, the Middle East, and Asia. 

As part of an ongoing exploration of life in New England, Historic New England has spent more than two years documenting the Haymarket stories through video, photography, and oral histories.

Film premiere
On Wednesday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. join us for the premiere of Haymarket, a documentary film, produced by Historic New England and directed by photographer Justin Goodstein.

Experience the history of Haymarket and the district with music, imagery, and interviews from several vendors and customers. The film discusses the history of Haymarket and its continued vital role in Boston today.

Following the film, Suffolk University History Chair Robert Allison leads a panel discussion and audience Q&A with the president of the Haymarket Pushcart Association Otto Gallotto, photographer Justin Goodstein, and Historic New England’s Ken Turino. Suffolk University’s Modern Theatre is at 525 Washington Street, Boston. For tickets to the free premiere, visit Historic New England’s Calendar of Events.

Photography exhibition
In conjunction with the film premiere is an exhibition of photographs by Justin Goodstein, Haymarket, the Soul of the City, on view at Suffolk University’s Adams Gallery through August 30, 2015.

The exhibit presents photographs from the four seasons at Boston’s Haymarket, which has served a constant stream of longtime residents, newly arrived immigrants, students, and tourists since the first half of the nineteenth century. Haymarket, the Soul of the City, at Adams Gallery, 120 Tremont Street, Boston. Gallery hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily

Online video and oral history
Discover oral histories and images that capture the people who make the Haymarket run. Enjoy photographs of the market, pushcarts, shops, workers, and customers that document the market’s history, changes over time, daily life, special holiday foods, and challenges. The interviews reflect the stories of long-time Italian vendors as well as more recent immigrants who have created a diverse cross-section of cultures at Haymarket. Haymarket, an Everyone’s History Project is the online companion exhibition.

Special tours
Ken Turino, manager of community engagement and exhibitions for Historic New England, leads special Taste of Haymarket tours on June 26, July 10, and September 11.

About Historic New England’s Everyone’s History Initiative
Haymarket is part of Historic New England’s Everyone’s History series, which shares stories of life in New England during the twentieth century and beyond. Historic New England partners with communities and organizations throughout the region to collect these stories. The initiative has explored early aviation, African American tourist destinations, how volunteers preserve Vermont’s Long Trail, Rhode Island’s trap fishermen and women, and how fried clams became a favorite summertime treat.

Everyone’s History projects include award-winning documentary films, interviews, online exhibitions, photo galleries, and more.

Historic New England delves into the rich history of Boston's Haymarket