77 Years Ago: New Hampshire 8-Year-Old Takes Train to Boston by Himself
It's not every day that a small boy gets to visit the big city by himself, but that's just what happened 77 years ago to young Ernest R. Hoytt Jr. of Dover, New Hampshire.
This writer stumbled across this amusing story thanks to New Hampshire Heritage, History, and Memories, a Facebook group dedicated to sharing memories of the Granite State. Recently, an admin member of the group posted this tidbit from a 1946 Boston Globe article, telling of a young boy's solo adventure to Boston.
According to the article, eight-year-old Ernest hopped on the train in Dover on January 8, 1946, then sat down in one of the coaches next to a male passenger. This likely fooled the conductor, who passed by the boy and probably assumed the man to be his guardian. Who knows what Ernest did once the train arrived in Boston, but it wasn't until almost midnight when he was found in South Station by police officers. After being questioned, the youngster simply stated that he lived "on Washington Street, where the street cars go by." His family (who naturally wasn't thrilled by the boy's escapades) was soon notified, and Ernest's father drove to the city on the 9th to retrieve his son and bring him home.
There's no doubt that Ernest was a brave and gutsy kid for going on such an adventure. Do you think you would've had the courage (or nerve) to do something similar by yourself when you were little? This writer almost certainly wouldn't have, but maybe you were bolder as a child. Regardless, it's always fun to hear stories from our state's past, especially when they have happy endings.
In the mood to read more about New Hampshire's history? Here are some historic figures with ties to the Granite State.