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This Day in Boston History
November 18th, 1755
Faneuil Hall's Grasshopper Escapes
by Shem Drowne in 1742, Faneuil
Hall's grasshopper weathervane has had a lively existence.
Why a grasshopper? The London Exchange had six grasshopper weathervanes
in honor of its founder Sir Thomas Gresham, who's family seal bore a grasshopper.
When Peter Faneuil donated Faneuil Hall, he had been a member of the London
Exchange, and made sure his hall had its own grasshopper too.
On this date, Boston was rocked by an earthquake which threw the grasshopper
from Faneuil Hall. Shem Drowne, then in his seventies repaired it with
his sons, but the grasshopper would continue to find its way to earth.
The freedom loving grasshopper fell to earth when the original Faneuil
Hall was destroyed by fire a decade later. Once rebuilt, it would be knocked
from its perch by a flag being lowered, and it would be stolen, leading
to the discovery of a ring of weathervane thieves.