Extract from the City records, from a report of the Joint standing Committee of the City Council, on the Nomenclature of streets, made in 1879.
To understand the process by which our ancestors laid out their primitive highways, the natural features of the land must first be considered.
On approaching the land at the foot of State street (present names are employed for convenience), the traveller stood on solid ground at high-water mark at about the corner of Merchants row on one side, and of Kilby street on the other.
The northerly side of the cove ran above Faneuil Hall, and so across nearly to North street, and followed that street about to its junction with Commercial street. West of State street a little cove ran in about where Congress street is, and reached to the corner of Franklin street. It thus cut off direct approach to Fort Hill
, which rose to the south-east.