Manufacturer: Syracuse China
User: Puritan Hotel – Boston, Massachusetts
Distributor: Mitchell Woodbury Company
Date of plate: circa 1909 – 1911
Notes: The seven-story Puritan Hotel, at 388-390 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts, was built by boot and shoe manufacturer William Ball Rice. Mr. Rice died in May 1909, before the hotel opened. It opened November 1909 with about 200 bedrooms. The 31' by 52' main dining room seated 150 guests and was located behind the lobby. There were three private dining rooms, a breakfast room, and a maids and children's dining room. The Puritan was owned by the Rice family until 1947. On July 1, 1947, The Puritan was acquired by Abraham M. Sonnabend and became a Sonnabend Hotel Company property. In October 1951, it was combined with the adjoining Hotel Somerset, and both properties operated as the Somerset. The Somerset closed March 31, 1972. The building was then converted into apartments and offices.
Syracuse made plates crested in the center of the well with a large illustration of a Puritan. This illustration is based on "The Puritan" a bronze statue by sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens. The statue was unveiled in 1887 in Springfield, Massachusetts. It depicts Deacon Samuel Chapin, who settled in Springfield in 1642. The decal border sections around the rim are shown in Syracuse sample books as "Berwick." The impressed circle date code on the back indicates production between 1903 and 1911, so it was probably made as part of the Puritans original china order around 1908.
Backbayhouses.org – hotel history
Boston Globe – January 31, 1909 – article about hotel under construction
Author and photos: Larry Paul