This collection of menus from the dining rooms of four Boston hotels dates from 1843 to 1865. Some menus were for the general public, while others were printed for special private dinners held for groups of gentlemen or committees involved with government of the City of Boston. Some are noteworthy for their decorative printing in colored and metallic inks, and for their amazing bills of fare.
The first menus from the Cornhill Coffee House, dating from 1843, are hand written. The remaining items in the collection are printed. The bulk of the menus are from the dining rooms at Young's Hotel. Additionally, the collection contains one menu each from the American House, the Parker House, and the Albion Hotel. Each menu features several courses. Dinners held in the autumn were particularly laden with migrating ducks and shore bird species that today would merit attention by birdwatchers for their rarity.
Cornhill Coffee House and Young’s Hotel were located at the corner of Court Street and Court Square, American House at 56 Hanover Street; Albion Hotel at the corner of Tremont and Beacon Streets; Parker House at the corner of School and Tremont.
Stanley Ellis Cushing
Anne C. and David J. Bromer Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts
Conserved and digitized through the generosity of Barbara Joyce and Dan Moulton