Near the Freedom Trail, opposite the Old South Meeting House on Milk Street, is the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). He was an author, diplomat, inventor, printer, and scientist. A statue of Franklin stands in front of Old City Hall, one block away on School Street.
Embedded in the wall of the building at 1 Milk Street, on the 2nd floor, is a bust of Franklin, with the label "Birthplace of Franklin."
In 1706, Benjamin Franklin was born in a humble little house on Milk Street. The old house stood a hundred and twenty years, and was greatly respected as a notable landmark. The building was destroyed by fire in 1811, which was keenly regretted by Boston's inhabitants, especially by its older citizens. A few historians over the years have contended that Franklin was born on Hanover Street, and not Milk Street.
Franklin's father, Josiah, was a soap and candle maker, and owned a shop on Hanover Street. According to Around The Hub by Samuel Adams Drake (1881), the store was located at Hanover & Union streets, and the building was torn down in 1858. A sign in front of his shop was simply a large blue ball with the date "1698" painted on it. It is believed that 1698 represented the year Franklin's father had opened the shop. The sign is part of the Bostonian Society's collection today.
Benjamin Franklin Birthplace
1 Milk Street, Boston, MA 02108