MassDOT invited readers to share stories of romance with a Boston South Station connection, and we are sharing four this week. Today’s story began more than a century ago.
The Floured Suitor
Destined for a new life in America, Mary Anne Ward emigrated from Ireland on an ocean liner in 1906. Not long after the ship arrived in Boston, Mary began work in a South Station restaurant.
Frank Henry Spaulding worked as baggage master for the New Haven Railroad back then, frequently passing through South Station while on duty. Frank soon developed eyes for Mary – but he wasn’t the only one.
Mary’s other suitor (who was also Frank’s colleague) made overtures to Mary in the restaurant’s kitchen and attempted to kiss her. As Mary would later recount to granddaughter Margo Stang, the upshot of the encounter was that Mary grabbed a sack of flour and emptied it over the suitor’s head. As the man stormed out, dusting himself off, he passed Frank, who was also on his way to see Mary. “What happened to you?” Frank laughingly said. Humiliated, the fellow continued walking.
Unlike his competitor, Frank left the restaurant that day with clean clothes. A courtship that began at South Station led to the marriage of Mary Anne and Frank in 1915 and lasted until Frank’s death 54 years later.
Photos: Mary Anne with her and Frank’s four children; Frank poses with a fellow baggage master.