Here are the latest Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes:

Open house

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., invites families to join them in the fourth annual open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Visitors will get a rare look at the members-only areas while the entire building is open for self-guided tours. Guests will see part of George Washington’s private library; the King’s Chapel collection, the oldest remaining colonial library in Boston; works by John Singer Sargent, Gilbert Stuart, Polly Thayer Starr, N.C. Wyeth and more. Docents will be on hand to share interesting tidbits and answer questions.

The last entry will be at 3 p.m. Registration is not required by suggested to avoid wait times.

Visit to register and for more information.

Photography tour

Boston by Foot will offer a Beacon Hill photography tour from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 14. Participants will meet the guide on the steps in front of the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Street.

Professional photographer Sharon Schindler will lead the history and photography tour of this beautiful Boston neighborhood. Walkers will hear about the history and unique architecture of the area while capturing the scenery through their lenses. The tour will feature the famed architecture of Charles Bulfinch, from the grand State House to the townhouses on Mount Vernon Street. The shaded streets and red brick facades are perfect subjects for novice and expert photographers.

Advance ticket purchase is recommended, as space is limited. Tickets are $25 or $22 for members.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit or call 617-237-2345.

North Slope of Beacon Hill

Historic New England and Boston By Foot will present a tour of the North Slope of Beacon Hill from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15. Participants will meet at the Otis House Museum, 141 Cambridge St.

The tour will focus on the narrow streets and alleyways of the North Slope of Beacon Hill. Participants will learn how this colonial port district evolved from its once unsavory reputation to become a significant force in the abolitionist movement and home to various immigrant groups and institutions throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The tour includes a visit to the Vilna Shul, a synagogue built in 1919 to be the home of a congregation of Jewish Lithuanian immigrants, which now serves as a Jewish cultural center.

Registration is recommended. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

Visit or call 617-227-3956 for further details.

Dads and Donuts

The Hill House, 127 Mount Vernon St., will host Dads and Donuts from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15.

Dads and kids can visit for a morning of donuts and coffee and play with all the mats and gym equipment, create a simple art project and do sidewalk chalk art. At 10 a.m. Dads and little ones can work together as a team in a building workshop with FH Perry Builder in the art room.

Admission is $10.

Call 617-227-5838 or visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

17th century dances

Karen Beaumont will perform in a lunchtime concert at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at King’s Chapel, corner of School and Tremont streets.

Organist Beaumont will play 17th and 18th century dance music of the C.B. Fisk organ.

A donation of $3 is requested; all contributions are given directly to the musicians.

Visit or call 617-227-2155 for further information.

Italian film series

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will screen a series of films in honor of Italian Heritage Month from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, Oct. 18 and 25.

The films will include the Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Language Film “Cinema Paradiso” on Oct. 18 and Vittorio DeSica’s “Marriage Italian Style” starring Sophia Loren the following week.

For more information, call 617-523-3957.

Murder and martyrs tour

Boston by Foot will present a new walking tour “Murder, Martyrs and Mysticism” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19. Participants will meet the guide on the steps in front of the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Street.

The tour of murder, mayhem and mysticism will travel from Beacon Hill into the South End on a spooky walk through Boston neighborhoods. Walkers will learn about the less shining side of the city’s history, such as the woman who lured Houdini to Boston, the Quaker hanged for her faith and duelists who died on the Common.

Tickets are $15 or $5 for members and can be purchased in advance or from the guide.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit or call 617-237-2345.

Pumpkin float

The community is invited to the fourth annual pumpkin float from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 on Boston Common.

Festivities will include scary stories, a haunted zombie maze, decorating Halloween luminaria bags, a photo booth, entertainment with Jim the “Bubble Man” and more. There will be treats to eat and fun with Science on the Streets and the Mass. Audubon Society.

Kids are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and join the Spooky Parade. They can also bring an 8-inch or smaller carved pumpkin to float and help set the Frog Pond alight. Pumpkins will later be collected and composted by The Trustees of Reservations.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-635-2120.

Life of Anne Hutchinson

The Partnership of the Historic Bostons will present a free program on Anne Hutchinson as part of the annual Boston Charter Day celebrations, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, meeting at the Founders Memorial, Beacon Street at Spruce Street.

Hutchinson’s teachings in 1630s Boston threatened to overturn the fundamental religious doctrines of the Puritan fathers. This free walking tour will explore 1637 Boston, her ideas, the threats she posed as a woman and visionary, her trials and banishment and her legacy.

Registration is recommended for event, at Donations will be welcome.

For more information and a schedule of further programming during the Charter Day celebrations, visit

Canine promenade

The Esplanade Association will host the sixth annual canine promenade from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 22 at Fiedler Field to highlight the Esplanade as a resource for dog owners.

The afternoon will feature a half-mile Halloween parade around the Esplanade starting at 1 p.m., prizes for best doggie costume and best human/dog duet costume, photographs, animal massage and tasty treats for pups and humans. Registration is $15 in advance or $20 on the day to help support the Esplanade Association and its efforts to restore areas of the park.

Visit for more details.

Picturing Douglass

The Museum of African American History is presenting a new public exhibition “Picturing Frederick Douglass” at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy St., now through December.

Douglass was the most photographed American of the 19th century, more frequently photographed than Abraham Lincoln, and was immediately recognizable to millions in his own lifetime. Douglass used photography as a tool of reform and to elevate the image of the African-American in contradiction to the demeaning depictions of black life often seen in the 19th century.

Based on the book of the same name by Drs. John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd, co-curators of the exhibit, it features more than 90 objects, including historic photos, books, newspapers articles and original letters by Douglass.

Further information can be found by calling 617-725-0022, ext. 222 or online at

Photographs of the West End

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St., is displaying a new exhibition “Under the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord” now to Nov. 30.

The exhibit features photographs from a collection donated by Ira Tarlin that depicts the West End at the time of demolition. Eli Tarlin, Ira’s father, was an original resident who came to own numerous properties in the neighborhood. The demise of the community, says the family, was also Eli’s demise.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Call 617-416-0781 or visit for more details.