Peter McCauley III

September 4, 2009
By

The death of Peter McCauley is a tremendous loss for those of us who care about history, and especially about the history of this city.

There was no one living or dead, and this includes John Henry, who knew more about the ancient settling of this place, its growth over the centuries, and how exactly it came to be.

In countless discussions held over many years with him, Peter McCauley always epitomized the quintessential historian in a city that has very few of them.

Over the centuries, history has been literally and figuratively erased in this city.

There is very little from the past to remind those living in the present of what came before.

Mr. McCauley’s efforts to collect bits and pieces from the past and to advocate for efforts at preserving what came before, is about all that exists between Revere having some history to draw on and none.

This was his mark. It earned him a place in the living history of this city and among those of us who knew him well. It is his legacy and his alone.

Mr. McCauley’s Revere Beach compendium, “Revere Beach Chips,” is a fantastic history of the beach, beginning in 1881 and ending in 1950.

This was Mr. McCauley’s magnum opus.

Mr. McCauley was also instrumental in giving the Revere Society for Cultural Historic Preservation its reason to exist.

He was a modest, humble man, a serious man who took history here to a new level.

Mr. McCauley believed that if you didn’t understand the history of the city, then you couldn’t understand the city at all in a meaningful way, and he was right.

We will miss Mr. McCauley. His doggedness about preserving history here was admirable.

Our condolences to his family.

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