Wicked Victorian Boston

Barney Ford

Saloon Keeper-Rat Pit Manager.

This is the rat pit in Barney Ford’s saloon in the Black Sea - Boston's vice district in the 1850s. Men would gather here and bet on how many rats a dog could kill in a given time. Rat baiting, per se, was not illegal, and it appealed to Boston men of all classes, but saloon gambling of any kind was forbidden. Barney Ford himself was killed in a 4 am knife fight in someone else’s saloon.