A French ship en route to a Catholic convent in Québec met with trouble on a dark night in 1746.
Privateer—some say pirate—Thomas Gruchy and his crew boarded the ship and stole its cargo. Included in the loot were four intricately carved wooden angel figurines, which Gruchy smuggled back into Boston via a tunnel from the harbor to his home on Salem Street. He then generously donated the gorgeous statues to the Old North Church, where they still hang today. Gruchy’s home has since been reconstructed, and although access to the tunnels lasted into the twentieth century, it is now closed off by a brick wall in the home’s basement.