One of the oldest cities in our country and home of many of our country’s founding fathers, Boston is an eclectic mix of modern and historic architecture. In the spring of 2012, my wife, Lynn, and I made our first trip to Massachusetts to visit our son, Josh and his wife, Nichole. At the time, they were living in Worchester, a short freeway ride from Boston. We would only be there for a long weekend, so we spent one night in Boston to take in some of the city’s attractions.
In the oldest section of the city is a brick-lined walk, a 2.5 mile (4 km) pathway that meanders past many Revolutionary War landmarks. The brick trail was designed in the 1950’s to pass by sixteen historically significant sites. Herewith, I submit for your entertainment, a gallery of images featuring some of the sights found along the Freedom Trail in Boston.
King’s Chapel Burying Grounds on Tremont Street
We intercepted the trail on Tremont Street at King’s Chapel and walked through the burial ground located adjacent to the church. The cemetery was Boston’s only burial ground for nearly 30 years. Mary Chilton, the first woman to step off the Mayflower and John Winthrop, Massachusetts’ first Governor are both interred here.
Headstone graphics were a common symbolic expression of the afterlife
One of the many statues in the city guards the cornerstone of Old City Hall
Old City Hall on School Street, converted to an office building in the 1960’s, was completed in 1865. In the 128 years this building housed Boston’s Mayors, 38 served their terms of office here.
The Old South Meeting House lays in the shadows of a Boston skyscraper
The Old South Meeting House was a rallying point for the revolutionaries, and was the launching site for the original Boston Tea Party. Revolutionaries disguised as Mohawk Indians effected the destruction of over 30 tons of British tea. The Puritan meeting house is not a church, but a gathering place for Puritan worshipers.
One of the many taverns along the Freedom Trail
You won’t go thirsty on your walk along the route. Taverns and pubs line the streets along the Freedom Trail. Many of the establishments were founded in revolutionary times. The
Green Dragon Tavern of today is a namesake of a tavern that became known as the
“Headquarters of the Revolution.”
Actors in period costumes are prolific along the trail
Inside the Green Dragon Tavern, a soldier of the British Army confers with his superiors. It’s a wonder the British didn’t win the Revolutionary War, considering their technically superior cell phone communications of the day.
Paul Revere rides in the shadow of the Old North Church
The oldest standing church building is Christ Church, completed in 1723. Known popularly as The Old North Church, the tall spire would briefly hold the lanterns that warned the colonists in Charlestown of the advancing British troops. Paul Revere and William Dawes would make their famous ride. Soon the battles of Lexington and Concord would begin the American Revolution.
Narrow streets and parking problems are features of older Boston neighborhoods
In the section of Boston known as North End, merchants and craftsmen who lived in the area would eventually be interred in Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. The largest colonial burying ground, Copp’s Hill dates from 1659.
Copp’s Hill was named for a shoemaker, William Copp
A working man’s cemetery, Copp’s Hill was the final resting place for the ordinary man. Only a handful of historic notables were buried here, including Cotton Mather and his father Increase, two Puritan ministers involved with the Salem witch trials. Almost 1000 free African-Americans who lived along Charter Street were also buried here.
This gallery contains only a sample of the many historic sites along and near the Freedom Trail. To see Paul Revere’s House, the site of the Boston Massacre, the USS Constitution and more along the trail, you’ll just have to visit Boston. You can’t get lost on the trail, just follow the red bricks imbedded in the sidewalks.
My son, Josh and his wife, Nichole, stopped to enjoy the view of the harbor next to the New England Aquarium
From the deck of Josh’s apartment, Lake Quigsigamond shimmers in the moonlight