Boston walking tour long version
Built in 1729, the Old South Meeting House is best known for its role during of Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773, several thousand colonists gathered at the meeting house to discuss the proper response to British taxation. From this historic church, the participants launched the most famous political protest in colonial history.
The Park Street Church was founded over 200 years ago by a band of Christians who decided to break away from the worshipers at the Old South Church. They chose the site at the corner of Park and Tremont Streets, atop the site of Boston’s town grain storage building, for construction of their new church. The church’s towering 217-foot steeple was one of the first landmarks travelers saw when approaching Boston by sea. Park Street Church also became known for supporting abolitionism and social justice. On July 4, 1829, a young William Lloyd Garrison delivered his first major public speech against slavery.
Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts was built in 1742 by merchant Peter Faneuil as a gift to the city to support civic and economic life as both a marketplace and a place for public meetings. The original structure was destroyed by fire in 1761 but rebuilt the following year. Similar to some New England merchants in the colonial period, Faneuil owned slaves earned some of his fortune from the slave trade, and some of Boston's earliest slave auctions took place at this location. Despite its connection to slavery, Faneuil Hall was also the location of numerous gatherings by future rebel leaders in the years leading up to the American Revolution. For example, in 1764 this building was the site of a protest against the Sugar Act. As a result of its connection to many patriot leaders, this building is sometimes referred to as the "Cradle of Liberty" and remains one of the most significant sites related to Boston's early history and its connection to the American Revolution.
The Boston Latin School was the first public school established in America. It was established on April 23, 1635. The first classes took place in the home of its first headmaster, Philemon Pormont, in 1635. The school's first building was located here between 1645 and 1745. That wooden school was later demolished to allow for the expansion of King's Chapel, but the institution continued to educate young men for two centuries before admitting its first female students in 1972. Boston Latin continues to operate in the Fenway neighborhood, educating future leaders. Among the many distinguished graduates, five of the signers of the Declaration of Independence attended classes at Boston Latin School. A statue of Boston Latin School attendee Benjamin Franklin stands where the school once stood.
Founded as the first Anglican congregation in New England in 1686, King’s Chapel also holds the distinction of being America’s first Christian Unitarian church. Located on the corner of Tremont and School Streets since the 17th century, the current Kings Chapel is the congregation’s second church on the site and was completed in 1754. Designed by architect Peter Harrison, it is a National Historic Landmark and often considered to be the best example of Georgian architecture in America. Over 333-years-old, the congregation is still active today hosting services and a popular music program.
Boston's oldest remaining brick building and one-time home of John Hancock's brother, the Ebenezer Hancock House (built circa 1767) is a National and Boston Historic Landmark. The restored structure—Boston's only remaining building associated with John Hancock—is now home to a lawfirm [1; 2; 3].
Established in 1634, Boston Common is America’s oldest public park. Puritan colonists purchased the land rights to the Common’s 44 acres from the first settler of the area, Anglican minister William Blackstone. The price was 30 pounds, and each homeowner paid him six shillings. The pasture then became known as the "Common Land" and was used to graze local livestock until 1830. Boston Common was a place for celebration as well; bonfires and fireworks celebrated the repeal of the Stamp Act and the end of the Revolutionary War. Over 1000 Redcoats made camp on the Common during the British occupation of Boston in 1775. It was from here that three brigades of Redcoats left to make the fateful trip to Lexington and Concord.
Paul Revere's second home in Boston, which has become a national historic landmark. He owned it from 1770 to 1800. It is downtown Boston's oldest building, and one of the few remaining from an early era in the history of colonial America. In 1902, Paul Revere's great-grandson, John P. Reynolds Jr. purchased the building to ensure that it would not be demolished. Money was raised and the Paul Revere Memorial Association formed to preserve and renovate the building. In April 1908, the Paul Revere House opened its doors to the public as one of the earliest historic house museums in the U.S. The Association still oversees the preservation and day-to-day operations of this national treasure.
This visitor's center offers information about Boston Common and the Freedom Trail, a two-and-a-half brick trail that links sixteen sites related to Boston before and during the American Revolution. Most decided to take the free self-guided tour option, although there are formal walking tours that include a guide available. Tour highlights include the home of Paul Revere, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Bunker Hill Monument, and the Old South Meeting House. While most sites are free to see, there are some that include an admission fee to enter.
Originally commissioned in 1884, this statue depicting Paul Revere during his famous "Midnight Ride of April 18, 1775, was not completed and dedicated until 1940 after a series of political disputes regarding nearly every aspect of the statue. Revere was among numerous colonists who rode on horseback to warn colonial leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the movements of the British. Revere was detained while other riders were successful in their mission, but Revere became immortalized by the nation's leading poet and remains the most famous of the colonial riders at that time. To this day, the poem and its dramatic story of Revere and the signal in the bell tower of Christ Church in Boston remain a dominant symbol of the Revolutionary period and resistance against the British leading up to the battles of Lexington and Concord.
The Old North Church houses many gardens, one of which is the Memorial Garden. Opened in 2006, the Memorial Garden was the nation’s first public memorial honouring the American lives lost in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Today the memorial features nameless dog tags to symbolise the number of fallen American soldiers, totalling 6,884 as of July 4th 2016.
The Old North Church is an Episcopal church located in the North End area of Boston, Massachusetts. The church is most famous for spreading the warning of incoming British troops to Paul Revere as he made his historic "Midnight Ride" through the Massachusetts countryside, launching the beginning of the American Revolution. Guests today who visit the church will take away a sense of pride and respect towards the pioneers of patriotism who literally lit the way towards independence. The church holds an annual celebration to mark the anniversary of the Midnight Ride by reenacting the placement of the two lanterns in the church's steeple.
The four-story house at 44 Hull Street in Boston’s North End has earned itself the title of the skinniest house in Boston. Built sometime in the 1870s, it has been renovated and kept up over the years and is still a privately owned home. At only about ten feet at its widest point, it stands out from other North End apartments because of its extremely narrow proportions. Although there is some disagreement as to why the house was built so narrow, many local stories support the idea that is was built as a “spite house”.
Near this historic marker stood a large elm tree where residents of Boston held numerous public meetings throughout the mid-18th century. On August 14, 1765, opponents of the Crown's recent taxes affixed threatening messages and hung an effigy of Andrew Oliver, the newly appointed tax collector for the royal government. Those who opposed the Stamp Tax and other British policies increasingly used the tree as the site of their protests. In the years that followed, more colonists began to call for political independence from Britain and they began to refer to this elm as the Liberty Tree. As more meetings and protests were held near this tree, the elm became a symbol of resistance and rebellion. Because the opponents of the Crown referred to the elm as "The Liberty Tree," supporters of the British Crown targeted the tree during the siege of Boston in August, 1775. Loyalists cut the tree down, but the site remained important to the patriot cause and continued to be a site of pro-independence rallies. The location of the former tree is commemorated by a plaque on the side of the building and a bas relief sculpture
Installed in old Boston cobblestones on October 4, 1987, this bronze statue represents Mrs. Mallard and her eight ducklings from Robert McCloskey’s book, “Make Way for Ducklings.” In addition to being the official Massachusetts state children’s book, Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings have been highly influential in Boston’s culture. While this statue serves as a tourist attraction for young children, it has also played a role in such historical events as easing US-Soviet nuclear tensions as well as many feminist movements. This statue has been affecting the culture of Boston and its people for over 30 years.
The Boston Tea Party and Ships Museum includes virtual exhibits, replica life size tea ships, and traditional exhibits about the history of the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. The museum offers an extremely unique experience for visitors as it includes actors who play the role of eighteenth century colonists who take visitors to explore the ships, dump tea, and visit Abigail’s Tea Room. The museum includes replicas of all 3 ships that sailed from London carrying British East India Company Tea to Boston in 1773: the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor, all of which were American built and owned.
Established in 1837, the Boston Public Garden is the first public botanical garden in America. It lies adjacent to the Boston Common (separated by Charles Street) on land which was once Round Marsh, a tidal marshland along the bay of the Charles River in Colonial times. Today, the park features a number of statues and fountains, Swan Boat rides in the lagoon, seasonal floral displays, tropical displays, rose beds and topiary, greenhouses with over 80 species of plants, and over 100 varieties of trees, including a Dawn redwood from ancient seeds discovered in China. Hour-long public tours are offered twice daily, May - September, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am and 4 pm.
The Boston Children’s Museum is the 2nd oldest children’s museum in the world and provides hands on experiences, education, and engaging exhibits for children and families. The museums exhibitions and programs focus on science, culture, the environment, health and fitness, and the arts. The museum’s interactive exhibits include Art Studio, Arthur and Friends, Boston Black, Countdown to Kindergarten, Investigate, Johnny’s Workbench, Kidstage, Our Green Trail, Playspace, Broken? Fix it!, Bubbles, Construction Zone, Healthyville, Japanese House, Japanese House Gallery, Kid Power, New Balance Climb, Peep’s world, Raceways, The Common (an exhibit that uses brain building activities to build gross motor skills), and The Gallery, which displays various local artists’ works.
Launched in Boston in 1797, the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat. The ship earned her nickname "Old Ironsides" during the War of 1812 when she engaged the British frigate HMS Guerriere. During this historic battle, crew members exclaimed that the Guerriere's cannonballs appeared to bounce off their ship's hull. When one of the crew declared that it seemed as if the Constitution's sides were made of iron, the ship's nickname and its aura of invincibility was born. The durability of Constitution is attributed to a three-layer wooden sandwich of live oak and white oak from all across America. The ship’s copper fastenings were constructed by Paul Revere. The USS Constitution Museum offers the public a chance to step into history and examine the USS Constitution's storied past. Digital programs and interactive exhibits offer visitors the chance to see how the Ship fit into a historical context. The Museum is innovative and resolute in their efforts to create an enjoyable and educational environment for people of all ages. Each morning at 8AM, 50 visitors can witness a live ceremony including the firing of the ship's cannon.
The Trinity Church was originally founded in 1728, after determining that the two other Episcopalian churches in the City couldn’t take in any new parishioners. The current church was completed in 1877. Its architecture is nationally acclaimed for its unique “Richardsonian Romanesque” design. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
The battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, during the years of the Revolutionary War. British forces defeated the Americans. Despite this loss, the revolutionary army was able to inflict significant casualties on the British. The battle demonstrated the potential of the newly-formed colonial army. Though the conflict is commonly called the Battle of Bunker Hill, most of the fighting occurred at Breed’s Hill outside Boston.
Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave, born in 1820. During the Civil War, she was one of the leading abolitionists in the Underground Railroad, saving more than 300 slaves. Originally from Maryland, she moved to Auburn, New York after the war where she published her biography and aided newly freed slaves in beginning their lives. The statue depicts Tubman with a bible in her left hand leading freed slaves. It is located in the South End of Boston and was created in 1999 by Fern Cunningham, a graduate from Boston University. Boston proudly commemorates both the Union and women with this statue. On the reverse side of the monument is a vertical slab that tracks the route that Tubman took when accompanying passengers on the Underground Railroad.
Dorchester Heights was one of the first posts for George Washington in a battle in January of 1776. Washington had commanded Henry Knox to lead the mission of delivering fifty nine cannons to Boston from Fort Ticonderoga in New York. Which would have not been possible without the French men Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold, whom captured the Fort Ticonderoga from the British and American rebels in May of 1775. The sight was utilized by Washington in order to contain the British, and raised interest of the Continental Congress to move forward against the British. Today, it is enclosed in a Historical National Park.
The 1767 Milestones are a series of granite and sandstone milestones that span the length of the Old Post Road from Boston, Massachusetts to Springfield, Massachusetts. Their purpose was to guide early colonial postal workers in their deliveries of packages from Boston to farms, plantations, and estates along the road and back. The Milestones are cherished as a vital snapshot of the development of Early American transportation, and many of the stones have been restored or memorialized along the route.
Boston Latin School is the first and oldest public school in the United States. It was established on April 23, 1635 by the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. When Boston Latin School opened, the goal was to provide boys with a free, quality education. With studies focusing on language, literature, writing, and religion, students who graduated from Boston Latin School would be prepared to go to the most prestigious universities, particularly Harvard University. The school has remained in operation since its founding, today a prestigious six-year preparatory school.