Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Boston's Freedom Trail

If you ever go to Boston, make sure you check out the Freedom Trail! The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile walking trail that connects 16 historical sites in downtown Boston. The trail is an actual brick (or painted red line in some places) path that you follow along. You can start the trail at Boston Common and work your way along, or simply jump in like we did. I later learned that there is an app you can download that serves as a tour guide of the trail! That would have been great! Here is what the trail looks like. We took this picture in front of the church.

The curriculum that I teach in my 5th grade classroom covers the American Revolution, so going to Boston was a dream trip for me!! There were so many places that I wanted I see. On the top of my list was the Old North Church. When we arrived at the church, it was like stepping back in history. I tried to imagine what the city would have looked like in 1775 when those two lanterns were lit as a signal to Paul Revere.

Tourists are allowed inside the church, and we listened to a short presentation about the significant role the belfry of the church played in the Revolution. I was glad for the little lesson, as Ali (being from England) was clueless about this part of American history. I have him the 5th grade version, and was glad to have the presenter give a little more detail. The inside of the church was beautiful. We were allowed to sit in one of the boxes to listen to the speaker, which I thought was so neat!! Here is a picture of the inside of the church.

After leaving the church, we followed the trail along and came to this statue of Paul Revere riding his steed and shouting out his warning.

Our tour continued as we followed the path of red bricks straight to Paul Revere's house. The trail sure made finding our next stop easy!! This marker was located right outside the house.

This is the house that Paul was living in when he rode on his famous midnight ride. The house itself was built in 1680, but Paul purchased it in 1770. I paid $3.50 to tour the house, which is decorated as if the Revere family were still living there. Unfortunately photographs were not allowed inside the house. The ticket guy overheard me telling another guest that I was a teacher, and gave me a teacher packet full of neat facts and activities to use in my classroom.

Look who I ran into in the yard!! It's none other than Henry Wadsworth Longfellow!! He is the poet made famous by his poem "Paul Revere's Ride". Of course this guy is just an actor...but he took on the role well. He was actually doing some readings of his poetry there at the house. He also had some writing activities for children to do while they were there.

As we walked out of the yard, we ran into our friend Tristan!! She was out walking the trail while her husband was resting up for the marathon. Ali decided then that he'd had enough history lessons and walking, and he decided to follow Steve's lead and rest up too. He headed back to the hotel, and Tristan and I continued along the trail.

Our next stop on the Freedom Trail was the Old State House. The Boston Massacre occurred just in front of this building. This is also the site where the Declaration of Independence was read aloud to the public in 1776!

This brick design marks the site of the Boston Massacre. Here I tried to imagine what it must have been like that night when the colonists were taunting those soldiers. I could imagine the tense atmosphere and anger that they must have all felt.

Inside the house we found a coat that had belonged to John Hancock. Doesn't it look hot and stuffy? Those poor guys wore this kind of thing even in the heat of summer! Imagine wearing this many layers in a crowded meeting hall with all the doors and windows shut tight. No wonder these guys were moody.

Our tour ended there for the day as we both wanted to get back to our husbands and get ready for dinner. I had such an amazing time exploring this part of American history. There were just a few places left on my list of "must sees" that I didn't get to on this trip. We had planned on visiting the Boston Tea Party on Monday after the race, but unfortunately that didn't quite work out. That is ok though, as I would love to return to Boston with our boys at one point in the future. It would be a great stop on a summer road trip!!
This last picture was taken at the Public Garden in Boston Common. What a beautiful place. I look forward to returning one day soon.

Have you ever been to Boston? Are there any historical sites you would love to visit?

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