I’m a lover of American history and I don’t apologize for thinking we live in the most wonderful country in the world! Even as a child, I was fascinated by our founding fathers and what they had accomplished. Fascinated by the drive and determination of a people who wanted freedom from oppression. Fascinated in the brilliance of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights for our countrymen. Recently, and along with dear friends who were also celebrating a big anniversary, we traveled to Boston to board a cruise ship, but we planned enough time to see the sights first and there were many!
The Freedom Trail is the red brick road you follow, a walking tour that takes you from one historic site to another all throughout the city. It’s so neat to see this pattern of bricks in all the sidewalks on the trail.
I must admit, all of the places I’ve traveled so far, Boston is my favorite city. We stayed in a lovely hotel on the Charles River, just a few steps from the Naval Ship yard and visited the U.S.S. Constitution museum. It’s one of the first stops on the Freedom Trail We learned about the ship they call, “Old Ironsides” because the sides of the ship were made of live oak, found only on the East coast and is known for its hard surface. When fired upon, the cannonballs literally bounced off, giving the impression of being made of iron. The USS Constitution is 33 and 0, never having lost a battle. It’s the oldest floating battleship in the world, having been commissioned by George Washington in 1797.
I didn’t know that if it’s on a ship it’s called a gun and if it’s on the ground, it’s called a cannon. We were duly corrected, when we asked about the “cannons.” Young boys had the danerous job of delivering the gun powder to the 12 men needed to set off one gun. Those boys were called “gun monkeys.”
We visited Paul Revere’s house, a small home of two stories, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside. The house is amazingly preserved and was said to have had over 200 residents, as it became a boardinghouse at one time. I got goose bumps when I walked inside, imagining him being there with his family. It was said he was good-looking man who had 2 wives and 16 children in his lifetime. He was an bellmaker and one of his bells sits on his property now. A bit of trivia: The Samuel Adams beer, depicts a man who we believe is Sam Adams, but is, in fact, Paul Revere. Dear Samuel Adams, apparently wasn’t pleasing to the eye.
The Old North Church is on the Freedom Trail – the oldest church in Boston constructed in 1723 and it has the tallest steeple in the city. It was here that Robert Newman signaled the approach of the British with the alert with lanterns, “One if by land, two if by sea.”
The Old State Meeting House was the Puritan House of Worship built in 1729, the site of the Boston Tea Party in 1773 with Samuel Adams leading the charge, dumping 3 shiploads of tea into the Boston Harbor.
Trinity Church in Copley Square built in 1723 burned in the Great Boston Fire in 1872 and was rebuilt by 1877. I peered inside this church and it was stunning, the artwork, stained glass and amazing architecture was something I wished we had time to explore. Directly across the street is the John Hancock Tower, constructed in the early 2000’s and many complained that the tall insurance tower would ruin the beauty of the church, so it was constructed with reflective glass. Look at the neat reflection of the church in those windows.
What would a trip to Boston be without a visit to the Cheers Bar where everybody knows your name? Built in 1895 and across the street from Boston Commons and the Public Gardens, we entered this underground bar, just to say we did!! (my hubby Don, and dear friends from grammar school, Mary and Richard)
And of course, being huge baseball fans, we had to tour Fenway Park! (note: not on the Freedom Trail, but lots of history there too)
Have you visited Boston or any city on the east coast that has sparked your interest in our history? Do you love to learn about our nation’s beginnings as much as I do? Do you get goose bumps (like I do) when you stand on the very places that made history? If you could travel to any place in America to learn more about our history, where would that be?
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