Sep 23, 2020 Boston Freedom Trail: Part Three
The freedom trail is a 2.5 mile long path in Boston. In my opinion the Freedom Trail cannot be seen in one day. So we decided to split the Boston Freedom Trail into parts, including some spots not included on the trail worth mentioning. This trail is marked largely with red brick and plaques engraved in the ground with each stop on the trail. The Freedom Trail did take us two whole days, honestly we could have spent much longer. I like to take the time to read the plaques and go inside each historical location. However, only two days since covid-19 some were not open for public viewing. I will add in whether or not a place was open for viewing.
Founded in 1634, this is the oldest public park in America. It is about 50 acres. I will tell you of key spots to visit since it is so large in size. The visitors center is located in Boston Commons and is the starting point of the freedom trail. You can get brochures here detailing the trail. There are numerous things to see in Boston Commons. Below I listed some interesting things to see in the park.
1.) First Football Club in America: The first organized football club was in Boston in 1862. These football games played at Boston Commons. So any sports fan needs to stop by this plaque. Not much to see but very interesting.
2.) Soldiers and Sailors Monument: A beautiful monument to represent those soldiers and sailors who died in the American Civil War.
3.) Seasonal Things to do: The swan boats around the lake are great for all ages. It is available to ride in the spring and summer. Costs $4 for adults and $2.50 for kids. Winter you can ice skate on the lake (on my bucket list). Over 58 inches $6.00 for admission to ice skate under is free. Ice skate rentals and locker rentals are extra. You can bring your own skates.
4.) Goodwill Hunting Bench: This bench where Robin Williams delivers his famous speech in the movie. You can find the location on google maps under Robin Williams bench.
Massachusetts State House:
Massachusetts State House is the state capitol. You can tour this building however due to Covid-19 it was closed. It is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Now is the chance to wander off the Freedom Trail to take in the absolutely stunning Beacon Hill neighborhood and architecture. These homes are stunning.
Park Street Church:
Termed Brimstone Corner both for usage of gunpowder storage for The War of 1812 & intense preachings. On Independence Day in 1831 Samuel Francis Hymn America (My country Tis of Thee) was first sung here. Due to covid-19 this site is currently closed.
Granary Burying Ground:
Established in 1660, this site was used to help overcrowding in King’s Chapel Burying Ground. Final resting place for Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Peter Faneuil, and Paul Revere just to name a few. The grounds are beautiful and do have information plaques around to give you more information on site.
King’s Chapel & Burying Ground:
King’s Chapel was established in 1686 as the first Anglican congregation in New England. Also the first church in New England to have a pipe organ. The oldest church with continual use of pulpit in the United States. Although due to covid-19 this building was closed for tours. However, the burial grounds were open and we were able to walk through the cemetery two notable people buried here are John Winthrop and Reverend John Cotton among others.
Benjamin Franklin Statue and Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School is the oldest public school. The statue of Benjamin Franklin was a former student and marks the exact location of the old school house.
Old Corner Bookstore:
Now a Mexican fast food joint but used to be an intellectual hotspot. This bookstore was the publisher of artists Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. “Today, the Old Corner Bookstore building is the only official Freedom Trail site that is completely commercial. HBI continues to own and operate this historic structure and net revenue from the building’s leases support HBI’s preservation mission in Boston’s neighborhoods.” (Old Corner Bookstore). If you are like me you are probably thinking what the heck does Chiptole have to do with the Freedom Trail.
Old State House & Boston Massacre Site:
Governing bodies and the court met here. Main claim to fame is that The Declaration of Independence was read at this location for the first time. Many other notable announcements were also made here. During our visit it was closed due to covid-19 however, is now open per website. Just right out front of the Old State House in the square the Boston Massacre took place. There is an informational plaque on the trail detailing the event.
The USS Constitution was constructed in 1797 and used during the Battle of 1812. You can also visit the USS Constitution Museum to learn more about the warship. This museum is right across from the ship and is $10 an adult. It is a very impressive ship and guides are on the boat willing to answer any questions. Unfortunately, due to covid it was closed during the time we went. However, we went prior and it was such a gem of history. I know it was Sam’s favorite part. Also the view of the Boston harbor with the cityscape in the back is beautiful.
Bunker Hill Monument:
The site of the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War. You can climb the monument, however not to be redundant it was closed due to covid and per website still closed. You can still view the monument and grounds. However, Bunker Hill Museum is open on a modified schedule.
*Note I will be updating this guide once most places reopen for viewing so I can give you the best details on all places!
Old Corner Bookstore. Retrieved from https://historicboston.org/portfolio_page/old-corner-bookstore/