10 of the Best Historic Sites in Boston | Travel Guides | History Hit

10 of the Best Historic Sites in Boston

Luke Tomes

04 Mar 2021
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1. The Freedom Trail

Boston is known as “the birthplace of the American Revolution”, mainly because it was the location of numerous historic events that ignited the War of Independence.

Boston was also the capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, the home of the colonial government, and the center of trade and commerce of the colony. Once the Revolutionary War started in April of 1775, it became a vital military and strategical objective for both British forces and the colonists.

The Freedom Trail contains all the sites which tell the story of the port city’s importance in the birth of the United States of America.

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2. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is a floating history museum with live reenactments and multimedia exhibits. Its area of focus is the Boston Tea Party of 1773, by far the most important historic event in the city’s history and a key trigger of the American War of Independence.

The Boston Tea Party Museum features reenactments of the event in 1773, a documentary, and a number of interactive exhibits.

The museum features two replica ships of the period, Eleanor and Beaver. Additionally, the museum possesses one of two known tea chests from the original event, part of its permanent collection.

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3. Boston Common

Boston Common is a central park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1634, it is the oldest public park in the United States.

In 1634, Puritan colonists purchased the land rights to the Common’s 44 acres from the first European settler of the area, Anglican minister William Blackstone. Originally, the Common included the entire block northeast of where Park Street is now, bounded by Beacon Street and Tremont Street.

Almost four hundred years after its establishment, families come to this treasured remnant of 17th century Boston for leisure – to stroll, jog, skate on the Frog Pond, and play in the fields.

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4. USS Constitution Museum

The USS Constitution Museum is a floating museum dedicated to the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy that has survived to this day.

In 1794, Congress authorized the construction of the first six warships to comprise the new United States Navy. Each of the six vessles were built at various ports along the eastern coast.

USS Constitution was built at Hartt’s shipyard in the North End of Boston. Construction began in 1794 and Constitution launched on the 21 October, 1797. She went on her first cruise the next year as the Quasi-War with France emerged. USS Constitution’s crew defeated four British frigates during three separate engagements in the War of 1812.

After over 200 years in the Navy, Constitution still calls Charlestown home and relies on the same facilities for maintenance and repair.

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5. Bunker Hill Monument

The Bunker Hill Monument is a memorial of the Battle of Bunker Hill, which took place on 17 June 1775 between the British army and the militias of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island early in the American Revolution.

Bunker Hill Monument sits atop Breed’s Hill, on which most of the Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought, however, the battle is named after the parties’ objective goal, Bunker Hill.

The monument an obelisk standing 221 feet high which visitors can enter and even climb to the top for stunning views from its observation deck.

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6. Faneuil Hall

Faneuil is a marketplace and meeting hall located near the waterfront and Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts. Officially opened in 1743, Faneuil Hall was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and other Founding Fathers who encouraged independence from Great Britain.

Four buildings – Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market – constitute Faneuil Hall Marketplace which is now part of Boston National Historical Park and has become a well-known stop on The Freedom Trail.

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7. Old South Meeting House

The Old South Meeting House is a historic congregational church situated in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It gained fame as the organizing point for the Boston Tea Party in 1773.

As tensions grew about the British colonial government in the latter half of the eighteenth century, the Old South Meeting House became the home of free speech in Boston.

As the largest building in the town, it was often used as an alternative to Faneuil Hall, which was the official town meeting hall.

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8. Old North Church

Old North Church is Boston’s oldest church, having been built in 1723 in the Georgian style. Originally called Christ’s Church, Old North Church was also the tallest building in Boston at the time and thus came to serve an important role in the American Revolution, particularly in Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride.

Today Old North Church is still an operating Episcopal house of worship as well as a museum where visitors can admire its architecture and see the window from which Newman fled from the British that fateful night. One can also hear the tolling of the oldest bells in America.

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9. Paul Revere House

Paul Revere House was the home of goldsmith/silversmith and founding father Paul Revere and his family from 1770 to 1800.

In 1774 and 1775, during the build up to the American Revolution, Paul Revere was tasked as an express rider on behalf of the Massachusetts Committee of Safety and the Boston Committee of Correspondence.

This role would lead him to perform one of the most famous rides in American history. On the eve of 18 April 1775, Revere was called upon to ride to Lexington, Massachusetts to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that British forces were on their way to detain them. It is Paul Revere whose famous words are said to have been “The British are coming!”, raising the alarm and allowing the Americans to prepare for battle.

Paul Revere House forms part of Boston’s Freedom Trail.

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10. Old State House

The Old State House in Boston played an important role in the American Revolution and is now one of the sites included in the Freedom Trail, a tourist trail made up of sixteen sites relating to the American Revolution against the British.

The Old State House was part of the Boston Massacre of 1770, as attested to by a plaque beneath its balcony which indicates that this was the location where British soldiers fired into a group of Bostonians. This balcony was the scene of happier times on 18 July 1776, when Colonel Thomas Crafts read out the Declaration of Independence to the public for the first time.

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