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Boston's Walk into the Revolution

August 28 - September 2, 2011

Road Scholar - Adventures in Lifelong Learning

(Formerly Elderhostel Programs)

This program was scheduled to begin on Sunday, August 28.  This

also happened to be the weekend that Hurricane "Irene" elected to

strike the eastern part of the United States.  The forecast for Sunday was high

winds and heavy rains.  Not a good idea for driving to the Road Scholar

program in Boston.  I elected to drive up to Boston on Saturday and

avoid Sundays forecast of bad weather.  The drive was good until the last

hour when it rained hard.  I was able to secure a room at the

Constitution Inn, the program's headquarters location for the week.  Sunday did prove

to be a very bad weather day in Boston. 

The Constitution Inn was a YMCA hotel located in Charlestown, Boston's

original neighborhood.  It was an easy walk to nearby Freedom Trail sights.  It was

close to the historic Charlestown Navy Yard and the berth of "Old Ironsides". 

It was a short walk to the inner Harbor Ferry dock and downtown Boston

Our Monday morning activity, began with a multimedia style lecture by Charles Bahne. 

He was our tour leader and resource person for the week.  The first morning's topic

was "Roots of the American Revolution".  Following that activity,

we boarded a bus for a driving tour of downtown Boston.

Following are some of the pictures that were taken from the bus as we drive along.

The monument marking where Paul Revere began his famous ride to Lexington and Concord.

The Boston Garden

We also drove by Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park,  it was very difficult to get a good

photo of the Park out of the bus window.

A statue honoring the Boston Bruin's star Hockey player, Bobby Orr.

The Boston Bar that was the inspiration for the television show "Cheers".

There were many colorful Duck Tour vehicles that were seen all round downtown Boston.

Museum of Fine Arts

Our bus tour ended at Copely Square

The Boston Public Library was at one side of the square

A Copely Square Fountain

John Singleton Copley, a famous portrait painter of the late

18th century and native of Boston. A bronze statue of Copley,

by sculptor Lewis Cohen, is located on the northern side of

Copely Square

Sculptures of the Turtle and Hare in Copely Square

From Copely Square, we rode the MTA under ground to Park Street Station

where we began our afternoon walking on the Freedom Trail.    Above is or first stop,

Granary Burying ground.  There were several famous Bostonians buried there.

James Otis, Jr. (February 5, 1725 May 23, 1783) was a lawyer in colonial Massachusetts, a

member of the Massachusetts provincial assembly, and an early advocate of the political

views that led to the American Revolution. The phrase "Taxation without Representation

is Tyranny" is usually attributed to him.

The grave marker of John Hancock

Paul Revere's grave

Samuel Adams grave site

Red bricks mark the Freedom Trail

King's Chapel was founded by Royal Governor Sir Edmund Andros in

1686 as the first Anglican Church in New England during the reign of King James II.

The old Boston City Hall

The Boston Five Cents Savings Bank Building

The Old South Meeting House (built 1729), in the Downtown Crossing

area of Boston, Massachusetts, gained fame as the organizing point

for the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. Some 5,000 colonists gathered

at the Meeting House, the largest building in Boston at the time.

Old South Meeting House main meeting room is still in use today.

The Old State House is a historic government building located at the intersection

of Washington and State Streets in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Built in 1713,

it is the oldest surviving public building in Boston, and the seat of the state's

legislature until 1798. It is now a history museum operated

by the Bostonian Society, a nonprofit whose primary focus is the museum.

The original Faneuil Hall was built by artist John Smibert in 17401742

in the style of an English country market, with an open ground floor and an

assembly room above, and funded by a wealthy Boston merchant, Peter Faneuil. The ground

floor was originally used to house African sheep brought over from the

northwestern region of New Hampshire. The program was short lived however, due to a

shortage of sheep and reasoning behind the program in the first place. 

The grasshopper weather vane is a well known symbol of Boston.

Our first day of touring is drawing to a close.  We covered a lot of history today. 

Our dinner stop is in Quincy market pictured above. 


Our evening dinner stop at Quincy Market

After dinner we ventured over to the long wharf Ferry Dock for our

boat ride back to Charlestown.  Pictured above is the New England Aquarium was

located next to the Ferry Wharf.

Oops!  There goes our Ferry Boat ride.  We had to wait about 30 minutes

for the next ferry to Charlestown

Sunset on downtown Boston

Sunset over the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge named for Leonard Paul "Lenny" Zakim

who was a Jewish-American religious and civil rights leader in Boston

An early Tuesday morning photo of downtown Boston.  We are off to the North End of Boston.

We walked to the Mariner's House from the Ferry Wharf.  Mariner's House is a historic

hotel at 11 North Square in Boston, Massachusetts.  It was built in 1847 by the Boston Port

and Seamen's Aid Society as an inexpensive hotel for merchant mariners on active duty. It

maintains that role today. It offers short term accommodations (maximum stay 13 days)

starting at $65 including breakfast to guests who can prove that

they are actively working in the merchant marine.

After an illustrated lecture by Pat Leehey, Chief Historian , Paul Revere House,

we had a guided walk about on the area of the North End.  The above restaurant caught

my attention with the phrase "Urban Kitchen".  My guess is that all kitchens

in cities are urban kitchens!

A well decorated ally entrance in the North End

A view of Paul Revere's home from the courtyard.  We had a guided tour of the inside of the home.

A Freedom Trail Marker in front of Paul Revere's home.

Park Street Church near Old North Church

On our walk to Old North Church, we walked though a park with a statue of a horse mounted Paul Revere.

A fountain on the way to the Old North Church

 Today the North Church is home to a Memorial Garden to commemorate the men and

women  "Who lost their lives" in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. 

Old North Church.  "One if by land, two if by sea",  the enduring fame

of the Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton,

Robert Newman, climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere

that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea and not by land.

This fateful event ignited the American Revolution.


Inside Old North Church

Old North Church Organ Loft

A bust of George Washington.  When General Lafayette saw the bust

he said "it was the most life like bust of Washington he had ever seen".

Thus ended our day in the North End of Boston.  We headed to the Ferry Wharf

where we had dinner at the Sel de la Terre restaurant.  After dinner we

 rode the Ferry back to Charlestown.  This evening we were entertained by a local

lady who helps us meet "Deborah Sampson"  It was a very interesting program and

it was very well presented.

Wednesday after breakfast, we walked over to the USS Constitution Wharf.  Above is

the Muster House where sailors reported for duty each day. 

It is no longer used and is for sale.

The USS Constitution Museum.  I visited the Museum on Wednesday afternoon

and found it to be a very interesting Museum with great displays.

USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the

United States Navy. Named by President George Washington after the Constitution

of the United States of America, she is the world's oldest floating

commissioned naval vessel. Launched in 1797, Constitution was one of six original

frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794

Our group was hosted by sailor Bill of the USS Constitution crew.  He was a wonderful

source of information about the USS Constitution.  Our tour took us below

decks and all around the ship's main deck.  It was a wonderful hour long experience. 

We were fortunate to have this tour that started an hour before the ship opened for visitors at 10:00 am.

Bill explained to our group how the nick name of "Old Ironsides" came from. It wooden

sides were too tough for enemy's iron cannon ball shots.  Hence the nick name.

24 pound cannons on the main deck

Below deck 32 pound cannons

The various types of cannon shot available on board the Constitution

Large braces located under the ship's cannons

Bilge Pumps

Ironside's Wheels

Main deck Cannons

Ready for visitors or war!

Old glory flies high on the Constitution!  There were rigging ropes everywhere you looked. 

The Constitution's aft section.  The windows part is the Captain's quarters. 

Note the cannons that are ready for war.

A last look at the USS Constitution

Sadly to say our week in Boston is almost over,  it has been a whirlwind tour of

historical facts and events.  Our guide, Charlie Bahne has been terrific as

a presenter.  His lectures makes history come alive!

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the

American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County,

Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord,

Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge, near Boston. The battles

marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the

Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in the mainland of British North America.

Above is a monument located on Lexington Green. 

Lexington Green

The first shots were fired just as the sun was rising at Lexington.

The local militia were outnumbered and fell back.

Lexington's Minuteman statue.

Buckman's Tavern still stands near the Lexington Green.

A monument honoring those who fought in the battle.

The second stop of the day is at North Bridge outside Concord.  A monument

greets visitors to the bridge.  Other colonists, hours later at the North Bridge in Concord,

fought and defeated three companies of the king's troops. The outnumbered soldiers of the

British Army fell back from the Minutemen after a pitched battle in open territory.

Near the entrance to the bridge is a monument to a fallen British Soldier


The North Bridge, often colloquially called the Old North Bridge,

crosses the Concord River in Concord, Massachusetts.  

It was the first day of battle in the Revolutionary War.

The Minuteman Statue at North Bridge

The National Park Service Visitors Center at North Bridge

One photo to show I made It!

Friday morning was a short session with the Road Scholars

walking to to Breed's Hill to view the Bunker Hill Monument and Museum.

The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775, mostly on and

around Breed's Hill, during the Siege of Boston early

in the American Revolutionary War.


The battle is named after the adjacent Bunker Hill,

which was peripherally involved in the

battle and was the original objective of both colonial

and British troops, and is occasionally referred to

as the "Battle of Breed's Hill."

Bunker Hill Monument

After day at Lexington and Concord, we were bussed back to the Constitution Inn in

 Charlestown where we debrief our weeklong history experience. 

 In order to clarify the source of some of the content found on this web page, I would

like to share that some of the descriptions and background information was taken from

Wikipedia and other internet sources.  They were included to help the web page

viewer better understand the background of the historic sites visited.

The program got rave reviews by all who attended.  I would recommend this

Road Scholar program to anyone wanting to visit Boston and learn about

the American Revolution action that happen in Boston.