We arrived in Boston and stayed downtown at the Intercontinental Hotel. It’s a fairly upscale hotel that gets good reviews which are well deserved.
Since this was our first destination we chose to take it a bit slow and test out morning routines and also look to do some walking. Colleen even came running with me – I think the last time was when we lived in Manor Park in 1995 and it didn’t go so well. This time it was great! We ran two mornings – the third we were in transit.
Boston is a great place to see history. We walked along the freedom trail towards Bunker Hill. The Freedom Trail is well-marked and is actually embedded in the cobble stone.
The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Monument are described below:
“On June 17, 1775, New England soldiers faced the British army for the first time in a pitched battle. Popularly known as “The Battle of Bunker Hill,” bloody fighting took place throughout a hilly landscape of fenced pastures that were situated across the Charles River from Boston. Though the British forces claimed the field, the casualties inflicted by the Provincial solders from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire were staggering. Of the some 2,400 British Soldiers and Marines engaged, some 1,000 were wounded or killed.
Fifty years after the battle, the Marquis De Lafayette set the cornerstone of what would become a lasting monument and tribute to the memory of the Battle of Bunker Hill. The project was ambitious: construct a 221-foot tall obelisk built entirely from quarried granite (290 steps to walk up) . It took over seventeen years to complete, but it still stands to this day atop a prominence of the battlefield now known as Breed’s Hill. Marking the site where Provincial forces constructed an earthen fort, or “Redoubt,” prior to the battle, this site remains the focal point of the battle’s memory.”
Boston Harbour Front
We were greeted with American Patriotism by this giant flag waving in the archway to the Boston Harbour Front.
Old South Meeting House
One of the areas we stopped was at the Old South Meeting House, built in 1729 as a Puritan Meeting House. Benjamin Franklin was baptized here and in 1773 over 5,000 people congregated at the house to protest the tax on tea which subsequently led Samuel Adams to give the signal that launched the Boston Tea Party.
We stopped to do some banking and saw this ornate building across the way.
It is the old State House and was the scene of the killing of five colonists by British troops on March 5, 1770. The deaths were the culmination of tensions that had been growing in the American colonies since Royal troops first appeared in Massachusetts in October 1768 to enforce the heavy tax burden imposed by the Townshend Acts. Paul Revere coined the event the ‘Bloody Massacre on State Street’ and later in the 1800s it became known as the Boston Massacre.
Granary Burying Ground
The Granary Burying Ground was an interesting cemetery that we walked through. It was named for the 12,000-bushel grain storage building that was once next door. The historic cemetery has 2,300 markers. However, there is a discrepancy between the number of headstones and the number of people buried in the Granary – it is estimated there are over 5,000 Bostonians who have made the Granary their final resting place.
Our last historic stop was Boston Common. Established in 1634, it is considered America’s oldest public park. Puritan colonists purchased the land rights to the Common’s 44 acres from the first settler of the area, Anglican minister William Blackstone. The price was 30 pounds of which each homeowner paid him six shillings. The pasture became known as the ‘Common Land’ and was used to graze local livestock until 1830.
I wanted to see Boston Common because it was featured in the 1986 movie, Highlander. A drunken Connor McCloud fought a duel on Boston Common against Mr Bassett after calling his wife a bloated warthog.
Boston Kitchen Pizza
Initially we were going to eat lunch at a noteworthy Vietnamese sandwich shop but the cockroach that greeted us at the door quickly changed our minds. Instead we went for some Boston Pizza – although Ben had a hamburger!
Overall, Boston is perfectly set up for an historic walking tour or two.