Friday, September 10, 2010

The Freedom Trail, Part 1

Hurricane Earl blew through on Friday night and we awoke on Saturday morning to a gloriously beautiful day to start our trek on the Freedom Trail. (If we ever go back we will not do this all in one day!)
The tour starts on Boston Common which was just a block from our hotel. This parcel of land was purchased by the puritans from the first settler of the area, William Blackstone, an Anglican Minister. It was also a training field where 1000 Redcoats made camp during the British occupation of Boston during 1775.
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Benjamin Franklin met people in front of the Visitor’s Center. He led one of the walking tours. He wouldn’t pose for a picture with us unless we purchased a ticket for the tour.
If there was a graveyard to see, we saw it. We were looking for some of our relatives! This one was on the grounds of the common and supposedly includes graves of some of the Redcoats and the painter, Gilbert Stuart.
Looking across the park to Beacon Hill.
  This is looking down Boylston toward the Ritz Carlton.
The Soldiers and Sailors monument on Flag Staff Hill…built in memory of Massachusetts soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War.
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Every park that we saw had a carousel.
Looking up one of the streets in Beacon Hill.
The New State House which was built on land that was originally Jon Hancock’s cow pasture. I was standing in front of the iron fence above when I took the picture.
I believe the statue is Horace Mann, the father of education.
The next stop on the Freedom Trail is Park Street Church. This is located right across the street from the Omni. Every time we took a walk we heard the bells playing old hymns and chiming the hour…beautiful. It was built on top of Boston’s grain storage building, the granary. Park Street Church is famous for the movements that began here: prison reform, women’s suffrage, and the abolitionist’s cause. William Lloyd Garrison made his first speech here. My Country ‘Tis of Thee was sung for the first time on the steps of this church.
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Next to Park Street Church is the Granary Burial Ground. Many of the patriots are buried here…
Paul Revere
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John Hancock
The monuments were very interesting…a skull with wings was one of the carvings we saw repeatedly.
IMG_1849 IMG_1850 This is the tomb of Ben Franklin’s parents. He was born in Boston, but is buried in Philadelphia.
Paul Revere’s tomb
Where there was a grave of a patriot, people had left pennies – I’m not sure why…
This was the grave of one of the “Mother Goose.”
One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence…

Sam Adams, who provided the fervor for the Revolution, while John Hancock provided the money.
The individuals who died at te Boston Massacre are also buried here. I don’t know why people were laying stones on top of the monument.
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I guess that’s enough gravesites for one post! Ha! It’s a little strange standing on the graves of the individuals who you’ve read about your entire life. Most of the graves of the patriots or founders of the country have American flags stuck in the ground next to them and all of them had little pyres of rocks people had built with pennies scattered among the rocks.

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