Day 56, Sunday, September 9, 2018
Boston Freedom Trail, Boston, Massachusetts
Stop 5: King’s Chapel & King’s Chapel Burying Ground
The original King’s Chapel was built in 1688 on the town burying ground, when no one in Boston would sell the Royal Governor land to build a non-Puritan church.
By 1749, the congregation had grown too large for the church, and American architect Peter Harrison was hired to design a church that “would be the equal to any in England.” The steeple that was part of the original design was never built, but it does contain a colonnade, which was completed after the Revolution.
The King’s Chapel Burying Ground remains next to the chapel and was Boston proper’s first burying ground. It contains the graves of many notables, including Mary Chilton, the first woman to step off the Mayflower.
Stop 6: Boston Latin School Site/Benjamin Franklin Statue
Boston Latin is America’s oldest public school, founded in April 1635. Five signers of the Declaration of Independence attended here: Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, and William Hooper. Interestingly though, Ben Franklin did not graduate; did you know that he was a high school dropout?
This building was torn down in 1745 in order to expand the King’s Chapel next door, but there is now a statue of Benjamin Franklin on the site as well as a historic plaque on the sidewalk. The school has moved to the Fenway neighborhood and continues to this day.
Stop 7: The Old Corner Bookstore
The Old Corner Bookstore began in 1718 as an apothecary shop. The bookstore and printing shop that occupied this site was opened 1828 and operated until 1903. It first produced the works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Wardo Emerson, John Greenleaf Whittier, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., and Louisa May Alcott. Many of these notable authors visited the building.
The building has been preserved, but sadly there is no longer a bookstore here. I believe it currently houses a Chipotle restaurant.
Stop 8: The Old South Meeting House
This building was built in 1729 as a Puritan meeting house, and was at one time the largest building in Boston. It was also the site where some of the most dramatic discussions and decisions leading up to the Revolution occurred. A meeting on December 16, 1773, set the stage for a historic event that every school child in the United States studies. Over 5,000 colonists met to discuss the fate of 30 tons of tea that was waiting to be unloaded from the holds of three ships in Boston Harbor. If the tea was unloaded, the colonists would owe the tea tax, when did not had a representative in the British government. The colonists had attempted to have the tea sent back to England but the attempt failed. So what to do?
Samuel Adams addressed the crowd, saying, “This meeting can do nothing more to save the country.” Some believe these words were code to the Sons of Liberty to begin the Tea Party. Men dressed as Mohawk Indians then went down to the wharf and dumped 340 crates of tea into Boston Harbor. The rest, they say, is history…
As we were still on the tour, I apologize for the poor quality of my photos. We didn’t stop directly in front of many of these buildings, so I was shooting from a distance with scores of people around! I hope you get the gist… One thing I found very interesting was seeing these historic sites from hundreds of years ago juxtaposed with modern construction and a bustling city life! There is a Walgreens just out of frame of this last photo!