American history, Boston, history and travel, Uncategorized

Boston and the Freedom Trail – A Walking Tour (Part IV)

Faneuil Hall

Samuel Adams statue in front of Faneuil Hall

Samuel Adams statue in front of Faneuil Hall

Going on passed the Old State House, turn left on Congress Street and on to Faneuil Hall, just a short walk up and across the street. Faneuil Hall was built by Peter Faneuil in 1742, as a center for commerce in Boston. It featured stalls on the first floor for merchants to sell their wares, however it was the second floor meeting hall that gave this building the title “the cradle of American liberty.”  In 1764, the first meetings to protest the British Stamp and Sugar Taxes were held there. It was in Faneuil Hall where the first cries of, “no taxation without representation,” were given. Other protests to the Townshend Act and Redcoat occupation followed, and from there the Boston Tea Party was planned, not todays political group, but the one that threw the tea into the harbor. A statue of Samuel Adams stands in front of the building, and rightfully so. It was here that Sam Adams did his best work in dominating the meetings and directing the cause for independence.  And it was also here that he staged the funeral for the victims of the Boston Massacre.

 

The golden grasshopper weathervane on the building was used as a call sign to tell if a person was a British spy or not during the War of 1812. Anyone who could not answer, “What is on top of Faneuil Hall,” was a suspect. The current building was constructed in 1805 and is still a center for small shops and restaurants.

The Paul Revere House

The Paul Revere House

The Paul Revere House

After leaving Faneuil Hall walk over to North Street, that’s just north of the building. Take North Street across I-93 into Boston’s North End. At the “Y” where Garden Court come in you’ll find on the left the Paul Revere House. Revere bought this house in 1770, and he was living there on April 18, 1775, when he made his famous ride to warn Lexington and Concord of the advancing Red Coats; Which was immortalized by Longfellow’s poem.

Built in 1680, this wooden structure is the oldest building in Boston.

The Old North Church

Leaving the Paul Revere House continue up Garden Court to Prince Street and turn left. Take Prince to Salem Street and then go right on Salem. As you make your way up Salem you’ll see the steeple of the Old North Church up ahead. The Old North Church is the oldest standing church building in Boston, having been founded in 1723. It also has the tallest steeple in the city at 191 feet. It was from this steeple on the night of April 18, 1775, that church sexton Robert Newman and Captain Pulling climbed the eight stories to hang two lanterns.

The Paul Revere statue with the old North Church in the background

The Paul Revere statue with the old North Church in the background

Although the lanterns were there for just a few minutes, it was enough to let Paul Revere and William Dawes know by which route the Red Coats were taking to Lexington and Concord. Knowing this they made the famous ride to warn the Minute Men.

There is a park behind the church that has a statue that depicts Revere on his fateful ride. also inside the church is a bust of George Washington that is the closest to how he really looked. You are also able to climb to the top of the steeple as Newman and Pulling did.

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