Sunday, June 5, 2011

Connecticut Trip -- Freedom Trail, Boston MA

Continuing our New England sightseeing trip, on Wednesday we went to Boston with the idea that we would walk the Freedom Trail and find Cheers bar. Dan had not been to Boston before; I had, but not for years and years and I don't think I walked the Freedom Trail. That's a pretty long walk, especially with our group of 17 people ranging in age from 6 to 81.

We were also a little nervous in that there was a tornado warning for the Boston area. None of us had ever heard of tornados in New England, but it turns out that although rare they do occur. In fact, one occurred about 200 yards from where we happened to be -- YIKES!!! --but that is a later story....

We parked in a huge underground parking structure and picked up a pamphlet about the Freedom Trail from the Visitor Center. I thought I had grabbed one of those pamphlets, but evidently not -- so those of you who are better informed can correct my misinformation, please!

I believe the above to be the Massachusetts State Building, one of the governmental buildings in downtown Boston. The story in the guidebook was about how it was built and how the dome was made of copper and then covered with gold leaf. It was a beautiful clear day in Boston and the dome just gleamed in the sunlight!

I don't remember the name of the church in the background, but the plaque in the park facing the church gives the history about the 1634 purchase of the tract of land on which Boston was founded. Boston Commons, a training ground for regiments in the late 1600s, is a very pretty park today.

This is a large map of the Freedom Trail, outlining all of the historical sights located along the way. The costumed man standing next to it was available to answer questions, give directions and explain some of the history of the area.

We went to several graveyards and cemeterys on the Trail. The kids had gone to a ghost event when we were in Salem and they explained to us the difference between the two: a graveyard is associated with and usually located next to a church, while a cemetary had no religious affiliation. If I have that backwards, Liz & Aby, let me know!

The largest tomb in this graveyard, the large white one in the center of the photo, marks the burial place of Benjamin Franklin's parents.

Also buried here, in the very back, is Paul Revere.

The headstones had interesting designs; we noticed several people taking rubbings of the pictures, dates and/or names engraved on them. The above stones were those of the members of another prominent goldsmithing family that lived, worked and died around the same time as Revere.

Freemont Temple Baptist Church describes itself as the first integrated church in the United States. That's one thing that you just don't see in California, so many "first in the United States" and "first in the Americas" markers...

King's Chapel Burying Ground holds the burial places of many of the early founders of Boston.

The burying ground is located adjacent to the stately building above, King's Chapel, but was not affiliated with it; therefore, according to the definition given to the kids, it is a cemetery and not a graveyard.

I have a couple of more Boston posts to do -- one covering Old City Hall, Faneuil Hall and the Paul Revere House and another on the U.S.S. Constitution, known to us as "Old Ironsides" check back!

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