Saturday, September 17, 2011

Boston, Massachusetts

On Thursday, September 15th, we traveled to Boston to see the historic sites.  We had indicated previously that we were going to take the train, but decided once we got to the exit that the traffic was less than anticipated.  (I guess we are just accustomed to Atlanta's traffic)

There are so many historical sites that there is no way we would try to cover them all.

This is the Park Street Church and was built in 1809, and acquired the nickname "Brimstone Corner" both in reference to the fire-and-brimstone sermons and to the gun powder that was stored in the crypt during the War of 1812.   On July 4, 1829, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison gave his first public anti-slavery address here.  Two years later, on July 4, the hymn "America," better known as "My Country 'Tis Of Thee" was fist sung on the church steps.

The next place we visited was the Granary Burying Ground.  Many prominent Bostonians are buried there.  One is Samuel Adams as shown here.  Also buried there, are John Hancock, all five Boston massacre victims, Paul Revere, Ben Franklin's parents, Peter Faneuil and possibly Mother Goose (not really--it was Martha Goose).  There was also eight Governor's of Massachusetts buried there.

This is Paul Revere's actual tombstone.  You can barely read it when you are standing in front of it, so there was no way to make it show here.  They have placed a monument next to this in his honor.

This is the inside of King's Chapel, which was built in 1688, under orders from King James II.   By 1749, the original wooden structure was too small for the congregation and so the new chapel was constructed around the original Church.  The canopied Governor's pew as shown on the right, was used, not only, by the Royal Governors, but also by President Washington on his visit to Boston in 1789.  The pulpit that is shown to the left, is the oldest continuously used pulpit in the United States.  Slaves sat on the left rear side of the church and condemned prisoners sat on the right for a last sermon before being hung.  There is a cemetery next to the church where William Dawes, Paul Revere's riding companion, is buried, as is Mary Chilton, believed to be the first woman to step off of the Mayflower.

This statue of Benjamin Franklin stands in front of the spot where the first public school was in the United States.  It was called "The Boston Latin School" and was begun in 1635.  The school continues to operate today but in another location.  Four years of Latin are still required in order to pass.  Some of the school's alumni are Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Charles Bulfinch, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Believe it or not, this statue is located in the patio eating area of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse!!!

This is the second oldest church in Boston called "The Old South Meeting House," and was built in 1729.  Many of crucial events that led up to the Revolution took place  here. The most famous of the meetings was held on December 16, 1773, when over 5,000 gathered to protest the tax on tea.  During the British occupation of Boston in 1775-1776, British troops desecrated the sanctuary using it as a stable and serving drinks from the  balcony. The pulpit and pews were chopped into firewood and library was used as kindling.

This is is Faneuil Hall, which was a gift to the city by wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil in 1742.  As a result of the impassioned speeches by patriots such as Samuel Adams and others, it earned the nickname "Cradle of Liberty." 

This is the Old North Church that Sexton Robert Newman hung two lanterns in the steeple on April 18, 1775. to signal the beginning of Paul Revere's ride.  More than 1,000 individuals are buried in the underground crypt, including the Royal Governor's second-in-command at Lexington and Concord.

This is Paul Revere's home built around 1680.  It is Boston's oldest private building downtown.  It was from here that Paul Revere set out on the "midnight ride."  He was apparently the original multi-tasker. Not only was he a patriot, but also an expert silversmith, copper manufacturer, part time dentist, engraver, and somehow found time to father 16 children.  As many as eight of this children lived with him at one time in this house.

We had a wonderful lunch here.  It is the oldest continuously operated restaurant in the United States.  We were so pleased that we were able to get in and that the prices were more than reasonable.  Van had been craving an oyster po' boy and finally he was able to get one.  Van mentioned to the guy in the gift shop that it was the best oyster sandwich he had ever had, and he calmly replied "we've had a couple of hundred years to get it right."

We had walked the 2 1/2 mile Freedom Trail and it had started to rain, so we hired a pedi-cab to take us back to the parking garage.  Van had wanted to go to the original Cheers but decided not to because of all of the negative comments on line.  Apparently the inside doesn't even remotely resemble the TV Cheers bar and the prices are a rip off.  However, on our way back to the car, our driver let us stop to get a picture of the actual staircase used in the show and a picture of the sign.

We had decided that we were going to drive to see the USS Constitution, which was about 2 miles over the bridge.  Unfortunately, since it was on a naval base, entrance was prohibited except by foot and there was no parking nearby so after driving around and around, we decided not to go. 

We got up this morning and are staying in a wonderful campground in East Lyme, CT called Aces  High RV Park. We'll be here 3 nights and hopefully that will give us enough time to see everything we need to on this last stop.  We plan to go to the USS Nautilis tomorrow and are real excited about that.  We also hope to go to Mystic and head south about 30 miles along the coastline.

Hope everyone is doing well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,
Your pictures bring back many a memory; as a Massachusetts boy I visited most of the places you commented on and took pictures of; thank you. Hope you enjoy Mystic and looking forward to your return to Florida.