Monday, September 12, 2011

Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts

What a beautiful day!  We got up and headed out for a one hour drive to Lexington and Concord.This area is the seat of the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

This is the Munroe Tavern.  On the afternoon of April 19, 1775, this old pub, built in 1695, was the site of the temporary hospital and headquarters for British soldiers retreating from the battle at Concord. Fourteen years later, George Washington dined here in an upstairs room while on tour in New England.  When the British took over they killed an unarmed man named John Raymond and there is a monument at the Tavern explaining his death.

The Colonists had no regular army, however, they had a militia, a small force of volunteers, pledged to be ready at a minute's notice, giving rise to the name "Minute Men."  The Buckman Tavern was built in 1710.  In the early hours of April 19, 1775, several Lexington Minute Men had gathered to drink ale.  Around 4:00 am came the news that 700 British troops were just minutes from the Green outside.  Captain John Parker, Commander of the militia, filed out of the tavern to get ready for the confrontation. The front door has a hole in it, allegedly from a bullet shot during the encounter.

This is the Hancock-Clarke House in Lexington. Around 1:00 am on April 19, 1775, John Hancock and Samuel Adams were awakened by a knock on the door.  Paul Revere had arrived to warn these two important leaders that the British were on the march.

Between Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere was captured by a British patrol.  His fellow messenger, Dr. Samuel Prescott, eluded them and rode onto Concord.  This is the monument that marks the spot where Paul Revere was captured.

iThis is the Wayside with it's distinctive red brick chimneys.  It was originally the home of the muster master, whose job was to summon the Minute Men if the British attack.  In the 19th century, it became first the residence of the Alcott family, then in 1852, Nathaniel Hawthorne bought it and changed the name from Hillside to Wayside.  He completed the "Tanglewood Tales" in his study at the tower at the top of the house.

This is the Orchard House which is a little farther up the street from Wayside.  The Alcott family moved to this house after leaving Wayside.  It was where Louisa May wrote much of  "Little Women." 

This is the Old Manse House.  It was from a window of this three story wooden house that the Parson William Emerson, watched the bloody events of the beginning of the Revolution.  He was the grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who lived here as a little boy.  In later years, the house was rented to Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The most famous site in Concord is the Old North Bridge where the 400 Minute Men confronted the 700 British Regulars.  As the British advanced across the bridge, the famous shot rang out.  As stated above, William Emerson watched these blood events from the Old Manse house.

Henry Thoreau came here to Walden Pond and lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor.  A replica of the cabin he built is in the background of the statue.  This is where he wrote his most famous work "Walden" published in 1854. The cabin was very small, having only a small bed, a desk, a chair and a stove.  Obviously, it did not have a bathroom.
This cemetery contains the last resting places of Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne.  The grave of Henry David Thoreau is marked by a simple headstone with only one word "Henry."

Experiencing and viewing these historical sites is an impressive experience.  It's hard to explain the feeling standing on the North Bridge where the shot heard around the world was fired.

We took a tremendous amount of pictures on this tour but downloading in this campground (and most campgrounds) is a slow process due to their limiting data speed.  Can't wait to share actual pictures later with you.

Tomorrow it looks like we will be heading toward the Cape Cod area.  It's supposed to rain here later Wednesday and possibly Thursday.  We found someone here in the campground that will come in Thursday and Friday and walk Monet for us so we'll hit the Boston area Thursday and Friday.