|Follow me to Freedom!|
|Start of the Freedom Trail|
Through the park and up the stairs is the Massachusetts State House with it's shiny gold dome. Look closely in the closing shots of The Departed and you'll see it in the background. The dome was originally made out of wood shingles and is now sheathed in copper and covered by 23 karat gold which prevents leaks. If you look way up high to the very top, you'll notice a wooden pinecone which symbolizes logging in Boston during the 18th century.
|Steeple to the Sky|
You have to backtrack through Boston Commons to get to the next stop, Park Street Chuch, which was a town granary before the Revolution. The steeple is 217 feet tall and was home to the first Sunday school in 1818. Remember singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" when you were a kid? It was sung here for the first time in 1831.
|That's a tombstone!|
Right next to the church is the Granary Burying Grounds-the third oldest cemetery in Boston. There are 5000 people buried there, but only 2300 headstones! Back in the day, it was super expensive to bury folks and generally there was only one headstone per family, which means that each grave contains at least 20 bodies. The headstones were super cool and looked just like the Halloween aisle at Walgreens-probably one of the coolest things we saw on the tour. There we saw the graves of Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Ben Franklin's parents.
|Box seats for church|
It was back on the red line again to King's Chapel, which was an Anglican parish ordered built by King James II. Inside, the church the seats were segregated to help keep the parishioners warm in winter. The bell tower is supposedly haunted here but the lack of flash photography didn't keep us there for long.
|Brett & Ben|
Behind King's Chapel was the first public school in America, established in 1635, and a statue of Benjamin Franklin. Brett had a great time posing with Ben. We were surprised to learn that the school did not allow girls as students until 1972! The Former site of the Old Corner Bookstore was close by too, although the building is now owned by a jewelry store. FYI: that's where The Scarlet Letter was published.
We trooped on to the Old South Meeting House, built in 1729, where the Boston Tea Party began. Back in 1773, more than 5,000 colonists got together and got pissed off about taxes on tea. 342 crates of tea went into the water. The rest is history.
|Good thing it's |
a historical landmark
It's odd to see such a beautiful, ornate and stately building in the middle of high rises and sky scrapers, but that's exactly what was the Old State House. Dating back to 1713, folks gathered there to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the building's balcony. There, the idea of 'no taxation without representation' was cooked up and the Boston Massacre happened on the streets just outside of it's doors. Look down here and you'll see a circle of cobblestones commemorating the event that left five dead in 1770. A guy on the street was playing Colonial music on his fiddle when we walked up and it was like you could just close your eyes and imagine yourself there centuries ago.
|Rock the Cradle of Liberty|
The red line didn't take us much further before we ran into Faneuil Hall. Known as "the Cradle of Liberty," the second floor meeting hall here is where Americans first protested the Sugar Act & the Stamp Act. Just in front of the Hall is a statue of Samuel Adams, but it's most famous feature is the grasshopper weather vane. The vane which was used as a test to determine if people were spies during the Revolution period. You better know what was up top Faneuil Hall if you didn't want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law back then!
|More dead people|
Charlestown Bridge and the wind was blowing like crazy across the harbor. The scene was gorgeous with the sailboats and yachts docked just below!
|Brett's dirty feet have |
Boston on them