Boston, walking the Freedom Trail

Garrett Tershel

Boston, walking the Freedom Trail

Boston, the heart of a revolution.  When planning our trip, this was one of the important stops we wanted to make.  Walking the freedom trail was an experience we wanted to allow our children to have in order to understand the importance of our country's independence.  I unfortunately underestimated the length of the Freedom Trail and the time it would take to enjoy it.  But we had fun and our kids were able to see a lot of the places they had heard stories about in history.

freedomtrailboston Map of the Freedom Trail. It's the red line not the blue line and I may not have used the legend to calculate the milage.  It is about 2.5 miles one way.


We start at the Boston Common which is the oldest public park in America, established in 1634.  It has a rich history, starting as a field for grazing cattle, now a favorite gathering place for the people of Boston and all over the world.  It has been used as a launching point for British Redcoats, celebrations of independence and the whipping and hanging of pirates, witches, and other criminals.   Read more about the Boston Common.

Start of the Freedom Trail The Freedom Trail directs you through the city to 16 important places revealing the rich history of the American Revolution.  Follow the red bricked line.

Massachusetts State House Massachusetts State House

Yes we found a Gods Wood in Yes we found a godswood in Boston.  Winter is coming.

Massachusetts State House Family shot Massachusetts State House Family shot

img_1407 Granary Burying Ground

img_1408 Ben Franklin's parents are buried here.

Mother Goose's grave stone. Mother Goose the author of all those nursery rhymes we know and love.

Paul Revere's Tomb Paul Revere's Tomb, people leave pennies as a symbol of him donating copper used to mint the first pennies.



As part of our daughters history lessons we had read a great book called "Mr. Revere and I: Being an Account of certain Episodes in the Career of Paul Revere,Esq. as Revealed by his Horse" so the kids knew about Paul Revere.  It was important for us to pay our respects.  

Our next stop was at the Kings Chapel.  I really enjoy walking through old churches, they are some of the most beautiful architecture in the world.


Kings Chapel Kings Chapel

Kings Chapel interior. Kings Chapel interior.

Kings Chapel organ Kings Chapel organ. This chapel was beautiful. Unfortunately we missed someone playing the organ by 10 mins. I bet it sounds beautiful.


Our next stop, the Boston Massacre.  Tensions between the Redcoats and the people of Boston continued to escalate.  Fights would regularly break out and one day tensions rose and shots were fired by the Redcoats leaving 5 dead.  The Sons of Liberty held funerals and organized elaborate propaganda around the event calling it a "bloody massacre".  This created a lot of unity among the Bostonians and created even more anger against England and the Redcoats.

The Boston Massacre This is the site of the Boston Massacre. The policeman was rather friendly and shared some stories about the placement of the bodies and what happened at the Boston Massacre.

Mayor's Cup Bike Race Mayor's Cup Bike Race was racing over the location of the Boston Massacre. So this was the best pictures we could get.


On to Faneuil Hall, built as the center of commerce, this building became a meeting spot for the Sons of Liberty.  Many protests, marches and angry mobs were excited by speeches they heard in this building by Sam Adams and other Sons of Liberty.  The group of people who were at the Boston Massacre first were here listening to protests about taxes.

Sam Adams Sam Adams was one of the leaders of the Sons of Liberty. He continually rallied support for independence.

Faneuil Hall Faneuil Hall was a gathering point for the Sons of Liberty.


Peter Faneuil Peter Faneuil built this as a center of commerce.

George Washington George Washington

Faneuil Hall Eagle Faneuil Hall Eagle

Paul Revere's House was our next stop.  Because of the book, about Paul Revere's horse, I mentioned earlier the kids and I wanted to see the home of Paul Revere.  Many meetings of independence happened in that house.  Unfortunately no pics were allowed inside the house.

Paul Revere's House Paul Revere's House

Paul Revere's House Paul Revere's House

Bell Cast by Paul Bell Cast by Paul

Bell cast by Paul Bell cast by Paul

Old North Church Old North Church, where the lanterns were hung to warn about the British coming.

The midnight ride of Paul Revere The midnight ride of Paul Revere

The Old North Church The Old North Church organ

The hanging of the lanterns The hanging of the lanterns

We had completed the first half of the Freedom Trail and that was enough to earn their second Junior Ranger badge.

Junior Ranger Badge Ceremony Junior Ranger Badge Ceremony. This ranger made them promise not only to respect and teach people about historical parks but to eat all their vegetables and listen to their parents which is why everyone is laughing.


So just by chance after this ceremony was finished one of the rangers had an old telescope made of brass that he was playing with and he handed it to the girls as their prize.  It was completely by surprise!  It was one of the kids favorite items they collected on the trip.  We used that telescope many times during the rest of the trip.

Unfortunately we didn't get to the second half of the Freedom Trail.  Everyone was pretty tired after walking around Boston but maybe next time.  Boston was a very different city than Chicago.  The city's streets are not laid out on a grid system like Chicago.  The streets wound around then suddenly end at a historic monument or just dead end.  Legend has it that the streets follow old cow paths.  There is a mix of historic architecture, modern architecture and other eclectic buildings reflect many different cultures.  We walked through the Haymarket, an outdoor market that has been around since 1830.  We enjoyed a fantastic Italian dinner in the North End and walked by many elaborate street vendor acts.

We wrapped up Boston and headed out to Canton, MA to stay with friends for the next couple of days.  We were lucky enough to have a family invite us to stay with them when we were near Boston.  We loved getting to know their two little boys better,  spend time chatting and watching the Patriots win another game without Tom Brady.  Thank you ver much!!

So we head Philadelphia.  That is, Philadelphia in 7 hours...