Saturday, December 20, 2014

Boston: The Athens of America

This article was originally published on Historical Honey but I'm taking it back. I can do that right?:

Boston: The Athens of America
by Chelsea McInnis
November 9, 2013

The comparison to Athens might be a little far-fetched, but for America, Boston is as old as it gets. The epicenter of the American Revolution, Boston, Massachusetts is the gateway to where the Old meets the New England. So join me on a whirlwind tour of historical hotspots in a place that I am happy to call home. Whether you enjoy an authentic Boston tea party or a pint at the oldest pub in America, Boston has many places of interest to awaken your inner patriot.

Image source: Boston Sailing
Faneuil Hall, Fourth Most Visited Destination in America. I’m not kidding.
Faneuil (pronounced fan-yule, not fan-ooley, and for the love of everything holy NOT Nathaniel) Hall, located in the heart of downtown Boston, sees nearly 20 million visitors each year. Behind Times Square, the Las Vegas strip, and the Washington D.C. National Mall and memorial parks, Faneuil Hall beats out the almighty Mickey Mouse for the coveted fourth place position in Forbes Traveler’s America’s Most Visited Tourist Sites. Are you telling me that America puts a historical site on more of a pedestal than Disney World? Well, not quite. Faneuil Hall was an old meeting house used by the patriots during the conflict leading up to the American Revolution. Now its surrounding area is a one-stop-shop for Boston tourists, housing various shops and eateries.

The Not-So-Fancy Boston Tea Party
Originally called 'the Destruction of the Tea in Boston' by President John Adams, the Boston Tea Party increased American/British tension which ultimately led to the American Revolution. A brief history:

Image source: © HistoryThruHerStory


The present site of the Boston Tea Party isn’t much of a site at all. Boston’s waterfront has been severely altered in the last few hundred years and the wharf where the Tea Party occurred is now landfill. The city slapped a plaque on a building to signify the location. If you want to protest like the patriots did, the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum is around the corner. There you can board replica ships and throw a styrofoam box (labeled TEA) tied to a rope over the side (if you are into throwing styrofoam boxes previously soaked in not-so-clean channel water). The Standells' 1966 hit 'Dirty Water' is specifically named after sketchy Boston water, so STEER CLEAR my friends. Steer very clear. Let a friend toss it over.

The Freedom Trail
If you ever visit Boston and do not walk along at least part of the Freedom Trail, you lose. The Freedom Trail is the bee’s knees of Boston. A nearly three mile long red path on the road, it will take you to 17 of Boston’s most important historical sites. The Granary Burying Ground (resting place of Sam Adams, Paul Revere and John Hancock among a few), the Old North Church, the Bunker Hill Monument and the site of the Boston Massacre are only a few of the sites you will come across.

Other Oldies but Goodies:
Paul Revere House, 1630: Home of our most beloved patriot, Paul Revere’s former home is the oldest building in downtown Boston.

Boston Common, 1634: America’s first public park.

Old State House, 1713: As the oldest surviving public building in Boston, it is where the Declaration of Independence was first read publicly and the site of the Boston Massacre.

Boston Light, 1716: America’s first lighthouse is in Boston Harbor and is said to be especially haunted.

Bell in Hand Tavern, 1784: The oldest pub in America.

Union Oyster House, 1826: America’s oldest restaurant still operating under the same name.

Tremont Street Subway, 1897: The oldest subway tunnel in North America.

Fenway Park, 1912: Dubbed ‘America’s Most Beloved Ballpark,’ Fenway is also the oldest baseball stadium in America and home to the Boston Red Sox.

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