We started out at Boston Common, first established in 1634. It's the oldest public park in the US, and was used to graze livestock, among other things.
Overlooking the Common is the "new" Massachusetts State House. The dome is now overlaid with gold, but it was originally covered in copper by Paul Revere!
Next on the trail was the Park Street Church. It is still an active Congregational church, and was the site of many of the earliest discussions of human rights issues- prison reform, women's suffrage, and some of the first protests against slavery.
The Granary Burying Ground (named for the grain storage building that was next door) was established in 1660.
It is the resting place for Benjamin Franklin's parents,
John Adams and John Hancock,
And those who were killed in the Boston Massacre.
Next on the trail was the King's Chapel, which the governor built on the town's burying ground in 1688 because no one in the city would sell him land to build a non-Puritan church. This was where the King's men who were in Boston to enforce British law would meet for church. It was built to be the equal of any church in England.
This is the Old South Meeting House, where the plan for the Boston Tea Party was conceived.
Next was the Old State House (where the British government met before the Revolution). It was in front of this building that the Boston Massacre took place.
This is Faneuil Hall, where the first protests against the Sugar and Stamp Acts took place.
We took a tour of Paul Revere's house. It is the oldest standing building in Boston, and was already 90 years old when Paul Revere bought it in 1770. He was living here when he made his famous ride.
Not too far from Paul Revere's house was the Old North Church, where the lanterns were hung to indicate how the British troops were advancing (one if by land, two if by sea) to Lexington and Concord. It looks very similar to King's Chapel inside, but it is older and is simpler in decoration. It is still used for church meetings today.
The last stop we made was Copp's Hill Burying Ground, which is where the merchants and artisans were buried in the North End of Boston. Also buried here are many free African-Americans, including some of the earliest abolitionists.
This tour is like reading an American history textbook, from all the notable names to historically significant places, but it is so much cooler when you can see it all in person. It may just be a bunch of old churches/buildings, but the ideas that would lead to independence were first uttered in these locations. They were great places to visit right around Memorial Day!