The Freedom Trail-Boston NHP


On Wednesday Craig had the day off so we went into Boston with friends to walk The Freedom Trail. We had walked it back in 2010, but did not have our national park passport book at the time. We wanted to get some of the stamps that we had missed before we move away. 




The Freedom Trail is 2.5 miles long, so round trip it takes about 5 miles. We wound up walking over 10 miles though. We started at the Boston Common and walked to the Charlestown Navy Yard. We climbed the 294 steps in the Bunker Hill Monument, visited several churches and museums, had lunch in the North End and wound up at Eataly for drinks and dinner. In all a great day with friends and we got many new stamps for the passport! 















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Adams National Historical Park-Quincy, MA

Here are some pictures of our recent day trip to Adams NHP. The historic homes were closed until April, but the grounds were open and so was the visitor center. We were able to get 4 new stamps for the National Park Passport!

Adams NHP was home to four generations of the Adams family. John Adams was the 2nd president of the United States and his son John Quincy was the 6th president.

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Minute Man National Historic Park-MA

Yesterday, Craig and I took a trip to Minute Man NHP. It was only about 45 minutes away from us. It is a great day trip from Boston if you are visiting, or stop there if you are on a road trip in the North East. It is close to the Saugus Iron Works NHS and Salem Maritime NHS. This is where the American Revolution started. Where “the shot heard round the world” was fired. It is hallowed ground.

The park starts in Lexington and goes to Concord. You can drive and park at the different sites or walk or bike. There are several Visitor’s Centers-two have National Park passport stamps in them. Along the Battle Road Trail you will see Hartwell Tavern, the Paul Revere capture site, the Bloody Angle and more. There are ranger walks, battle reenactments and musket firings during the day. You can pick up info at the Visitor’s Centers. 

A few other places you should visit while in the area if you love literature are the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne and the Alcotts are buried, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House and Walden Pond State Reservation. We had a great day walking through history and will be back!

Woods

Walden Pond

Stamp

Salem Maritime NHS

The Salem Maritime NHS was the first National Historic Site in the United States (1938.) Salem is well known for the Witch Trials, but it was one of the most important seaports in American history. Salem was settled by Europeans in 1626 at the mouth of the Naumkeag river. It was the site of an ancient Native American village. By 1790, Salem had become the sixth largest city in the country, and was a world-famous seaport. There used to be 50 ports in Salem at one time. Now there are 3 remaining. Ships came back from sailing the world with sugar, rum, silks, oranges and even exotic animals. The animals were kept in the basement of the Custom House while awaiting sale to zoos, circuses and collectors.

The Visitors Center is a great place to start your visit. There are bathrooms, a film, a gift shop and lots of local info and brochures. You can also get your National Park passports stamped here! 

“The site includes the Custom House, Public Stores, Scale House, Hawkes House, Derby House, West India Goods Store, Pedricks Store House, a lighthouse and three historic wharves. The park also maintains and operates a replica tallship, the Friendship of Salem.” (NPS) There are different tours during the day, so you may want to check in before you go to see what is being offered. If you can tour the Friendship do it! You can go above and below deck and see the captain’s quarters.

If you are interested in Maritime history- Boston, the North Shore and the Cape Ann areas of Massachusetts are wonderful places to come visit! Here is a great list of maritime museums you may want to add to your trip. We have been to Boston National Historic Park, The Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Gloucester, Marblehead, Lowell’s Boat Shop, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Peabody Essex Museum many times. They all are worth seeing.  The fall is an amazing time in Salem and Labor Day weekend/September Gloucester has their beautiful Schooner Fest. 

Saugus Iron Works NHS

One National Historic Site near Boston is the Saugus Iron Works NHS. It is the “birthplace of the iron and steel industry in Colonial America.” It produced iron products from 1646 to approximately 1670! Craig and I went for an iron pouring demonstration. We got to carve a design in a sand block and they poured melted iron into the molds and let it cool. Then you got a unique piece of art to take home.  

Patricia's mold

Patricia’s mold

There was plenty of room to have a nice walk and visit the different buildings. A movie shows the history of the site. We also saw a blacksmith make a few items. It is a great day trip if you live nearby or are visiting the area. I will share a video of the iron pouring on our Facebook page