Often referred to as “the home of free speech” and “the Cradle of Liberty”, Faneuil Hall was one of America’s first public meeting venues. Built by wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil — who is buried in the Granary Burying Ground featured in Part 1 of our blog posts on The Freedom Trail — in 1741, this imposing structure is the place where the Sons of Liberty proclaimed their dissent against Royal oppression. Faneuil Hall has served as an open forum meeting hall and marketplace for more than 270 years and has continued to provide a forum for debate on the most consequential issues of the day.
The first floor served as a marketplace for the local townspeople to sell their goods. Today, Boston National Historic Park operates the Faneuil Hall Visitor Center and the ground floor is filled with both locals and tourists shopping in the marketplace.
In addition to fresh Maine lobsters, lobster rolls and lobster bisque, shoppers can also purchase lobster mac and cheese pies — at the Boston Chowda stall in Faneuil Hall in Boston.
Built around 1680, the Paul Revere House is the oldest remaining structure in downtown Boston and the only home on the Freedom Trail. Paul Revere purchased this former merchant’s dwelling in 1770, when he was 35 years old. He and his family lived here when Revere made his famous messenger ride on the night of April 18-19, 1775.
After serving as a rooming house and tenement for some of the thousands of Irish, Jewish and Italian immigrants who lived in the neighborhood, the building was restored in the early 20th century and opened to the public in April 1908. Today the Paul Revere House serves as a museum and historic site where visitors can learn about Paul Revere’s life and times and experience what home life was like in 17th and 18th century Boston.
“Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…” With these words, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized the Old North Church and Paul Revere in American folklore.
Visiting the oldest church building in the city of Boston gives one the opportunity to sit in the same box pews owned by colonial congregants. It was from here that Paul Revere set out on his famous ride — “one if by land, and two if by sea” — on April 18, 1775, that ignited the American Revolution.
The Old North Church is still an active Episcopal congregation and one of the most visited historic sited in Boston.
The Freedom Trail continues north through the city of Boston and across the Inner Harbor to include four last sites: Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, USS Constitution “Old Ironsides”, USS Constitution Museum and Bunker Hill Monument — points that we missed due to time constraints.