Listen my children and you shall hear,
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…
With so many wonderful and historic sites near our next Reunion, there will be no problem filling our time with exciting things to do and see while in the area. We have a list of things to do below with links to their web sites. Plan to come early and explore what New England has to offer.
One of the most frequently visited sites in Boston is Old North Church. Courtesy of the oldnorth.com web site, here are some interesting facts that you may or may not know about this treasured landmark located in the heart of Boston’s historic North End neighborhood known for its narrow winding streets and old buildings.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow immortalized Paul Revere and Old North Church in American history and myth. Many of us may remember the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride,” but it doesn’t portray the true events of what took place on that fateful night. Longfellow wrote the poem 80 YEARS after Revere’s famous midnight ride.
The enduring fame of the Old North began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, and Vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution.
Built in 1723, Christ Church in the City of Boston, known to all as the Old North Church, is Boston’s oldest surviving church building and most visited historical site. In 1775, on the eve of Revolution, the majority of the congregation were loyal to the British King and many held official positions in the royal government, including the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, making Robert Newman’s loyalty to the Patriot cause even more extraordinary. The King gave the Old North its silver that was used at services and a bible.
Old North Church houses the oldest set of change ringing bells in North America. These eight change ringing bells were cast by Abell Rudhall in Gloucester, England in 1744 and installed here in 1745. The bells were restored in 1894, and then were mostly idle. They were restored (again) in 1975 with the help of Geoffrey Davies, of Simon W. Robinson Lodge in Lexington, for the Boston Bicentennial celebration. They have been rung regularly ever since.
On December 29, 1912, the date that happened to be the 189th anniversary of its first service, a newly restored and refurbished Old North Church opened for the first time since the spring that year. Over 1,000 people filled the pews, aisles, stairways, and entryways to hear the words of Bishop William Lawrence, the rector of Christ Church. In attendance was former president, Rough Rider, and all-around renegade, Theodore Roosevelt.
Interested in learning more? Visit the Church’s web and see the quick video called “Discover Old North in One Minute” to get started!There are plenty of other things to see and do in New England. Here is a short list: