Paul Revere House and Old North Church

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Where I stayed
The Constitution Inn

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in 'Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, 'If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.'"
                from "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

After breakfast we had a lecture by Pat Leehey, Chief Historian of the Paul Revere House. He did not tell me much I didn't know except some details of Paul's background and later life. I was surprised to learn that the "one if by land..." signal was NOT meant for Paul but for the people of Charlestown.  Paul was still in Boston when the signal was given. The movie "Johnny Tremain" had it wrong, too, apparently!

We visited the Paul Revere House after that where two knowledgeable young ladies showed us the house and furnishings. After that tour Pat walked us around the North End, stopping occasionally to point out landmarks.  We had lunch at Gennaro's, one of many Italian restaurants, with Cynthia, one of our coordinators, and another couple. John liked his lunch more than I did mine.

After lunch it was more walking---back to the Old North Church, or Christ Church, for a talk and tour by staff members. It is the oldest active church in Boston and a National Historic Landmark.  We found it to be quite beautiful and it reminded us so much of Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg. The young lady who spoke was excellent! Our tour guide was very cute and personable but still a bit green. She took us to the second level of the bell tower (very tricky, narrow stairs!) to the balcony and then down to the crypt where something like 1100 people are buried.

Later we explored Fannueil Marketplace, sort of like the Disney Village of Boston. We had a couple of very expensive beers (Sam Adams, of course) at Cheers, where our feet finally got a rest.

Dinner was at nearby McCormick and Schmick's. I had New England clam chowder and baked cod. It was a good meal but service was very slow and we had to leave our coffee behind and rush to make the 7:30 ferry back to Charlestown.

Our evening program was the highlight of the day for me! An actress portraying Deborah Sampson did a very interesting and entertaining show. She chose me to help demonstrate how she dressed as Robert Shurtleff and joined the Continental Army.  She dressed me up in shirt, waistcoat, haversack, powder horn and tricorn hat.  That was like "throwing me in the briar patch"!  Her program inspired me to develop a character of my own.

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