The Boston Freedom trail explores the integral role the city holds in regards to the American Revolution from the years 1765-1783. It is 2.5 miles long, winding between Boston Common and throughout Downtown Boston. The Trial navigates the audience to 16 pinnacle locations throughout Boston, churches and buildings a like. It is centred along a red paved road, creating an organised route which link together the historic gems of Boston.
The trail itself was established in 1951, at a time where the city’s colonial and revolutionary past were overshadowed by great political instability. However, over the forthcoming years the Freedom Trail played a vital role in the city’s attempt to regenerate itself. The city was able to project an image of an area which was was teeming with historic wealth. By 1953 the Trail was successfully attracting 40,000 people a year to Boston, with these numbers rapidly increasing every year.
As a visitor to the trial, it is hard to ignore the extent to which many citizens of Boston are greatly reliant on the Trail. Whilst you meandered along the red paved path you are met with a multitude of guides dressed in 18th-century attire, capitalising on the trails attractiveness to tourists such as myself. Needless to say, the guides add to the uniqueness of the trail, tastefully transporting the visitors back to the18th century as opposed to creating a mockery of the events leading towards revolution.
A select few of the sixteen sites explored within the trail are Boston common, USS Constitution in Charlestown, as well as a sample of explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings, and a historic naval frigate. I considered the most compelling of these sites to be the Boston Common. Dating back to 1634, Boston Common is the oldest city park in the United States. In turn, it has been the epicentre for many political protests and demonstrations throughout each century. In 1775, the Common was used as a sanctuary for British troops. The British established camp on the Common prior to the Revolution, but the troops later abandoned camp, adopting colonial resistance at Lexington and Concord in April that year. The absence of the British thus allowed greater revolution attempts, resulting in American independence in 1781.
Standing on the Common, it is hard not to recreate an image of thousands of revolutionaries marching the land, declaring revolution and subsequent independence from the British.
The Freedom Trail allows visitors to truly comprehend the historic significance of many buildings and churches within the Trail. I, myself, found it hard not to feel an emotional connection towards the trail, as you become so greatly immersed within the events that consequently lead to the outbreak of revolution. After I have explored the Trail, I am itching to return to find out more about the rich history of this historic city of Boston.
By Katy Morrison