Random Thoughts

Minuteman Historical Park

... a place to take your guests

by Ann Robbins Talbot

While planning an outing for my Florida grandchildren, I was amazed at how
much I would learn close to home. The boys had learned about Paul Revere and
John Adams in school, so I suggested a trip to Concord Bridge. My internet
research led us to begin in Lincoln, very close to Route 128 on Route

In the
Visitors Center large colorful 3-D displays depict the Battle Road
The Minuteman Visitor Center houses a multi-media theater
program titled “The Road to Revolution”. With the attention to detail that the
National Park Service is famous for, I learned more about the British march to
Concord in twenty minutes than I had picked up in seventy-five years.

A digital graph above the movie screen showed a representation of the British
force in a line of red lights. As the battle began in Concord, blue lights
representing the Minutemen began to gather near, then outnumber, the British
as they made their
way back to Boston. The Minutemen were trained locally to be ready at a
moment’s notice – and they were.

Minuteman statue holds both plow and rifle.

After the displays at the Visitor Center, we drove to North Bridge in Concord
to see the Minuteman Statue by Daniel Chester French. He is the same sculptor
that created the seated Lincoln at Lincoln Memorial in D. C. and John Harvard
in Harvard Yard. Concord’s Minuteman has his plow on the ground and is
immediately ready with his hat on his head and his rifle in his hand. French
is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery nearby.

A uniformed guide showed us exactly what happened on April 19, 1775, as the
British soldiers who were searching for hidden guns met the local farmers
armed and ready. We could walk in the footsteps of history as the North Bridge
is just a short walk from the street.

Standing exactly
where the original stood, the reconstructed Concord bridge is the site of
"the shot heard 'round the world"

That was the end of our tour, but there is much more. Right beside the North
Bridge is the Old Manse where Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne did
much writing. This starts a totally different trip around Concord visiting the
homes of authors including Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott and Margaret
Sidney, author of “The Five Little Peppers”, my favorite childhood series. I
didn’t know she was a local woman.

We haven’t even mentioned Lexington where a few shots were exchanged on the
British march to and from Concord. Here is the site of another Minuteman
statue, Captain John Parker, slightly different from French’s. An air-
conditioned trolley ride will take you on a guided 90-minute loop including
Concord and Lexington with many stops – Memorial Day to Halloween at a nominal
fee of $25.

With my
Florida grandchildren, I was amazed how much I learned so close to
We didn’t cover shops and restaurants and historic sites along
the way. It is a great place to visit with or without guests. I intend to go
back to be introduced to Margaret Sidney.

September 3, 2010

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