What You'll Actually Find At The Freedom Trail

Journalist William Schofield was the one that initially proposed the establishment of a trail that would link the majority of the important landmarks in Boston.

The Freedom Trail is a path that goes through Boston, Massachusetts, and includes 16 locations that hold an important place in American history. The path is 2.5 miles long and is mostly marked with bricks. The initial point of the Freedom trail is the Boston Common, and it ends at the Bunker Hill memorial in Charlestown. There are multiple stops along the trail, and they mostly exhibit important churches, graveyards, and buildings. Going through the majority of the sites is free of cost, although a few are known to charge admission.

Journalist William Schofield was the one that initially proposed the establishment of a trail that would link the majority of the important landmarks in Boston. Mayor John Hynes decided to go through with the idea in 1953.

The Landmarks On The Freedom Trail

There are sixteen important landmarks when going through the Freedom Trail from south to north.  It starts with the Boston Common, a public park located in downtown Boston. It is considered to be the oldest park in the United States. Boston Common is home to the Central Burying Grounds, where several prominent historical figures are buried. Next in line is the Massachusetts State House situated in Beacon Hill. The building is the home to the Massachusetts General Court and the Governor of Massachusetts. It is a monumental piece of architecture, designed by Charles Bulfinch, and is of high architectural importance. 

Park Street Church and Boston Common sign
Park Street Church and Boston Common sign.

Afterward, we will stumble upon the Park Street Church which was built in 1809, and is still active. Continuing down the trail, the third oldest cemetery in Boston awaits the Granary Burying Ground. Many important patriots from the Revolutionary War found their final resting place there. The fifth landmark is the King’s Chapel and Burying Ground. King’s Burying ground is the oldest cemetery in Boston and is not tied to the chapel, despite them being close to one another. The chapel was built later. The next landmark is significant, and it is the statue of Benjamin Franklin, one of the USA founding fathers.

The Site Of the Boston Massacre

Moving on, we come across the Old Corner Bookstore, and then the Old South Meeting House. Both hold historical value, but the meeting house is especially important because it is the place where the Boston Tea Party was conceived in 1773. Number 9 on our list is the Old State House, considered to be the oldest public building in Boston that has survived through all this time. It was built in 1713 and is currently a history museum. 

The tenth landmark is very significant for American history; it is the site of the Boston massacre. The event happened on March 5, 1770, and it was a confrontation between British soldiers and common citizens. Several citizens were killed, and this event played an essential role in the organization of the American Revolution. Following that site, we can find the Faneuil Hall, a marketplace where several important historical speeches were held. The speeches were mostly dealing with the need to separate the United States from Great Britain and thereby acquire independence.

Faneuil Hall - Boston, Massachusetts, USA  D
Faneuil Hall - Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Trail Nears Its End

Afterward, the trail leads us to the Paul Revere House, the home of American patriot Paul Revere. He was an important figure in the American Revolution. The next two landmarks are the Old North Church and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. The USS Constitution follows those two, and it is an especially impressive landmark. It is considered to be the oldest commissioned ship that is still afloat. Built in the year 1797, the USS Constitution was used to protect American merchant boats. 

Copp's Hill Burying Ground cemetery
Copp's Hill Burying Ground cemetery. Credit: Diego Grandi /

The final destination of the Trail is the Bunker Hill Monument. It was built to honor the Battle of Bunker Hill, an important event in the American Revolutionary War. It was one of the first battles between the Patriots and the British forces. The monument is 221 feet tall, it is a giant obelisk made of granite and is a breathtaking way to end the Freedom Trail.

About the Author

Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.


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