Minute Man National Historical Park is most interesting, as it isn’t a “park” where you pay, enter, and look at exhibits. Rather, it encompasses 970 acres of land from Boston west to Concord, with houses and roads and landmarks along the way that you visit. There is no admission fee. The Visitor’s Center had a 25-minute multimedia movie explaining the beginning skirmish of what was to be the American Revolution. A total of 1,800 British soldiers were in the area to control the colonists; once called upon, 4,000 American militiamen showed up to fight the British. The final tally: the British had 73 dead and 174 wounded; the colonists had 49 dead and 41 wounded. For a ragtag volunteer army, the Americans held their own against a world-class trained army. The war had begun!
The first photo is along Battle Road between Boston and Concord…very quiet, serene, and peaceful. It is hard to believe that so much bloodshed took place here. The third picture, with the three following, were taken at Hartwell Tavern, which is along the road the soldiers used. There was a musket demonstration, which was very interesting. A musket stands about 5 feet tall and weighs 15 pounds. After loading and firing, it then takes another 20-30 seconds to reload and fire again. We were supposed to see the musket fire several times, but it misfired all but once….sometimes there was no spark from the flint, and other times the flint sparked but still didn’t set off the charge that would fire the gun. So, there is a photo of the one time the musket discharged, which obscured the ranger’s face. There was also a rafter of turkeys on the property, about 15 or so.
The last pictures are of downtown Concord. It has colonial aspects and some really nice gift shops. As you can see from the street signs, the city is just 2 miles from Walden Pond. The city was purchased from the Indians in 1635, partly paid in wampum-peage, hatchets, knives, cotton cloth, and shirts. The treaty was signed under Jethro’s Tree, long gone. The city was named for the concord among the earliest settlers, who by all accounts worked and lived together peacefully.