Finding Hidden History In Boston

Boston Common

It’s no secret that Boston is full of history; it’s basically where America started, after all. From the American Revolution to the adoption of the Constitution, Boston has always been the heart of American history. But what about the lesser-known bits of history, the ones in the alleyways and back roads? The ones that most tourists don’t know about? Here’s a few things you should consider on your next trip to Boston.

The Bell in Hand Tavern

This wedge-shaped building is home to the longest continuously run tavern inthe United States. It’s been around since 1795, and everybody from politicians, to students, to sailors over the years have darkened the door of this famous alehouse. The name comes from the man who owned it, Jimmy Wilson, who was the town crier for over fifty years before opening this tavern. Today, live music and DJs put on shows during the weekends, and the famous ale is still produced in-house.

XV Beacon

Otherwise known as the Fifteen Beacon, this luxury boutique hotel dating from 1903 offers top-notch service, refined décor, and comfortable rooms. Some of the amenities available include an extremely knowledgeable concierge service, complimentary in-town Lexus courtesy service, 24-hour laundry service, state of the art fitness center, and even dog sitting and walking! Your stay is truly the property’s focus, and you’ll realize this the instant you walk through the front door. Rates start from $355 per night.

Boston Common

OK, this one may not be lesser-known like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, but it’s really too cool not to acknowledge. Dating from 1634, it is the oldest public park in the United States. It consists of 50 acres of old oaks, large grassy areas, running paths, and many statues and historical structures. It certainly played its part in the American Revolution, but it was recently discovered to contain prehistoric sites indicating Native American presence as far back as 8,500 years ago!

Harvard University

Not many may consider a tour of Harvard when visiting Boston, but this prestigious university is certainly no pushover when it comes to historical significance. Established in 1636, this world-famous institution has seen the likes of hundreds of students who would go on to become presidents, billionaires, civil rights leaders, and philanthropists, among others. Guided historical tours are available for free, and are first-come, first-served. Imagine walking the same paths that Bill Gates, Teddy Roosevelt, and Mark Zuckerburg once roamed!

Granary Burial Ground

This cemetery is one of the stops on the Freedom Trail, arguably the easiest way to see the majority of historical sites around Boston. The cemetery, dating from about 1660, is the permanent home to some of the most important figures in American history. It is estimated there are around 5,000 bodies buried here, and yet there are only 2,300 headstones. Because funerals were so expensive back then, 20 people or more were buried in the same plot. Some of the most visited headstones include those that mark the graves of Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and another one marked solely for those killed at the Boston Massacre.