Sunday, January 29, 2012

The British are Coming! The British are Coming!

One of the wild things about living in New England is being surrounded by American history. I work in Lexington, where the first skirmish of the American revolution was fought. Paul Revere's midnight ride ended when he was captured by the British about a mile and a half from my office. The "shot heard round the world" was fired about 17 miles from our apartment, where 400 colonists drove the British away from Concord's north bridge.

This weekend we visited these sites while exploring Minuteman National Historical Park. Very cool :-)

It's kinda fun to know our city was once one of the "Middlesex villages and farms" from which poured some 20,000 militiamen to drive the British back to their garrison on the (at that time) island of Boston.

At the time of the revolution, Lowell was nothing more than a farm. Today it is fourth largest city in Massachusetts and one of the twin county seats of Middlesex county.

Boston, meanwhile, has more than tripled in land area, sprawling into Massachusetts Bay across more than 2,000 acres of landfill into the present home of some 4.5 million Massholes Bay Staters. (Click on the image below for a Boston College animation of the landfill expansion projects over the past 250 years)

An additional note for all the literary buffs out there: we discovered that Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne each called Corcord home during parts of their lives. Interesting.


Pomoprophet said...

Fascinating! I knew all of that except for the landfill bit. That video was interesting. You're so lucky to live in a place with such rich American history. We have alot of missions and native American stuff out there but that's not really my cup of tea. Speaking of the Boston tea party, i'm considering heading back to Harvard this summer for People to People because I didn't get enough of the history last time I was there! Plus I hear some cool people live nearby now...

Joe Moderate said...

Rock on, Pomo! We'd love to have you in town this summer! Which week is the Harvard conference?

The abundance of American history is really cool most of the time, buy from time to time it gets old. Sometimes you just don't believe the historical marker at the gas station that claims "this is where Paul Revere's horse took at dump" etc. etc. etc.