Today we have a very special stop in our summer travels around America. Home to several Founding Fathers and other valiant colonists, this is where revolution began. If you listen closely enough, you can still hear Paul Revere yelling “The British are coming!” And with a little imagination, you can see the Sons of Liberty dumping tea into the harbor. Travel back to a time with cobblestone streets, restored tea ships, colonial meeting houses and gaslight streetlamps. Come on travelers, button your waistcoats and pull on your breeches. We’re heading to New England to get a little history lesson in the charming and historic state of Massachusetts!
Not many U.S. cities can trace their origins as far back as Boston, the capital of Massachusetts. While other cities built over their historic structures, Bostonians preserved buildings from which the very essence of the American Revolution emanates, even to this day. Boston and the American Revolution from the GPO Bookstore describes Boston at the time of the American Revolution. It includes sections on Boston artists and artisans, The Boston Massacre, The Boston Tea Party, and historic sites in Boston. Like to be efficient in your travels? Lace up your walking shoes for a 2.5-mile stroll on the Freedom Trail®, which guides its followers to 16 different nationally significant historical sites via a red brick path. You’ll be led to Boston Common, Old Corner Book Store, Bunker Hill Monument and many other authentic sites along the way. Included on the trail is the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship still afloat, also known as “Old Ironsides”, at the historic Charlestown Navy Yard. Want to know more about this shipyard? Charlestown Navy Yard from the GPO Bookstore tells the story of the 175-year history of Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, the evolution of shipbuilding technology, the vessels it built and repaired, and the workers who made them seaworthy.
If you’re interested in seaports (or the finer things in life), head northeast a bit to Salem, Massachusetts, which was the leader in the Far Eastern luxuries trade in its prime. Salem: Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail provides a history of the port’s seafaring era in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and a guide to the sites of Salem. The handbook describes the goods that fueled the trade, including tea, West Indies molasses and sugar, Arabian coffee, European cheese and cloth, and fine silks from China. The historic buildings, wharves, and reconstructed tall ship at Salem Maritime tell the stories of the sailors, Revolutionary War privateers, and merchants who brought the riches of the Far East to America.
While there is no single birthplace of industry, Lowell, Massachusetts, a textile mill city, was one of the very first American cities with innovative textile technology and an urban working class, including young women, marking the beginning of a new American life. Lowell: The Story of an Industrial City tells the story of America’s first large-scale planned industrial community. In the handbook you’ll find paintings, maps, drawings and black and white photographs of the city that transformed America with its mechanized manufacturing. When visiting, check out one of Lowell’s most moving monuments, a group of 20 bronze bricks laid in the sidewalk that leads to Boott Mills, which was a part of the group of cotton mills built in 1835 alongside a power canal system.
We hope you learned a lot and had some fun while at it in the great state of Massachusetts. The best is yet to come! Stay tuned for more adventure in GPO’s Summer Travel Series.
More from our Summer Travel Series:
Don’t forget to check out our latest catalog America The Beautiful.
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- Click here to purchase Boston and the American Revolution: Boston National Historical Park, Massachusetts
- Click here to purchase Charlestown Navy Yard: Boston National Historical Park
- Click here to purchase Salem: Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail
- Click here to purchase Lowell: The Story of an Industrial City, a Guide to Lowell National Historical Park and Lowell Heritage State Park, Lowell, Massachusetts
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About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the PR Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.