THE NORTH END
The Copp's Hill Burying Ground began as a cemetery in the 1660s. The site overlooking the Charles River was used by the British a century later as an emplacement for the cannon that destroyed Charlestown and fired on the Americans on Breed’s Hill.
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
In the 1630s, the northern most slopes of the Shawmut Peninsula (or Boston) was a prominent landmark. Settlers soon discovered its strategic overlook of the Harbor and of the Charles River to the west and found the steep hillock well-protected from the “Three great annoyances, of wolves, rattlesnakes and mosquitoes.” The settlers first built a wind-powered grinding mill here and called the slope, Windmill Hill. Later it was known as Snowhill and finally Copp’s Hill.
William Copp, after whom the hill and burying ground are named, was a cobbler who once owned the land here. The gravestones of his children, buried in the 1660s, are still here at the hill’s crest. Other settlers were buried nearby when the town bought the site in 1659 and called it the North Burying Ground. Over the years, three sections were added to the original, although today they appear as one.
During the occupation of Boston, British troops manned a battery at Copp’s Hill and rained fire onto nearby Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775.
(Copp’s Hill Marker)
About a tenth of a mile from Copp’s Hill is the Old North Church. Built in 1723 as a "house of prayer for all people." "Old North" or Christ Church is the city's oldest standing church. In the steeple of the church two lanterns were hung by sexton Robert Newman on April 18,1775, warning the patriots that British troops were crossing by boat on the Charles River. Paul Revere and William Dawes rode to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the pending attack.
The signal lanterns of Paul Revere
displayed in the steeple of this church, April 18, 1775, warned the
country of the march of the British troops to Lexington and
Placed by the City of Boston
(North Church Marker)
Adjacent to Old North Church is the Clough House, one of the few surviving 18th century homes. As a marker explains, Benjamin Franklin’s boyhood home was nearby.
This graceful home was built around 1712 and managed to survive when all its neighbors — including the house that Ben Franklin owned next door — were torn down”...
(North End Marker)
Just beyond the Clough House is the Paul Revere Mall. The mall includes many historical markers about the patriots of Boston who served their country. The mall also includes an impressive statue of Paul Revere on horseback warning the countryside.
At the end of the mall is the St. Stephens Church. As the marker indicates, this church has changed denominations over its early years. Today, it is Roman Catholic with historic ties to the Kennedy family.
About a quarter mile past St. Stephens is the Paul Revere House. The house, the oldest in Boston, was built about 1680. Paul Revere owned it from 1770 until 1800. While living here he produced his famous Boston Massacre engraving, took part in the Tea Party, and, on April 18,1775, made his historic ride. After Revere's time, the house was used for commercial stores and tenement housing. It was restored in 1908 by the Paul Revere Memorial Association. The adjacent Pierce-Hichborn House was the home of Reveres cousin, Nathaniel Hichborn. It is one of the earliest brick houses in the city.
The Paul Revere House
Built c. 1680, this is the last remaining structure from 17th-century Boston. Patriot and silversmith, Paul Revere owned the building from 1770 to 1800. He left this house for his famous “Midnight Ride” on April 18, 1775. After use as a tenement and storefront in the 19th century, the house was saved from demolition and restored. It opened as a museum in 1908.
(North End Marker)
Green Dragon Tavern -
Green Dragon Tavern, Boston
Near this spot stood the Green Dragon Tavern, the secret meeting place of the Sons of Liberty and, in the words of Webster, the Headquarters of the Revolution. To mark a site forever memorable as the birthplace of American freedom, this tavern is restored to its rightful place on Boston’s Freedom Trail, June 1993.
Onto Downtown Boston
Back to a Revolutionary Day