Do you remember Boston? Back before things got busy, I was telling you about my trip to Boston. Since they’re having this little footrace there tomorrow morning, it seems a good time to get back to that story.
As usual, I was on foot wandering around, which is easy in Boston because they’ve got this thing called The Freedom Trail that makes it easy. Mostly an easy walk, only 2.5 miles, mostly flat, you have to keep your eyes open to avoid tripping over one historic site after the other.
Starting at Boston Common, walk up Fremont Street to the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, and the North End Park. Follow the trail into Boston’s North End and you’ll see Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church. (“One if by land, two if by sea, three for White Walkers!”) Keep walking north, toward the Charles River.
Coming up from the Old North Church there’s a small rise to the top of Copp’s Hill, where you’ll find the Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. As with the King’s Chapel Burying Ground near Boston Common, I found this a fascinating place. There aren’t as many historical figures buried here, but I find it interesting to look at the ancient headstones, many well over two hundred years old.
What would those folks think of our modern world? For starters, everyone with an iPhone is getting burned for being a witch!
Heading out over the Charlestown Bridge, off to your left is the TD Banknorth Garden, where the Celtics and Bruins play. There’s also that pesky Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge. If you’re downtown, you still can’t get to the airport that way!
There are some really nice boats docked out in the Charles River. On the far side is Charlestown, and you can see the Bunker Hill monument standing tall. (We’ll get there in Part Six.)
Looking back you can see the skyscrapers of downtown, and a couple of older tall buildings.
Once on the other side you’ll find the Charlestown Navy Yard. I’ll show you around the Yard’s most famous attraction in the next installment, but the other major attraction there is the USS Cassin Young.
The Cassin Young is a World War II era Fletcher-class destroyer. She saw battle in the Pacific Theater at Saipan, Tinian, Guam, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
At Okinawa she was hit by a kamikaze attack and suffered significant damage, as well as 22 dead and 45 wounded among her crew. After being repaired she was mothballed, then recommissioned during the Korean War. Finally mothballed again, she’s now a great example of the ships we built in the 1940’s to win World War II.
Moving north from the Charlestown Navy Yard (don’t worry, we’ll come back next time to see that other ship) you’ll find the Charlestown Training Ground. Today it’s a lovely little park and no doubt a great place for a weekend picnic or evening stroll. (Assuming it’s a part of the year when it’s not covered by twenty-five feet of snow, of course!)
A nice statue by Martin Milmore adorns the site, with the figure of Liberty bestowing laurel wreaths on the soldiers and sailors of Charlestown who fought in our nation’s wars to preserve our freedom. (I am a sucker for a good, public statue!)
Next installment we’ll “double back” to the Charlestown Navy Yard (the photos work out better that way), then finish in Part Six at the far end of The Freedom Trail, Bunker Hill. (Even though The Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought on Breed’s Hill nearby. They built the monument on Bunker’s Hill, so that’s where we’ll go.)