Minute Man National Historical Park

Concord
MA

North Bridge in Concord

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QUICK FACTS
  • Commemorates the 19 April 1775 Battle of Lexington / Concord, which started the Revolutionary War.
  • 88 militia were killed or wounded that day; 247 British Redcoats were killed or wounded.
  • There are reenactments of the battle on Patriot’s Day, which is an annual state holiday in Massachusetts.
  • Throughout the park are witness houses, whose occupants would have seen the British soldiers first-hand.
  • Not part of the park, but certainly a witness house, is the wonderfully preserved Old Manse near Concord Bridge.
  • It was colonial Major John Buttrick who first ordered his militia to fire on the British Regulars; the mansion that is now the North Bridge Visitor Center was built by descendants of the Buttrick family.
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With over 900 acres, the Minute Man Historical Park traces the route originally taken by the British Regulars from Lexington to Concord. Starting at the Minute Man Visitor Center, a multimedia theater program provides an excellent introduction to the battle which began the American Revolution. Park Rangers are available for questions.

Battle Road Trail

The five-mile trail connects historic sites from Meriam’s Corner in Concord to the eastern boundary of the park in Lexington. It can be hiked or biked; or for the main sites, parking is available.

Hartwell Tavern

A significant community landmark in its day, Hartwell Tavern was also a prosperous farm and home to Ephraim and Elizabeth Hartwell and their children. The authentic structure is open for a self-guided tour.

North Bridge Visitor Center

Located in a brick mansion built in 1911, the North Bridge Visitor Center features a short video about the North Bridge fight, a bookstore, and exhibits. Includes a brass cannon, smuggled out of Boston in 1775, that was one of the four cannons hidden in Concord. The rebuilt North Bridge is a five-minute walk away.

America had a common language, unlike the European nations, none of which was linguistically homogeneous. in 1789 the majority of Frenchmen did not speak French but were divided by a variety of provincial patois. Englishmen from Yorkshire were incomprehensible to those from Cornwall and vice versa. By contrast, Americans could understand one another from Maine to Georgia. It was very obvious why this should be so, said John Witherspoon, president of Princeton. Since Americans were much more unsettled, and move frequently from place to place, they are not as liable to local peculiarities, either in accent or phraseology.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)