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.

Since the heady moment when he married Martha Custis in 1759, combining their estates into one of the preeminent holdings in northern Virginia, everything Washington touched had turned to brass. He had failed repeatedly to grow profitable tobacco crops. In London his leaf had acquired an unshakable reputation for mediocrity. Meanwhile the expenses of maintaining a great planter’s lifestyle, while keeping up a slave labor force and several plantations, had proved unrelenting. His own debtors — former comrades-in-arms who unhesitatingly touched him for loans, neighbors with whom he ran accounts, tenants who owed him rent — were slow to pay, and sometimes never did; yet he was too tightly bound by the expectations of gentlemanly behavior to refuse a loan when asked, or to press a debtor insistently when payment fell due. By 1763 Washington found himself deep in debt, doubting that he would ever extricate himself by growing tobacco, and casting about to find some way out of his predicament.

Fred Anderson
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000)