Minuteman National Historical Park Methuen, Massachusetts

Visit the Minuteman National Historical Park

Near Methuen, Massachusetts, you will find Minuteman National Historical Park. This park covers an area of about 1,000 acres and is known for being the location of the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Let’s learn about this National Historial Park so you can get the most from your visit.

The Minuteman National Historial Park includes four main sites.

1. The North Bridge

“The shot heard round the world” took place near the Old North Bridge. This shot occurred on April 19, 1775, when colonists fired at Britsh troops for the first time. Two British soldiers were killed, and their graves can still be seen near the bridge.

Ralph Waldo Emerson later wrote about the battle in Concord Hymn, and his words describing the battle as “the shot heard round the world” described the enormity of a young group of colonists going against the gigantic British Empire.

When you visit the site, know that the bridge itself has been rebuilt many times throughout the years. The current version is accurate to the original design and was built in 1956.

Near the area, you will also find the Minuteman statue, created by Daniel Chester French in 1875. The monument depicts a soldier who was ready to fight at a minute’s notice. You will also see the Obelisk monument, which was a memorial for the casualties of war.

2. Battle Road Trail

Visitors to this National Historic Site will also enjoy the Battle Road Trail. The trail runs between Lexington and Concord, and it covers the path of the skirmishes between the colonial troops with the members of the British military.

Look for the monument that marks where Paul Revere was captured on his midnight ride. During this ride, he warned his fellow colonists that the enemy was coming. It is worth noting that Revere would have never yelled that the “British were coming,” because the colonists considered themselves British at the time.

Along the trail, you will also see Hartwell Tavern, a restored 18th-century inn. Visitors can enjoy a living history museum on the site most of the year.

The trail runs for five miles and can be accessed at several parking lots along the way.

3. Wayside

The Wayside was once the home to Samuel Whitney, who was responsible for the accounting of the troops and their supplies. It later became the home of Amos Bronson Alcott, whose famous daughter, Louisa May Alcott, wrote Little Women. Nathaniel Hawthorne then inhabited the house. Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter and other American classics. The home was also part of the Underground Railroad.

4. Barrett’s Farm

British soldiers searched Barrett’s Farm during the Revolutionary War. It was thought to be a hiding place for colonist’s artillery and ammunition. The farm was added to the Minuteman Park in 2012.

Visitors to the Minuteman Historical National Park will not only enjoy learning more about our country’s history, but they will also enjoy exploring a beautiful natural area as well. This park lies only 30 minutes south of Methuen.

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