Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012

Really had a nice day today.  I left North Attleboro this morning and headed up I-475 to Lexington and Concord.  What interesting places!
If you don't remember your American History all that well, in April, 1775 General Gage set out from Boston toward Lexington and Concord to seize arms and supplies that the rebellious colonists had stashed in and around Concord. This was the famous "midnight ride" of Paul Revere, although he actually was captured by the British before he made it to Lexington.  His riding partner, William Dawes, actually made it to Lexington and he was the one who warned the malitiamen that the British were coming.  On Lexington Green, the British and Americans faced off and a short battle ensued, leaving eight colonists dead.  The British then marched to Concord where, at Concord Bridge, just north of the town, they were confronted by armed and angry militiamen.  "The shot heard 'round the world" was fired and in the ensuing battle, four British soldiers were killed.  The British panicked and withdrew all the way back to Boston.  Along the way, a number of skirmishes occurred that resulted in something like 67 British killed and 45 Americans killed.  Well, anyway, it's all here.

If you look at the picture above, the bridge itself is not original, it's a reproduction of what the original bridge looked like.  The monument on the left was erected in 1836 and the Minuteman statue on the right was erected in 1875, the 100th anniversary of the conflict.  I thought this was interesting also:

This is the actual grave site where the British soldiers who were killed were buried.  It lies beside the 1836 monument.

I left Concord and headed the 7 miles or so to Lexington Green, where the first clash occurred.  Of course, there is a monument to the event, erected in 1799, and I thought the inscription on the monument was interesting:

I think you can read it.  If not, double click on it, go up to "View" on the task bar, and increase the magnification.  I'm thinking this probably isn't how British textbooks relate the story, though.

Seven of the eight Americans who were killed on that day in Lexington are buried under the monument. 

At the other end of the Green is the famous Minuteman statue:

And across is the tavern where the militiamen gathered before they confronted the British:

Maybe the battle might have gone a little better if they had found another place to meet?

I didn't really realize it, but near Concord is Walden Pond and the homes of Louisa May Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne.  This is the home of Alcott that is described in her book, "Little Women.":

And Nathaniel Hawthorne's house right next door:

Nathaniel needs to do a little work on the old home place, I'm afraid.

After absorbing all the history I could for the day, I headed up around Boston to Gloucester, site of the movie "The Perfect Storm." The scenery is absolutely beautiful and this is one interesting little town. It's still an active fishing port, and is home to Gorton's Seafoods, maker of jillions of fish sticks.  Here are a couple shots of the harbor area:

I visited the Maritime Heritage Center and that was really interesting, displaying a lot of info about the history of commercial fishing here.  Gloucester was settled in 1634, so it's been here a long time.  This was an interesting display showing how a fishing trawler using a Seine net catches fish:

And here's the guy on the front of the Gorton's fish sticks boxes himself:

And, finally, this is a monument to the wives of the fishermen who lost their lives over the years.  It's down on the seawall in the harbor area and at her feet are the names of vessels and crew members who have been lost:

All in all, a very nice, interesting day today.

I'm in Portland, Maine for the night and will be heading up US1 in the morning on my way to Bangor.

Miles today:  275
Total: 1,530