Minute Man National Historical Park

Minute Man National Historical Park commemorates the opening battle in the American Revolutionary War. It also includes the Wayside, home in turn to three noted American authors. The National Historical Park is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service and protects 970 acres (392.5 ha) in and around the Massachusetts towns of Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord.

Minute Man National Historical Park
Hartwell Tavern Lexington Massachusetts
Hartwell Tavern, Lincoln, Massachusetts
Map showing the location of Minute Man National Historical Park
Map showing the location of Minute Man National Historical Park
LocationMiddlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Nearest cityLexington, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°27′11″N 71°17′55″W / 42.45306°N 71.29861°WCoordinates: 42°27′11″N 71°17′55″W / 42.45306°N 71.29861°W
Area967 acres (391 ha)
EstablishedSeptember 21, 1959
Visitors1,002,833 (in 2011)[1]
Governing bodyNational Park Service
WebsiteMinute Man National Historical Park
Map of Minute Man National Historic Park
Map of the Minute Man National Historical Park.


These sites include:

  • Concord's North Bridge, where on April 19, 1775, colonial commanders ordered militia men to fire back at British troops for the first time. British colonial militia and minutemen killed two regular army soldiers and wounded eight more, one mortally, at the North Bridge Fight. This was the second battle of the day, after the brief fight at dawn on Lexington Common. In his 1837 poem, "Concord Hymn", thinker and author Ralph Waldo Emerson immortalized the North Bridge Fight as "the shot heard round the world". At this site also stands Daniel Chester French's well-known Minute Man Statue of 1875.[2] Across the North Bridge, opposite the Minute Man Statue is the Obelisk Monument. The Obelisk is believed to be the country's first memorial to its war casualties. Close by is the grave of the two regular army soldiers killed at the bridge.
  • The five-mile (8 km) "Battle Road Trail" between Lexington and Concord, which includes a restored colonial landscape approximating the path of the running skirmishes between British troops and Colonial militia, a monument at the site where Paul Revere was captured during his midnight ride, and the Hartwell Tavern, a restored 18th-century inn and house on the Battle Road, where living history programs are presented from May through October. The Battle Road Trail winds through fields and forests and is accessible from several different parking areas.
  • The Wayside, a National Historic Landmark, was home to Concord muster-master Samuel Whitney on April 19, 1775, and then, in turn, to authors Amos Bronson Alcott and his daughter Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Sidney. The Alcotts called the home "Hillside;" Hawthorne renamed it "Wayside." The house is also part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
  • Barrett's Farm, about 1.5 miles west of North Bridge on Barrett's Farm Road, is the newest addition to Minute Man National Historical Park. The home of Colonel James Barrett, it was the destination of British regulars who crossed North Bridge intent on searching the farm for artillery and ammunition they thought was hidden there. The house and 3.4 acres of land were purchased and restored by Save Our Heritage, a Concord non-profit that transferred ownership to the National Park Service in 2012.

Park visitor centers are located at the hill overlooking the North Bridge and along Battle Road. The main visitor center, on Route 2A/Battle Road, features a 25-minute multi-media show, "Road to Revolution" that gives a good introduction to the Lexington-Concord events. An eight-minute film at the North Bridge Visitor Center provides a comprehensive account of events leading to the encounter at North Bridge.

  • Lexington Battle Green, formerly known as Lexington Common, site of the first action on April 19, 1775 is part of the park's story, but the Town of Lexington owns and maintains it. The Green is also where the Captain Parker Statue by Henry Hudson Kitson is located.

Image gallery

Minute Man, Daniel Chester French, Concord MA

The Minute Man statue adjacent to the North Bridge

Memorial obelisk - Old North Bridge

Memorial obelisk adjacent to the North Bridge

Captain William Smith House, Lincoln MA

Captain William Smith House

See also


  1. ^ "National Park Service Visitor Use Statistics". National Park Service. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
  2. ^ Yeo, Douglas. "Daniel Chester French: The "Concord Minuteman"". Retrieved 2009-10-31.

External links

Battles of Lexington and Concord

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. The battles were fought on April 19, 1775 in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge. They marked the outbreak of armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in America.

In late 1774, Colonial leaders adopted the Suffolk Resolves in resistance to the alterations made to the Massachusetts colonial government by the British parliament following the Boston Tea Party. The colonial assembly responded by forming a Patriot provisional government known as the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and calling for local militias to train for possible hostilities. The Colonial government exercised effective control of the colony outside of British-controlled Boston. In response, the British government in February 1775 declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion.

About 700 British Army regulars in Boston, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, were given secret orders to capture and destroy Colonial military supplies reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. Through effective intelligence gathering, Patriot leaders had received word weeks before the expedition that their supplies might be at risk and had moved most of them to other locations. On the night before the battle, warning of the British expedition had been rapidly sent from Boston to militias in the area by several riders, including Paul Revere and Samuel Prescott, with information about British plans. The initial mode of the Army's arrival by water was signaled from the Old North Church in Boston to Charlestown using lanterns to communicate "one if by land, two if by sea".

The first shots were fired just as the sun was rising at Lexington. Eight militiamen were killed, including Ensign Robert Munroe, their third in command. The British suffered only one casualty. The militia were outnumbered and fell back, and the regulars proceeded on to Concord, where they broke apart into companies to search for the supplies. At the North Bridge in Concord, approximately 400 militiamen engaged 100 regulars from three companies of the King's troops at about 11:00 am, resulting in casualties on both sides. The outnumbered regulars fell back from the bridge and rejoined the main body of British forces in Concord.

The British forces began their return march to Boston after completing their search for military supplies, and more militiamen continued to arrive from neighboring towns. Gunfire erupted again between the two sides and continued throughout the day as the regulars marched back towards Boston. Upon returning to Lexington, Lt. Col. Smith's expedition was rescued by reinforcements under Brigadier General Hugh Percy, a future duke of Northumberland styled at this time by the courtesy title Earl Percy. The combined force of about 1,700 men marched back to Boston under heavy fire in a tactical withdrawal and eventually reached the safety of Charlestown. The accumulated militias then blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.

Ralph Waldo Emerson describes the first shot fired by the Patriots at the North Bridge in his "Concord Hymn" as the "shot heard round the world".

Bay Circuit Trail

The Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway or Bay Circuit is a Massachusetts recreational trail and greenway connecting the outlying suburbs of Boston from Plum Island in Newburyport to Kingston Bay in Duxbury, a distance of 200 miles (320 km).Landmarks include Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, the Charles River, Massachusetts Audubon's Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Minute Man National Historical Park, Lowell National Historic Park, the Merrimack River, and Plum Island.

The Bay Circuit Trail connects to other long distance recreation trails, such as the Warner Trail. The Minuteman Bikeway will provide a connection to downtown Boston when the Somerville Community Path is completed. The East Coast Greenway will also connect downtown if it is completed as envisioned.

The Bay Circuit is open to hiking, trail running and picnicking, and in the winter, snowshoeing. Certain parts of the trail are suitable for bicycling, horseback riding and cross country skiing. Swimming, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, and car top boating are also permitted in some properties the trail passes through.

The Bay Circuit Trail is overseen by the Bay Circuit Alliance, a coalition of state, town, and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and individuals. The Bay Circuit Alliance is led by the Appalachian Mountain Club which is working to implement the vision of the Bay Circuit by closing the final gaps of the trail, recruiting and organizing volunteers, improving the trail experience through improved maintenance and signage, securing permanent protection for the trail corridor and the greenway, and encouraging the public to get out and explore the trail’s 230+ miles.

Clapboard (architecture)

Clapboard or clabbard, also called bevel siding, lap siding, and weatherboard, with regional variation in the definition of these terms, is wooden siding of a building in the form of horizontal boards, often overlapping.

Col. James Barrett Farm

The Col. James Barrett Farm (Barrett's Farm) is a historic farm at 448 Barrett's Mill Road in Concord, Massachusetts.

Concord, Massachusetts

Concord () is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. At the 2010 census, the town population was 17,668. The United States Census Bureau considers Concord part of Greater Boston. The town center is near where the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet rivers forms the Concord River.

The area that became the town of Concord was originally known as Musketaquid, an Algonquian word for "grassy plain." Concord was established in 1635 by a handful of British settlers; by 1775, the population had grown to 1,400. As dissension between colonists in North America and the British crown intensified, 700 troops were sent to confiscate militia ordnance stored at Concord on April 19, 1775. The ensuing conflict, the Battle of Lexington and Concord, was the incident (the shot heard round the world) that triggered the American Revolutionary War.

A rich literary community developed in Concord during the mid-19th century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson's circle included Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau. Major works written in Concord during this period include Alcott's novel Little Women, Emerson's essay Self-Reliance, and Thoreau's Walden and Civil Disobedience. In this era, the now-ubiquitous Concord grape was developed in Concord by Ephraim Wales Bull.

In the 20th century, Concord developed into an affluent Boston suburb and tourist destination, drawing visitors to the Old North Bridge, Orchard House and Walden Pond. The town retains its literary culture and is home to notable authors, including Doris Kearns Goodwin, Alan Lightman and Gregory Maguire. Concord is also notable for its progressive and environmentalist politics, becoming in 2012 the first community in the United States to ban single-serving PET bottles.

Concord Hymn

"Concord Hymn" (original title was "Hymn: Sung at the Completion of the Concord Monument, April 19, 1836") is a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson written for the 1837 dedication of the Obelisk, a monument in Concord, Massachusetts, commemorating the Battle of Concord, the second in a series of battles and skirmishes on April 19, 1775, at the outbreak of the American Revolution.

Freedom's Way National Heritage Area

Freedom's Way National Heritage Area is a federally designated National Heritage Area encompassing portions of northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. The heritage area includes sites significant to the American Revolution, cultural sites associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, and Native American sites. The heritage area seeks to preserve the region's landscape and historic structures.The National Heritage Area includes Minute Man National Historical Park, portions of Middlesex and Worcester counties in Massachusetts, and portions of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, an area including a total of 45 communities in the two states. The designated area also includes portions of Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.Freedom's Way National Heritage Area was established by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.

Historical reenactment in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts

The towns of Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts are the site of Minute Man National Historical Park, a park governed by the National Park Service. The most highly-attended event in the park is the annual reenactment of the first shots of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, performed by the Lexington Minute Men Company and His Majesty's Tenth Regiment of Foot.

Lexington, Massachusetts

Lexington is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,394 at the 2010 census, in nearly 11,100 households. Settled in 1641, it is celebrated as the site of the first shots of the American Revolutionary War, in the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. It is part of the Greater Boston Area and is the sixth wealthiest small city in the United States.

List of areas in the National Park System in Massachusetts

This list of areas in the National Park System in Massachusetts describes the regions and properties of the state of Massachusetts in which the United States National Park Service (NPS) has an interest. Some of the sites are owned an operated by the NPS, while others, especially those covering significant geographic areas or involving multiple properties, may be only owned or operated in part by the NPS. In some cases, the NPS acts strictly in an advisory or coordinating capacity, and does not provide a services in the form of rangers, visitor centers, or maintenance that it normally provides for the properties it owns or operates.

List of the United States National Park System official units

The Official Units of the National Park System of the United States is the collection of physical properties owned or administered by the National Park Service.

As of 2019, there are 419 official units of the National Park System; however, this number can be misleading. For example, Denali National Park and Preserve are counted as two units, since the same name applies to a national park and an adjacent national preserve. Yet Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is counted as one unit, despite its double designation. Counting methodology is rooted in the language of a park's enabling legislation. Furthermore, the NPS contributes resources to "affiliated areas" which do not fall under its administration, and these do not count toward the official list number. An example is Oklahoma City National Memorial.

These units are a subset of the areas in the United States National Park System, and nearly all participate in the national park passport stamps program. Until 2013, Delaware was the only state without an official unit (President Barack Obama designated First State National Monument under the Antiquities Act on March 25, 2013. It was subsequently redesignated a national historical park.) National park system units are also found in Washington, D.C., Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Bold indicates national parks.

List of tourist attractions providing reenactment

The following is a list of tourist attractions, by country, that regularly use "living history" or historical reenactments either with professional actors or amateur groups.

Most castles which open to the public use reenactment in some form or another, even if not noted on this list. Similarly, anything labeled a Renaissance fair will use reenactment, though the level of authenticity may vary.


Minutemen were civilian colonists who independently organized to form well-prepared militia companies self-trained in weaponry, tactics, and military strategies from the American colonial partisan militia during the American Revolutionary War. They were also known for being ready at a minute's notice, hence the name. They provided a highly mobile, rapidly deployed force that allowed the colonies to respond immediately to war threats.

The minutemen were among the first to fight in the American Revolution. Their teams constituted about a quarter of the entire militia. They were generally younger and more mobile and served as part of a network for early response.

The term has also been applied to various later United States civilian-based paramilitary forces to recall the success and patriotism of the originals.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Concord, Massachusetts

This is a list of places on the National Register of Historic Places in Concord, Massachusetts.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted July 12, 2019.

Old North Bridge

The North Bridge, often colloquially called the Old North Bridge, is a historical site in the Battle of Concord, the first day of battle in the American War of Independence. The current wooden pedestrian bridge is a replica of the one that stood at the day of the battle. It and nearby sites are now part of the Minute Man National Historical Park of the National Park Service, an extremely popular tourist destination.

The current bridge is located in its original location off Monument Street in Concord, Massachusetts. It spans the Concord River 0.5 miles northeast from the start of the river at the confluence of the Assabet River and the Sudbury River at Egg Rock.

Real estate

Real estate is "property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, (more generally) buildings or housing in general. Also: the business of real estate; the profession of buying, selling, or renting land, buildings, or housing." It is a legal term used in jurisdictions whose legal system is derived from English common law, such as India, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, United States, Canada, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Old Manse

The Old Manse is a historic manse in Concord, Massachusetts, United States famous for its American historical and literary associations. It is open to the public as a nonprofit museum owned and operated by the Trustees of Reservations. The house is located on Monument Street, with the Concord River just behind it. The property neighbors the North Bridge, a part of Minute Man National Historical Park.

The Wayside

The Wayside is a historic house in Concord, Massachusetts. The earliest part of the home may date to 1717. Later it successively became the home of the young Louisa May Alcott and her family, who named it Hillside, author Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family, and children's writer Margaret Sidney. It became the first site with literary associations acquired by the National Park Service and is now open to the public as part of Minute Man National Historical Park.

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