Massachusetts Historic Sites

By Maureen A. Taylor Premium

African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School

46 Joy St. Boston, MA 02114 (617) 725-0022

<>: The 1806 Beacon Hill meetinghouse and adjacent school, part of the Museum of Afro-American History, were centers of Boston’s free African-American community. Visit the Web site to learn about black heritage trails in Boston and Nantucket.

The Freedom Trail

Starts at Boston Commons Visitors Center 147 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02111 (617)426-3115

<>: This 2.5-mile walking path, marked by a red line, connects 16 Boston historic sites in Beacon Hill, downtown, the North End and Charlestown. Costumed guides depart the visitor center three times a day.

Hancock Shaker Village

Route 20 Pittsfield, MA 0120 (800) 817-1137

<>: Learn about Shaker architecture (including the famous Round Stone Barn), crafts, heirloom crops and heritage animal breeds at this living history museum. Visit the Web site to search a database of known Hancock Shakers.

Harrison Cray Otis House

141 Cambridge St. Boston, MA 02114 (617) 227-3956

<>: Charles Bulfinch — America’s first professional architect — designed this Federal-style home for Otis, who developed Beacon Hill and later was Boston’s mayor.

John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Columbia Point Boston, MA 02125 (866) 535-1960

<>: The 35th US president’s 26-foot sloop Victura welcomes you to this I.M. Pei-designed building. Exhibits on Kennedy’s life and political career include a re-creation of the TV studio where he debated Richard Nixon in 1960 and video of his famous inaugural address.

Lowell National Historical Park

67 Kirk St. Lowell, MA (978) 970-5000

<>: Stop by the visitor center in Market Mills to get a map of this early industrial city-turned-national park, then step into 19th-century mill life. See textile factories, worker housing and canals, as well as exhibits on the people — many of them immigrants and women — who made the mills hum.

Old Sturbridge Village

1 Old Sturbridge Village Road Sturbridge, MA 01566 (800) 733-1830

<>: Costumed guides at 40 restored buildings — including a meetinghouse, bank, cider mill and tavern — re-create daily life in a New England town between 1790 and 1840. At 200 acres, this outdoor museum is the largest in New England.

Plimoth Plantation

137 Warren Ave. Plymouth, MA 02360 (508) 746-1622

<>: Sit back as everyday life in 1627 Plimoth unfolds around you — or help colonists pull weeds and ask a housewife what she’s cooking. In the nearby Wampanoag home site, modern American Indians in traditional dress depict their people’s experiences.


Visitor Information

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

10 Park Plaza Suite 4510 Boston, MA 02116 (800) 447-6277


Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau

2 Copley Place Suite 105 Boston, MA 02116 (888) 733-2678


From the August 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.