Boston and The Freedom Trail

Many feel this area resembles hilly San Francisco, but it is more than 200 years older.  Here, the Reverend John Harvard settled in, after emigrating from Stratford-on-Avon (his father knew Shakespeare) in 1629.  Rev. Harvard is buried in this neighbor’hood, across from the college where Robin Williams “taught” Matt Damon in the film Good Will Hunting (1997).  The Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner film The Town (2010) was filmed in this area as well, as was Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (2006), that starred Jack Nicholson.  A pleasant place to stop for lunch is the 1780 Warren Tavern, which was frequented by Washington, Paul Revere, and many Minutemen.

At the bottom of Bunker Hill, you’ll see the first United States Navy Base, 1799 – which includes the Charlestown Navy Yard – and the oldest United States Marine Corps.  Barracks in the nation here, as are the oldest dry-docks in the country, and 200-year-old rope walks.  During World War II, more than 400 ships were launched here, including aircraft carriers, submarines, and battleships.  The famous Civil War ship the USS Merrimac was built here in 1857, and here you can walk the decks of “Old Ironsides”, the USS Constitution.  The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship in the United States Navy and is a Frigate that still sails 5 or 6 times a year with United States Navy personnel aboard 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Her sides are not iron, but they are 22-inch thick Live Georgia Oak, and English sailors watched as 38lb. cannonballs bounced off the hull of this magnificent ship, making them believe that it was made of iron.

The USS Constitution fought in 33 sea battles and won every one in the War of 1812, and also fought the Barbary Pirates.  This ships’ United States Marine Corps. Contingent went onto the shores of Tripoli.  The Constitution is still an active United States Navy vessel and houses a free tour of the ship and its museums.

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