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Boston Common - Boston, MA

Dear Diary,
My modus operandi seems to be; we travel to a new city, we go for a walk, I take pictures, and then, I seek out information about what I just saw.

In this instance, as I research the history and founding of America's oldest public park, I find myself hanging onto every word I read.

Boston Common was founded in 1634, and consists of 50 acres of land. During the 1630s it was used by many Puritan families as a cow pasture.

The Common, as it's referred to, was also once a camp used by the British prior to the Revolutionary War. Furthermore, it was used as public gallows until 1817.

Pope John Paul II and Martin Luther King, Jr. gave speeches here, and this was the site for a couple of protest marches in 2017. Additionally, prehistoric sites were discovered here, indicating the presence of Native Americans for over 8,500 years.

Located on the Boylston Street side of the park is the Central Burying Ground, which is the final resting place of artist Gilbert Stuart and composer William Billings. Also buried here are Samuel Sprague and his son, Charles Sprague, one of America's early poets. Samuel was a participant in the Boston Tea Party and fought in the Revolutionary War, but unfortunately for us, the gates were locked. All that stood between us and such notable influence on our country was a wrought iron fence.

Able now to connect what I saw to what I've learned, I find myself wondering if our first leaders and founders imagined this park would celebrate the kind of longevity it has.

I wonder if they could imagine the public transportation that would evolve over the centuries, not to mention building progress and fashion of dress.

As I review the photographs I took, I begin to imagine all that these grounds bore witness to since the early 1600s.

Perhaps this is why history fascinates me. With each ensuing sentence I read, the mind and perspective-broadening teachable moments are abundant. The result? Gratefulness. Grateful to know where we came from, how we got here, with the modern medicine and technology that we have today. I'm not certain this kind of appreciation could be gained elsewhere.

Who else walked where I have as I crossed those grounds?

In the end, though this was my first time to Boston and a quick visit at that, I feel like I've received a worthy introduction. One that has motivated me to continue this with future visits, historical tours and museum strolls. In fact, I've developed a travel theme of "next time," repeated after each brief exposure to a new city with an excitement to see what else there is. Had we had more time, I would have loved to walk The Freedom Trail and Beacon Hill, and visit the Tea Party Museum. Landen, ever the sports enthusiast, has also added stops at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park (one of the oldest ballparks in the country).

We all have a list of "must return to" destinations. Europe, Hawaii, New York City to tour Ellis Island and now, Boston, are all included on mine.

Until next time!


  1. How lovely Boston looks in the snow! I've never properly been, but it's on my list. And this burying ground is number one!