Thinking about visiting or relocating to Lexington? Lexington, Massachusetts is home to many historical sites, attractions, and things to see. As you may already know, this is the place where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired on April 19, 1775. Here are just some of the historic sites and attractions in Lexington that you won’t want to miss, especially those on and around the Lexington Battle Green.
Created by Boston sculptor Henry H. Kitson, the Minuteman is located on the Battle Green in the southeast corner. The life-size statue of a colonial farmer with a musket represents a member of the Lexington militia, which were local colony volunteers who acted as first responders to military and other threats. The actual Minutemen were an elite part of this group.
Lexington’s oldest tavern is located at 1 Bedford Street, across from the Battle Green. Today, the interior looks similar to when it was the headquarters of the Minutemen. In 1713, the tavern was licensed to serve drovers and around 77 Minutemen gathered here on April 19, 1775, while awaiting the British. On display is the old front door with a bullet hole from the Battle of Lexington, among many other items.
As the destination where Paul Revere and William Dawes warned Samuel Adams and John Hancock of the coming British troops on April 18, 1775, displays in the house include period furnishings and portraits, William Diamond’s drum, and the pistols of British Major Pitcairn. In a barn behind the house, you’ll find Society’s Fire Equipment Museum.
This historic building, which was built in 1847, is located in Lexington Center at Depot Square. The depot used to have as many as 19 trains stopping here to bring passengers to and from Boston every day. It is now the headquarters of the Lexington Historical Society.
The former tavern was a temporary headquarters and hospital for British Brigadier General Earl Percy and his reinforcements on April 19, 1775. President Washington dined here fourteen years later when he visited the battlefield in 1789. You’ll discover artifacts from Washington’s visit and many items used by the Munroe family when they managed the tavern from 1770 to 1827.
The Old Belfry
The Old Belfry sounded the alarm on April 19, 1775, in addition to summoning people to worship, warning of dangers, and tolling upon deaths. The original structure perished in a fire, so a replica was built in 1910 on the site of the original Belfry, to your left as you face the front of the Minuteman. For a while, the Belfry was located on the Battle Green, and a plaque marks that location.
The Old Burying Ground
The oldest gravestones in Lexington, dating back to 1690, are in the Old Burying Ground. Many graves of Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers and veterans, as well as a British soldier who was wounded on the British retreat from Concord, are located on the site, which is off of Massachusetts Avenue, west of the Lexington Battle Green.
The Revolutionary War Monument
On the Lexington Battle Green, you’ll also find this granite obelisk that was erected in 1799. It marks one end of the line of Minutemen that confronted the British Regulars. The remains of seven of the eight men killed in battle were moved from the Old Burying Ground to the grounds inside the monument’s iron fence in 1835.
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