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The Paul Revere House. Just One of the Sixteen Sites on the Freedom Trail     BY: The Freedom Trail Foundation
The Freedom Trail

Boston, Massachusetts

By Michael F. Bisceglia, Jr. | September 05, 2011

Boston is where the American Revolution began, and in a nutshell this great city gave birth to a nation.

Downtown Boston is filled with well-preserved historic sites.   But before the intervention of journalist Bill Schofield it was difficult to navigate from one to the next and they opened at different hours and on different days.

The U.S.S. Constitution in Boston Harbor
This Image is Provided Courtesy of the Freedom Trail Foundation

Together with Bob Winn, a member of the North End’s Old North Church, Schofield devised a prototype route, the Freedom Way, which he published in his “Have You Heard” column, in the Evening Traveler on March 8, 1951.

Over the next few weeks, Schofield used his column to promote his idea and on March 31, 1951, Mayor John B. Hynes called Schofield to tell him the city intended to proceed with the proposal.   The following June, the Freedom Trail was officially opened.   The reason for the name change? Sadly long forgotten.

Over the ensuing years the Freedom Trail evolved, and by 1953 was attracting 40,000 visitors a year.   Schofield credited Dick Berenson with leading the trail to maturity by adding the distinctive painted red line in 1958 and bringing private and public sector groups together to protect the trail when it was threatened by redevelopment.

In 1964 the Freedom Trail Foundation was established to promote and preserve the Freedom Trail.   Today the foundation works with the sixteen nationally significant historic sites on the trail to develop educational and public programs and to promote historic tourism in Boston generally.

The 2½ mile red-brick walking trail leads walkers to the State House, the site of the Boston Massacre, the Old North Church, King’s Chapel and the U.S.S. Constitution and eleven other sites of no less importance.

The Freedom Trail attracts between three and four million visitors annually.

The walker (or trolley car user) will definitely need a full day to become acquainted (or reacquainted) with the birthplace of this nation’s heritage.

Bring the camera and wear some good walking shoes and enjoy a truly American experience.




The Freedom Trail Foundation Website

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