J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Cambridge Discovery Days, 6 and 13 August 2011

One more upcoming event: The first two Saturdays of this month, 6 and 13 August, are the annual Cambridge Discovery Days, with free walking tours and other events devoted to that city’s history.

At 3:00 P.M. on both days I’ll lead a walking tour on the topic “1775: Cambridge as the Seat of Civil War”:
On the evening of April 19, 1775, Cambridge became the headquarters of Massachusetts’s provincial army. The conflict that followed the events in Lexington and Concord is known as the Revolutionary War, but to many observers, it was a “civil war” that split the town and sent some families away forever. This tour explores the Cambridge of 1775 and discusses how the town and its residents changed with the arrival and spread of war.
We’ll meet at the Washington Gate at the southern tip of Cambridge Common (across a lane of traffic from the traffic island with bronze hoofprints that commemorate William Dawes’s ride. This tour will look at the Common and parts of Brattle Street, and I estimate it will take about ninety minutes.

Also on the Cambridge Discovery Days schedule is this tour for 6 August only:
“Harvard, Cambridge & the American Revolution”
Explore the intertwined histories of Cambridge and Harvard College from their founding in the seventeenth century through the time of the Revolution. The tour will visit the original village market place, Revolutionary war sites on Brattle Street and Cambridge Common, and the site of the original Washington Elm.
Email guide Regis De Silva to register in advance. This two-hour tour begins at 10:00 A.M. at the Kennedy School of Government’s main gate off Bennett Street.

In addition, Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site (105 Brattle Street) and the Cambridge Historical Society (159 Brattle Street) will be welcoming visitors all day. Both are colonial-era mansions abandoned by their Loyalist owners when the conflict heated up and then taken over by the Continental Army.

Donna LaRue will provide living history twice each Saturday in the persona of “Mistress Elizabeth,” a schoolteacher from 1773. Rob Velella of the American Literary Blog will discuss the literary conflicts that followed two or three generations after the Revolutionary conflicts. And there will be other tours about Cambridge’s candy industry, public art, architecture, and more.

(Photograph of the Washington Gate above by Wally Gobetz, via Flickr under a Creative Commons license.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, JL, and for participating. I look forward to seeing you myself this Saturday. Thanks again! Kit

J. L. Bell said...

No need to register for my tour. Just show up in your walking shoes!