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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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Celebrating Barrett’s Farm in Concord, 27 Oct.

On Saturday, 27 October, Save Our Heritage is celebrating the completion of its multi-year effort to restore the Col. James Barrett Farm and transfer that historic property to the Minute Man National Historical Park. This is an important expansion of the park since that farmhouse was at the very end of the British march on 18-19 Apr 1775 and the very top of Gen. Thomas Gage’s list of places to search in Concord.

There will be a public ceremony from 11:00 A.M. to noon featuring the heads of Save Our Heritage and Minute Man Park, Rep. Niki Tsongas, and the selectmen of Concord, as well as a colonial musket salute. That will take place rain or shine.

From noon to 4:00 P.M. there will be an open house inside the Barrett homestead with the preservation architect, timber framers, and other craftspeople involved in restoring the structure. The photo above, by Derek McLean for the Boston Globe, shows the restoration as of July 2011, when This Old House paid a visit.

Save Our Heritage thanks “the Town of Concord Community Preservation Fund, Save America’s Treasures Preservation Fund, and individual private donations” for supporting the effort.

My little contribution was a paper I wrote several years ago identifying some of the artillery pieces that Col. Barrett was storing at his farm until hours before the British troops arrived. Gen. Gage had been hunting for those weapons since they disappeared from militia armories in Boston in September 1774. One of those brass cannon is now on display in the Concord visitor center of Minute Man park.

Barrett’s farm is at 449 Barretts Mill Road in Concord. It should be possible to visit it and the Battle of the Red Horse Tavern reenactment in Sudbury the same day.

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