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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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

News from the Wright Tavern in Concord

Earlier this month the Concord Museum and the town’s First Parish announced an agreement for the museum to lease the historic Wright Tavern for three years.

The tavern, located near the center of town, was the site of committee meetings during the first Massachusetts Provincial Congress in 1774.

On 18-19 Apr 1775, the town’s militia companies mustered outside the tavern. After British troops arrived to search Concord for cannon and other military supplies [as detailed in The Road to Concord], their officers also used the tavern as a base of operations.

The First Parish has, somewhat incongruously, owned the tavern since 1886. At times parts of the building have been used for historic interpretation, but currently it is closed to the public, housing an architecture firm and a non-profit associated with the parish. The Concord Community Preservation Committee just funded improvements to the roof, windows, gutters, and electrical system.

Under the new arrangement, the Concord Museum will offer educational programs at the Wright Tavern. That will provide the museum with important additional space; its programs are now serving more than 10,000 students from three cities, an increase of 4,000 over the past five years. The site will also host public events in spring and fall to commemorate the congress meeting and the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

The reopening of the tavern as a public site has been a pet project of Mel Bernstein, chairman of the American Revolution Round Table at Minute Man National Historical Park. Of the new deal, he told the Concord Journal, “It provides an opportunity to transform the tavern into the historical center that it will become.”

1 comment:

G. Thomas Fitzpatrick said...

That is good news!

I can recall the Tavern housing a gift shop back in the day, and a realtor's office, among other things. It is odd that an important historic structure that played as important a role on April 19th as, say, Lexington's Monroe Tavern, has not been a major interpretive site for so long.