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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Friday, October 07, 2016

Open House at Wright Tavern in Concord, 15 Oct.

On Saturday 15 October, there will be a free open house at the Wright Tavern in Concord. This will be the first time in decades that the ground floor of that 1747 building will be open to the public.

In 1775 the tavern’s location near the center of Concord made it a site of Revolutionary activity. Committees of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress met inside. On 19 April the local militia officers gathered there. Later Maj. John Pitcairn used the tavern as his headquarters during the British army’s brief occupation and search of the town.

The building gets its present name from Amos Wright, who had the lousy luck to be managing the tavern in April 1775. The building was still owned by Daniel Taylor, however. As late as 17 April, the records of the Committees of Safety and Supplies refer to their meeting-place as “Mr. Taylor’s.”

The Wright Tavern is now owned by Concord’s First Parish, which recently announced a partnership with the Concord Museum to open it up to historic interpretation again. This open house celebrates that agreement.

This event will run from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Living history interpreters will be on hand throughout the day, including Bill Rose as militia colonel James Barrett. In any historical persona, Bill can tell lots of stories about the Revolution. There will also be colonial games, crafts, and clothing for children to try on.

A panel discussion at 2:00 P.M. will feature locals who helped to bring about the partnership: Concord Museum Curator David Wood, local historian Jayne Gordon, and Dr. Mel Bernstein.

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