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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Saturday, April 07, 2018

Patriots’ Day Season at Minute Man Park, 7-21 Apr.

The Patriots’ Day season is upon us, so I’ll focus for several days on details and commemorations of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the start of the Revolutionary War.

Minute Man National Historical Park has a bunch of free events lined up, starting today. For additional information, check its website. In addition, there are commemorations and events not on park land but in nearby towns such as Lexington, Bedford, and Arlington; visit the Battle Road website for those.

Saturday, 7 April, 1:00 P.M. 
Meriam’s Corner Exercise
737 Lexington Road, Meriam’s Corner, Concord
The Town of Concord, joined by area minute companies, fife and drum units, and the Concord Independent Battery, pay remembrance to the fight at Meriam’s Corner that marked the beginning of the six-hour running battle back to Boston.

Saturday, 7 April, 3:00 P.M. 
Paul Revere Capture Ceremony
Paul Revere Capture Site, 200 North Great Road, Lincoln
The Lincoln Minute Men and the Town of Lincoln, joined by other reenactment units, observe the historic capture of Paul Revere with fife and drum music and a musket fire salute.

Saturday, 14 April, 7:00 A.M.
Tough Ruck and Captain Brown’s Company of Minute Men
Step off at The Old Manse field, adjacent to North Bridge, Concord
Minute Man National Historical Park is honored to once again host the “Tough Ruck,” military personnel marching in memory of our fallen soldiers. Support our soldiers and veterans in this 26.2-mile hike along the historic Battle Road Trail. The ruck will kick off with a musket volley from the North Bridge.

Saturday, 14 April, 9:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
Life at Hartwell Tavern
136 North Great Road, Lincoln
Park staff, Lincoln Minute Men, and living history volunteers will be demonstrating various aspects of life in Massachusetts at the beginning of the American Revolution.

Saturday, 14 April, 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon and 2:00 to 5:00 P.M.
Visit Whittemore House 
Behind Minute Man Visitor Center, Rte. 2A, Lexington
Whittemore House will be staffed by costumed park volunteers demonstrating what life was like in 1775. Try on colonial children’s clothing, gather ingredients for a meal, and listen to stories of the Whittemore family and their experience of April 19, 1775.

Saturday, 14 April, 10:30 A.M.
Explore Bloody Angle with Edmund Foster
Hartwell Tavern, 136 North Great Road, Lincoln
Edmund Foster, a volunteer from Reading, Massachusetts (portrayed by Park Volunteer Ed Hurley), will lead a tour to this key battle site where he fought in 1775.

Saturday, 14 April, 11:30 A.M.
1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps
Amphitheater, Minute Man Visitor Center, Rte. 2A, Lexington
Listen to military music of the American Revolution and get into the spirit of Patriots’ Day!

Saturday, 14 April, 9:30 A.M. to 12:15 P.M.
Caught in the Storm of War: Civilians of April 19th
Captain William Smith House, 136 North Great Road, Lincoln
What would you take with you if you had to leave your home in a hurry, uncertain of your return? Learn about the local civilians on April 19, 1775. Once the refugees leave the Smith house, you may encounter them along the Battle Road Trail heading towards Lexington and the Minute Man Visitor Center just prior the the Parker’s Revenge Battle Demonstration. The Smith house will remain open until 4:00 P.M.

Saturday, 14 April, 1:00 P.M.
Parker’s Revenge Battle Demonstration
Battle Road Trail behind Minute Man Visitor Center, Rte. 2A, Lexington
Hundreds of British and colonial reenactors will engage in a tactical weapons demonstration with musket firing and fast-paced battle action along a stretch of the actual Battle Road of 1775. This is one of this year’s major events, newly informed by archeological findings.

Sunday, 15 April, 1:00 to 4:00 P.M.
Warlike Preparations: British Soldiers Search the Barrett House
Colonel James Barrett House, 448 Barrett’s Mill Road, Concord
In 1775, Colonel James Barrett of Concord was responsible for safeguarding all the military supplies in town, and his house was searched by British soldiers during their mission to Concord. Visit the Barrett House and learn about the intense military preparations that helped launch America into the Revolutionary War. Around 3:00, redcoats will arrive and search the property for arms and supplies.

Sunday, 15 April, 2:00 P.M.
Revolutionary Dogs: “Paws for the Cause!”
Minute Man Visitor Center, Rte. 2A, Lexington
Join Park Ranger Roger Fuller for a walk on the Battle Road to explore the lives of dogs in colonial America and in the Revolution. The 45-minute walk starts at Minute Man Visitor Center and is open to all, including well-behaved, friendly dogs on leashes.

Monday, 16 April, 8:45 A.M. 
Commemoration of the North Bridge Fight and Concord Parade
North Bridge, Concord
British reenactors will be joined by the Acton Minutemen and other local companies for a special commemoration of the North Bridge Fight featuring musket volleys. The Concord Parade will arrive at North Bridge around 9:30 A.M. All of the roads in the center of town are closed to vehicles beginning at 8:30 A.M.

Wednesday, 18 April, 7:50 to 8:45 P.M.
The Patriot Vigil
North Bridge, Concord
As darkness descends upon the North Bridge battlefield, we invite you to come and reflect on the events of April 19, 1775, and the meaning of liberty. The evening ceremony will feature a lantern-light procession stepping off from North Bridge Visitor Center at 7:50, poetry, music, and a recitation of the names of Patriots who gave their lives on that “ever-memorable” 19th of April. (To participate in the procession, bring an enclosed real candle lantern; no flashlights or L.E.D. bulbs.)

Thursday, 19 April, 6:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon
Salutes from the Bridge
North Bridge, Concord
A series of musket and cannon salutes from the bridge at various times of the day. 6:00 A.M.: The Concord Minute Men and the Concord Independent Battery. 10:00 A.M. (approximately): The Molly Cutthroats, a living-history group dedicated to the role of women in the Revolution. 11:30 A.M.: The Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minutemen. 12:00 noon (approximately): Sons of the American Revolution, Henry Knox Color Guard.

Saturday, 21 April, 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
After the Battle: The War Has Begun
Hartwell Tavern, 136 North Great Road, Lincoln
War between the people of Massachusetts and Gov. Thomas Gage and the British regulars has just broken out. Thousands of men are preparing to leave home for the front lines around Boston. Whole communities are faced with numerous challenges demanded by this frightening new reality. Step back into the year of 1775 and get involved. Recommended donation: $5 per person, $10 per family. Children wearing a Junior Ranger badge (which can be earned on 14 or 21 April) admitted free.

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