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, April 04, 2019

A Sampling of the 2019 Battle Road Season

The Patriots’ Day season starts this Saturday, 6 April, with three annual events in three towns:
  • Bedford Pole Capping in Bedford, 10:30 A.M.
  • Meriam’s Corner Exercise in Concord, 1:00 P.M.
  • Paul Revere Capture Ceremony in Lincoln, 3:00 P.M.
Two of the events thus commemorated took place on 19 Apr 1775. The pole capping is a more recent community celebration, though Liberty Poles were undoubtedly part of the Revolutionary landscape.

Here’s something I don’t recall seeing before: The town of Lexington has the domain name patriotsday.com. It redirects to the town website, which includes this page of local events from Saturday, 13 April, to Monday, 15 April—legally Patriots’ Day. These opportunities include tours of the Lexington Historical Society’s museums and reenactments of the fights in Lexington.

Back to the Minute Man National Historical Park website for a listing of events it hosts, and to Battleroad.org for related events elsewhere, including:
  • Parker’s Revenge, Saturday, 13 April, 1:00 P.M.
  • Jason Russell House fight, Arlington, Sunday, 14 April, noon. 
  • “Warlike Preparations” at the Barrett Farm, Sunday, 14 April, 1:00-4:00 P.M.
  • Lincoln Fife & Drum Salute, Sunday, 14 April, 2:00-4:00 P.M.
  • Robbins’s Ride in Acton, Sunday, 14 April, 5:00-6:00 P.M.
  • Revere’s arrival at the Lexington parsonage, Sunday, 14 April, 11:30 P.M.
  • Marches from Stow and Westford, Monday, 15 April, arriving at the bridge about 9:00 A.M.
  • North Bridge Fight and Concord Parade, Monday, 15 April, 8:30-10:00 A.M.
There are also events that by tradition take place on the actual anniversaries instead of the legal holiday:
  • Lantern procession and Ceremony at North Bridge, Thursday, 18 April, 7:45-8:45 P.M.
  • Sudbury Militia March, Friday, 19 April, arriving at the bridge about 11:30 A.M. 
And back to Minute Man Park for “The War Has Begun” on Saturday, 20 April, reenacting how Massachusetts communities responded to the strain of the siege of Boston.

This is just a sampling of the historical events taking place around Patriots’ Day, drawn from Middlesex County. Many other communities have their own traditional commemorations.

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