Need Info on Lexingon/Concord Nat'l Park

Old May 25th, 1999, 07:59 PM
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Need Info on Lexingon/Concord Nat'l Park

I am accompanying a group of 25 teenagers to the Boston area. We are thinking of visiting Minute Man Nat'l Historical Park on a Sunday morning. Can someone give me some practical information about how you "do" this park? We'll be traveling in three vans. Is it strictly an on-your-own-stop-and-read-historical-markers type of thing? (Teenagers aren't much into that.) Are there ranger tours? Any interactive stuff at the Visitors Center? How much time is needed? (We'll have about three hours.) It's so hard to know if you haven't been to a place if teen-agers will like it, and with a group of 25, if it's even do-able. Thanks for any advice.
Old May 25th, 1999, 09:47 PM
Paul Rabe
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Normally I tell people to go the NPS Internet site, but when I went to, there was literally NOTHING there -- a brown background with not one word or image on it!

Anyway, the ONLY way ANYONE will be interested in this Park is to be aware of the significance of what happened. Basically, you do what you just described: go from site to site, and be aware that you are standing where some fairly significant American history took place. It wouldn't hurt to compare the reality with the legend. For instance, why is Paul Revere remembered but not Samuel Dawes,when the latter rode longer and further? Did Longfellow start his poem "Listen children, and you will here, of the midnight ride of Samuel Dawes", and then decide to re-write? Or that the Americans at Lexington, outnumbered seven to one, were in the process of retreating when the first shots were fired (not exactly a brave stand, but that's what happened).

If the students enjoy standing in places where events of interest to them took place, they will enjoy this "park."
Old May 26th, 1999, 01:12 PM
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There are a number of NPS Visitor centers along the way. There's one on Rt. 2A also called Battle Road. My husband was there recently and said it had just been rehabed nicely and was very interesting. Then there are lots of drive/pull outs. The visitor center at the bridge in Concord is very interesting (that's where the shot heard roung the world was fired). There are sites to see in Lexington, including the Museum of our National Heritage which is run by the Masons and is free. They have a permanant exhibit of life in that area and the history of the revolutionary events. I hope three hours is enough to cover everything. You might search the internet to see if Lexington and/or Concord have their own web sites (I'm guessing here).
Old May 27th, 1999, 01:57 PM
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I think I'm going to agree with Paul in that this park is really only of interest if you have a particular interest in the revolutionary war. I have been there for picnics, and as far as I can tell, it's basically just a state park. Not really a lot to do there. There are some visitor centers and markers, but I think there are more interesting and informative things to do in the Boston area. It could be a good place for them to relax and blow off steam, but you can probably find something better to do.
Old May 28th, 1999, 04:55 AM
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Phone for the Visitor Center is 781-862-7753. Hours are 905 daily. There's an introductory film, ranger programs, and maps are available for tours of the park. Agree with the above - this is interesting every year on Patriot's Day (in April) when there's a re-actment of Paul Revere's ride and the battles, or if you're a Revolutionary War buff, but otherwise, your teens may be bored. Have you considered walking the Freedom Trail in Boston or a trip to Plymouth?

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