When exploring New England history, the Greater Merrimack Valley is the perfect area to visit. Around almost every corner of our region, you can find plenty of historical sites, landmarks, parks, museums, cemeteries, and more, to immerse yourself in the past and learn more about local and national history.
From the American Revolution to the Industrial Revolution, or exploring the homes of literary icons, engaging historical experiences are at every turn. Today, let’s explore just a few of the historical sites that you can visit.
Explore Historical Sites & Parks
Lexington Battle Green
Visit the Lexington Battle Green and explore where Colonial Lexington Militiamen stood against 800 British Regulars on April 19, 1775, kicking off the Revolutionary War. Here, you can view America’s oldest war memorial, the Minute Man statue, and free guided tours are available on weekends in April and May and daily from Memorial Day through October.
Minute Man National Historical Park
In addition to the Lexington Battle Green, you can also explore the Minute Man National Park, including the North Bridge, the site of the “shot heard ‘round the world.” Visitors are also welcome to walk the 5-mile Battle Road Trail, where Colonial Militiamen battled British Regulars.
Tour Historical Houses
Lexington Historical Society Historical Houses
The Lexington Historical Society was founded in 1886. Since then, the organization has dedicated itself to preservation and education regarding Lexington’s various historic sites, such as the Hancock-Clarke House, Buckman Tavern, Munroe Tavern, and many more. The society also provides public tours.
Thoreau Farm (Reopening Spring 2022)
Visit the birthplace of local literary icon, Henry David Thoreau. Here, you have the opportunity to experience a firsthand look at Thoreau’s early years and the chance to explore the essayist, poet, and philosopher’s various works throughout his life.
Located right in Minuteman National Historical Park, The Wayside is a national landmark previously housed by three iconic American literary figures: Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Sidney, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Here, visitors are invited to explore the unique history of this landmark historic home, which has stood over three centuries of New England history.
Learn Industrial History
Lowell National Historical Park
One of the best ways to immerse yourself within Lowell’s industrial history is to visit the Lowell National Historical Park. Sites, such as the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, provide an up-close look at Industrial History within a working weave room. Within the park’s grounds, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore various museums, cultural centers, and canals, alongside engaging family-friendly historical programs regarding local antislavery and women’s activism in Lowell and much more.
LNHP Boott Cotton Mills Museum
As previously mentioned, the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, part of a Lowell National Historical Park, provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to get a firsthand look at working life during the Industrial Revolution. The museum invites guests to walk through a working weave room and participate in interactive exhibits and video programs exploring the Industrial Revolution and how this era still affects our society today.