About this blog

My wife and I returned a few days ago from an LDS Church history tour, beginning in Boston and ending in Kirtland, OH.  This trip had a special meaning for us because of our pioneer heritage.  My wife's family came from Ireland, England, and Denmark.  My family came from Czechoslovakia, England, and Sweden.  The Bloods came to Massachusetts from England in the early 1600s.  The others came in the Mormon migration in the 1800s.  The Mormon pioneers endured incredible sacrifices, privation, and persecution, never wavering in their faith.  We are who we are today because of our heritage and the faith of our pioneer ancestors.  Our tour was ably organized and guided by Webb Tours of Salt Lake City.  Contact them at this link for further details.

To start at the beginning of the tour, scroll down to the oldest post and continue from there to the newest post.

Friday, October 31, 2008

We end Day 1 of the Tour with a Visit to the Boston MA LDS Temple Grounds

The Boston LDS Temple is the first LDS temple built in New England.  It is located in Belmont along the Concord Turnpike.  It was dedicated October 1, 2000.

Velna and Dwight Blood near the main entrance

We Leave Concord Bridge

Optical illusion from reflection in the river near Concord Bridge

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Concord Bridge

The road to Concord Bridge. As John Ferling writes in his previously cited work A Leap in the Dark:  The Struggle to Create the American Republic, On that April day, "By about 11:00 a.m., roughly 500 armed Americans gathered at Concord. . . .[Colonel Barrett] forestalled his men . . . until about 11:00, when distant smoke from the center of Concord was seen curling above the bare trees. . . .He ordered his men to load their weapons and marched them toward the North Bridge."  The Americans found 115 British infantry on the opposite side of the bridge.  As the Americans advanced, a shot rang out.  Then other shots.  Men began to fall.  And thus, Concord Bridge became another symbol and icon of the American quest for independence.

Views from Concord Bridge

Scenes from Lexington Green

Old oak tree on Lexington Green

Colonial man on Lexington Green who has been waiting since 1775 for someone to have their picture taken with him.
Church spire near Lexington Green and fall colors

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On the spring day of April 19, 1775, a patch of grass at the town center of Lexington, Lexington Common, became one of the great icons of the Americans struggle for independence following their rebellion against the Stamp Act.  My comments to follow are based on John Ferling's wonderfully written book A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2003).
In an effort to quell the upstart American rebellion, British General Thomas Gage targeted Concord, where a cache of arms was located.  The Americans got wind of this action, so a force of 900 men set out from Boston for Concord.  Slow to get across the Charles River, Paul Revere and other riders set out to warn Lexington and Concord.

When six companies of 238 red-clad regulars reached Lexington, "They discovered a single company of sixty local militia . . . drawn up on the Common . . . who appeared to the regulars to be a ragtag collection of troublemakers." (p. 132)  After British Captain John Parker commanded "Lay down your arms, you damned rebels!", most of the militia stepped aside, not obeying the order to lay down their arms.  Then someone fired a shot.  After an estimated thirty or forty seconds, ". . . eight colonists lay dead and nine others wounded, almost one-third of those who had fallen out that bright morning . . ."  Gage then set forth for Concord, the events of Lexington firmly etched in the history of the American Revolution.

Lexington Green

The American flag flies twenty four hours a day on Lexington Green, one of two places legally allowed to do so, the other being Arlington National Cemetery

A Colonial house on the edge of Lexington Green where a wounded militia man crawled to the doorstep and died in his wife's arms, so our guide told us.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Boston Freedom Trail Tour Continued

Copp's Burying Ground, established in 1659 where many prominent early Bostonians are buried.  More than 10,000 graves are contained in the site today.

Another view of the Old North Church steeple.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our guide said the only distinction of this home is that it is the narrowest house in Boston

The organ (in the back) in the Old North Church

The pulpit of the Old North Church

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Boston Tour Continued

Statue of Paul Revere in the mall behind the Old North Church
Spire of the Old North Church

Interior of the Old North Church

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Our Tour Begins in Boston

My wife and I returned last week from an eight-day tour of New England, focusing on LDS Church history sites.  We had seen most of these sites decades ago, but I underestimated the cumulative impact of beginning at the very start, in Sharon VT, and then continuing through each successive history site until we reached Kirtland OH. We left the Illinois and Iowa sites for another day.  The tour was competently organized and led by Webb Tours of Salt Lake City.

Our tour began in Boston, the cradle of liberty.  We spent a brief time walking along a portion of the so-called "Boston Freedom Trail" which begins at Boston Common and extends to Bunker Hill.  I had a difficult time taking photos here because of the size of our tour group, but here are a few, to give you the flavor of the site if you have never been there.

The birthplace of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
Street scene along the Freedom Trail.  Note the strip of red brick on the sidewalk on the right, which enables people to follow the entire Trail.

The Paul Revere home.  Paul Revere was immortalized by Longfellow's famous poem. According to the history books, Revere did not finish his famous ride to warn the patriots that the British were coming because he was detained by a British patrol.  One rider, however, did complete the ride and issued the warning.
Downtown Boston skyline