Explore History with the Black Heritage Trail

29 Nov

I have mentioned before that I am extremely interested in different cultures, which is why I studied in England. That is also the reason I have concentrations in Italian and African American Studies. During my African American History class, my professor took us to Park Street and we met up with someone from the National Park Service. We then went walked the Black Heritage Trail.

The Black Heritage Trail is on every map I own of Boston. Yet, it is never mentioned and barely walked. But I have to say that everyone should go on it, but not just for the history. Yes, you learn a lot about the history of African Americans in Boston, and New England, and you see a lot of famous/important places for African Americans. But you also see the area. The Black Heritage Trail is in Beacon Hill, an extremely historic and expensive area of Boston. It is also gorgeous and, minus all the politics and politicians, perfect.

I know most people have been to Beacon Hill, I mean who hasn’t seen the state house? But the Black Heritage Trail shows you things you probably missed, such as The Phillips School, the Charles Street Meeting House, Abiel Smith School and the African Meeting House. Information on the tour, which is run by the Museum of African American History, can be found here. Guided tours are available Memorial Day through Labor Day, so not now, but maps and guides are provided and special tours can be arranged.

A map of the Black Heritage Trail

Also, while you are in the area there are a few streets I suggest you check out (especially if you are with out-of-towners). Either take a detour while on Pickney Street or do a whole separate trip.

Acorn Street: This tiny street is considered the most picturesque street in Boston, and for that matter all of New England. It is the definition of New England. I thought it was adorable, but I also think there are other cute streets out there. It runs parallel to Mt. Vernon.

Acorn Street

Louisburg Square: This area, sandwiched between Pickney Street and Mt. Vernon Street, is considered one of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in the country. Louisa May Alcott, the author, lived there and Senator Kerry currently lives there. It’s fancy.

Louisburg Square- Notice the park in the middle of the street

Mt Vernon Street: This long street parallel to Pickney and running right into the state house, once earned the title of the most civilized street in America, whatever that means. It is cute though.

Charles Street: Chances are you have been there, but in case you haven’t I had to say it. Cute/adorable seems to be the words of the day.

 So, how do you get to the Black Heritage Trail and all these cute streets? I say take the Red Line or the Green Line to Park Street and start in front of the state house. It is the easiest. If you are really against Park Street (which would be weird) I suppose you can get off MGH on the Red Line or Bowdoin on the Blue Line. But both are on the back end of the trail and a little out of the way.

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One Response to “Explore History with the Black Heritage Trail”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Revisit « Relax, Laugh, Explore - August 3, 2011

    […] Something you need to do: The Black Heritage Trail […]

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