Martin’s All-American Road Trip; Stop #12 – Boston, MA
We’re back on the East Coast this week on Martin’s All-American (Virtual) Road Trip—the North-East to be exact—in Boston, Massachusetts and the New England region. Being one of our nation’s most historical regions, Boston and the surrounding area has so much to explore.
The Early Settlers
Back in May, we highlighted the early English settlement of Jamestown, VA. Here, however, we’ll discuss the counterpart to that story. In 1606, England’s King James I issued a charter to a joint-stock company to establish colonies in North America. The company was divided into two groups: The Virginia Company of London (who later settled in Jamestown) and The Virginia Company of Plymouth, who settled farther north in New England.
While the Jamestown settlers were focused most on economic prosperity, the New England settlers were more interested in religious separation from England. The Plymouth Company included the Pilgrims and the Puritans, both of whom had experienced religious persecution and desired to distance themselves from the Church of England.
Mayflower II, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Today, you can visit the town of Plymouth, MA, where the Mayflower landed in 1620, bringing the Pilgrims to the New World. In Pilgrim Memorial State Park, you can see Plymouth Rock which lays on the shores to commemorate these early settlers.
The American Revolution
Fast forward 150-some years to Colonial America, now seeking its independence from Britain’s rule. Beginning around 1763, American colonists were becoming unhappy with England’s taxation policies and disagreed on many religious, political, and economic issues. All of this led to events such as the Boston Massacre and later, the Boston Tea Party—New England’s famous act of rebellion.
With all of the events leading up to the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the “shot heard ‘round the world,” New England holds a vital chapter in America’s story of independence.
Paul Revere Statue and Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts
In celebration of this story, you can take part in The Freedom Trail, a walking tour through 16 historical sites that help recall the American Revolution. This trail takes you from places like Boston Common and Massachusetts State House, to the site of the Boston Massacre, the Paul Revere House, and the Bunker Hill Monument.
Present Day Boston
Today, Boston continues to be an exciting place to visit, not just because of its history but also its unique makeup. Visitors to the city can find attractions suited to any type of interest. The New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, and Boston Children’s Museum all offer fun, interactive experiences. Meanwhile, sports fans can tour Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. From Boston Common and Public Garden, America’s oldest park and botanical garden, visitors can travel around the lagoon in the famous Swan Boats.
The city of Boston is surrounded on most sides by water, from the Charles River, to the Boston Harbor, an estuary of the Massachusetts Bay. Encompassed in the harbor are the 34 Boston Harbor Islands, along with many beaches and waterfront recreational activities. You can choose from a variety of sightseeing cruises or even take the public ferry to visit the various islands. The islands offer plenty of excitement, from exploring Civil War-era Fort Warren on Georges Island to visiting America’s oldest light station, Boston Light, on Little Brewster Island. You can also go hiking, camping, and boating on several of the islands, or simply relax on the beaches. Check out http://www.bostonharborislands.org/ for more ideas!
As North America’s Atlantic coast is prime location for lobster and other seafood, New England is famous for serving dishes such as lobster rolls and clam chowder. Shown below is a version of a lobster roll, created by Chef Marc Murphy, owner of the restaurant Ditch Plains.
Have you ever wondered why Boston is often called by the nickname, “Bean Town?” Since its beginnings, Boston has been making a specific style of baked beans, likely adopted from the Native Americans in the 1600s. These beans were slow-cooked in molasses, which was a common ingredient at the time. Boston baked beans have been an icon of the city ever since.
The below recipe combines both beans and molasses, along with a few other ingredients, for a delicious veggie burger on Martin’s Potato Rolls!
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