Discontent had broken out between the British rule and the American colonies in 1775. On the 19th of April the British were commanded to march out from the Boston harbor and find all the guns and ammunition that they believed the colonists had hidden away in Lexington and Concord. This is when the silversmith Paul Revere and William Dawes started out from opposite sides of the British compound and rode out to warn the colonies that the “British are coming”… Well today Louise and I drove the route that the British and the “riders” took and we made a day of living their history. Our first stop was at the visitor’s center in Lexington for the best introductory movie we’ve ever seen. It really set the moment for us as we were walking across the street to Lexington Common, the first place that the British and the Minute Men were to meet toe to toe…
It just happened that the Minute Men were in the Buckman Tavern
as the sound of the British troops sounded from down the hill. 77 men then walked out to stand in the way of the 700 fully uniformed and armed British. The first shoot was fired and one patriots fell. No one knows for sure from what side the first shot was fired but there was no doubt that they know who won that first confrontation. From Lexington Common we followed the original “road” that the British troops marched in hopes of finding the arms of the militiamen and arresting the rabble-rousers Samuel Adams and John Hancock. This road was about 10-12’ wide and lined with a 3 foot rock wall on both sides. Today you can still find the rock walls running all the way from Lexington to Concord. Our next stop was at the location where Paul Revere was captured and Dawes and Prescott escaped to continue spreading the word. A few miles further up “the road”, we arrived at the bridge crossing the Concord River and the location where the largest Minutemen contingent brought the British to a halt.
At this point the British turned and started heading back to their compound with the Minute Men striking at them from all sides and all the way to the sea and the protection of their cannons. Along the same road we found this home with a beautiful covered front porch and a sign welcoming us to the “Wayside, Home of the Authors”.
The Wayside house has had some amazing families living there including THREE published families. This was the only home owned by Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of “The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, and Twice-Told Tales. Before Hawthorne bought it, the house belonged to Bronson Alcott, who renamed it “Hillside”. Here, Louisa May Alcott
and her sisters lived much of their childhood described in Little Women. Another author that lived in the Wayside was the children’s author Harriett Lothrup who used the pen name Margaret Sidney and wrote Five Little Peppers.