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Monday, October 19, 2020

Historic Boston, part 3: the Old North Church

(This post will be a little photo heavy again. Please click individual images to zoom in and get more detail!)

This inscription reads, "The signal lanterns of Paul Revere displayed in the steeple of this church April 13 1775 warned the country of the march of the British troops to Lexington and Concord."

Last July, when in Boston for a family wedding, my girls and I just happened upon the Old North Church and decided to stop in for a tour. We were so glad that we did--and so, apparently, was the staff! The man giving the talk at the front of the church (at a plexiglas-shielded podium just below the pulpit) heartily thanked our small group and said they were newly reopened after 4 months of closing due to COVID-19. [I see on their website that they're closed once again.]

He explained how Paul Revere and others knew that the British planned to attack but didn't know whether they'd march the long way away around by land, or take the quicker but more dangerous crossing across the harbor, but Revere would be waiting for the signal--"one if by land, two if by sea"--before saddling his horse to ride out and warn the countryside.

The church buildings, the smaller housing the gift shop, and two of my daughters reading the signage.

A shot of the front right side of the church, with the one remaining original window (lower right).
The pulpit with the sounding board above--the answer to acoustic issues before the age of microphones!

Only those wealthy enough to afford patronage for pew boxes were seated on the main floor, while the second-story galleries provided seating for enslaved and lower-class free folk.
Not sure if this rendering of the Apostles' Creed is original to the church, but it provided a sweet touchpoint for me, after attending a slightly liturgical church myself these past few years.
A quick shot (or two) of the pew box with sample personalized furnishings--showing how people would outfit them according to their own needs and tastes.
Love the colors and fabrics!

A shot of the rear corner, where the sexton carrying the lanterns for the signal climbed the stairs, then accessed the steeple stairwell from right behind those organ pipes. Can you imagine that climb? (And another of my cute daughters, tucked into her own pew box behind us!)

A long view of the aisle and church front, from the back. (With, yes, one of my daughters!)

So beautiful. I am a sucker for historic churches! Back when my family and I all lived in Charleston, South Carolina, I did several posts on because, well, they are just too beautiful and special to miss--and this one was no exception! I found several similarities to churches I'd visited elsewhere, but also many unique features.

And an unexpected connection to North Dakota! Many of the pew boxes bore engraved plates with the names of patrons who'd used those spaces, and here we read that Theodore Roosevelt, who spent much time in North Dakota in his younger days, and was a strong supporter of the National Park system, had visited and attended services at the Old North Church.
Closeup of the stairs ... and yes, there's a matching staircase on the other side.
The original wood collection box, under plexiglas of course. (I'm such a geek about these sorts of details!)

It was a sweet, if too-short, visit. I wish we lived close enough to go back again soon!

For more about the architecture and history: Old North Church

(They also have THE most fabulous gift shop everrrr! Do visit if you ever have a chance.)


  1. Wow!!! Thank You for Sharing. I'd Love to visit there one day :)

    1. Definitely worth the time! And thank YOU for stopping by. ❤


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