Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boston Day #3-Tombstones, Old Ironsides, and Faneuil Hall!

   We have been very fortunate to have such good weather! Today was no exception. Sunny and 70 degrees again! Hurrah!

   Today we visited two grave yards. The first was King's Chapel Burial Ground. Headstones here date from 1658, the oldest headstone belonging to Deacon William Puddy (1600-1658). Mary Winslow (1608-1679) came over on the Mayflower, and was said to be the first European female to set foot on Plymouth soil. She arrived when she was 12 years old. Also here is Elizabeth Pain. It's speculated that she was the adulterous woman who was the model for "The Scarlett Letter", though there's no evidence to support the story. Some say that there's the letter A visible on the upper left corner of her grave stone, signifying the red A for adultress.

Granary Burial Ground
   The second and larger grave yard is called "Granary Burial Ground". It covers two acres, and has 2,345 gravestones. John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Robert Treat Paine- signers of the Declaration of Independence- are buried there. Also nine governors, victims of the Boston Massacre, Benjamin Franklin's parents, and Paul Revere rest in peace here. As we wandered through this place, church bells began to ring. They seemed to add an air of wistful sadness.

    We next visited the U.S.S. Constitution.(Sorry, no picture yet) This  ship is better known as "Old Ironsides"! The guides here are active naval personnel. Our guide's name was Maurice. He did a wonderful job giving us information with just the right touch of humor to keep every one's attention. This ship is the oldest commissioned naval war sailing ship to still actually be floating. It held a crew of 450-500 men, who worked 20 hour shifts, getting 4 hours sleep a night. The nickname "Old Ironsides" came about when the British failed to sink the U.S.S. Constitution with their cannon balls, the ammunition simply bounced off the ship's sides. This was due to the three layers of dense oak that made up the sides of the ship. The first layer being white oak, the second live oak, and the third white oak again. This gave the illusion of the ship being made of iron.
    As much as I love to cook, I'm glad I wasn't a cook on this ship! There was one cook for all 450 men! The Captain had his own cook/valet. A few other interesting facts:-the expression "scuttle Butt" came from a navy scuttle butt bucket, where men would come to get their gallon ration of water. (sort of like the office water cooler) There would be gossip and some grouching involved, so the expression. Also, grog was a drink of watered down whiskey with lemon or lime juice added (to prevent scurvy). But the men had to drink their ration right then and there, for it would go bad within a few days.                               Thank you, Maurice! Excellent tour!

   On we went to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. In the square in front of the market were two brothers, entertaining a crowd. It was a type of acrobatic act, very good. They had a little girl from the audience help them, which was a real crowd pleaser.

Faneuil Hall
   Faneuil Hall is often referred to as the Cradle of Liberty. Built in 1742, (it was the first town hall), this was the birth place of the "Sons of Liberty" debates that led to the Boston tea party. We ended our day's adventure at Durgan's, a restaurant in the North Market, known for their prime rib. It was tasty, but I must admit, I'm spoiled. No prime rib has yet to compare to the prime rib at the "Outback" in Brighton, Michigan!
   Tomorrow's suppose to be raining. Well, rain or shine, we're heading to the Northend tomorrow for a look at the North Church, Paul Revere's home, and some fantastic Italian food! Until then, you all take care!


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