The National Park Service maintains 13 sites in Massachusetts, most of which preserve fine structures related to the nation’s history. Among them is the Boston African-American National Historic Site in the heart of Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The site includes 15 pre-Civil War structures relating to the history of Boston’s 19th-century black community, including the African Meeting House, the oldest standing black church in the United States. Boston National Historical Park contains 16 sites connected by the Freedom Trail, which runs through downtown Boston and Charlestown. The trail is marked by a line in the pavement either in red paint or brick.
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, in Brookline, is the birthplace and early boyhood home of the 35th president. The Adams National Historical Park, in Quincy, commemorates the American family that includes two United States presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Two more parks explore the lives of other noted Massachusetts residents. Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, also in Brookline, commemorates the great conservationist, landscape architect, and founder of city planning. An archival collection of drawings and plans is housed at the site. Likewise, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow National Historic Site, in Cambridge, celebrates the poet’s work created while teaching at Harvard from 1837 to 1882. George Washington used the house at the Longfellow site as his headquarters during the siege of Boston (1775-1776).
The history of America’s Industrial Revolution is preserved at Lowell National Historical Park, which includes the Boott Cotton Mills Museum with a weave room with 88 operating looms, “mill girl” boarding houses, the Suffolk Mill turbine, and 19th-century commercial buildings. The Springfield Armory National Historic Site contains a weapons museum in the building that for 175 years was the center of manufacturing for United States military small arms. Structures preserved at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site date from the era when Salem ships opened trade with ports of East Asia.
Buildings of maritime significance include the Custom House where Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, Derby Wharf, the Bonded Warehouse, the West India Goods Store, and the 17th-century Narbonne-Hale house. The Minute Man National Historical Park, in Lexington and Concord, preserves the scene of the fighting between the colonial militia and British troops on April 19, 1775, the day that launched the American War of Independence. At the North Bridge, the first ordered firing upon British troops resulted in “the shot heard ‘round the world.” Along the Battle Road, colonials fired at the retreating British. Cape Cod National Seashore comprises 17,628 hectares (43,557 acres) of shoreline and upland landscapes. A variety of historic structures are within the boundary of the seashore, including lighthouses and houses in the Cape Cod architectural style. A portion of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail also passes through the state. "Massachusetts" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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