Destination List > Old North Church

Old North Church

The history...

Old North Church is in the North End section of Boston, Massachusetts. It is where the famous signal known as “One if by land, two if by sea” was carried out during the American Revolutionary War. Old North Church is the oldest standing church still in Boston today, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also Boston’s most visited historic site! The church was built in 1723, and was used as an Episcopal church.

In 1775, before the American Revolution began, Boston was a hot bed of revolutionary activity. “Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere” is one of the most famous opening lines of any poem in American history. It tells the story of the time just before the first battles of the American Revolutionary War, Lexington and Concord. American Patriots had stock piled ammunition in Concord and the British Army was marching towards the town to seize the ammunition and put down any hopes of rebellion. The patriot group, The Sons of Liberty, found out about the British plans and decided to try to stop them. Two members of the Sons of Liberty were asked to watch the movement of the British Army and alert the others by lighting lanterns in the church steeple- one if the British were coming by land, and two if they were coming by sea. Paul Revere and 30 other riders went through Boston to alert everyone to the British army’s movements after two lanterns were placed in the Old North Church steeple on April 8th, 1775.

Fun Fact

The church was mostly made up of members that were loyal to the British crown. The fact that it was used by the Sons of Liberty to warn the colonists of the British Army makes the event even more amazing.

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