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Sample Texts for Boston's Freedom Trail
1. Boston Common, The State House, Park Street Church, The Granary Burying Ground, The King's Chapel and Burying Ground
Mr. Brown: (Interrupting) But, sorry to interrupt, what does hang from the House of Representatives' Chamber? We got a bit side-tracked by those flags!
Guide: Indeed! The answer is .... A codfish!
Ben: A fish? How did it get up there?
Lucy: Isn't it a bit smelly?
Sam: Ugh! How long's it been there?
Guide: Since 1798! But don't worry - it's not real, it's actually made of wood. But it is life-size - just under five feet long so pretty impressive .... Even if it doesn't do much swimming these days!
Sam: So what's it doing there? Seems a strange thing to have hanging from a ceiling in a State House!
Guide: It's actually there to act as a reminder of the importance of the fish industry, in particular cod, to our state.
Mr. Brown: And what better way to be reminded - than having a giant cod hanging over your head!
2. Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Boston Massacre Site and Faneuil Hall
Lucy: He means Samuel Adams, Dad. Haven't you been listening?
Mr. Brown: (Huffily) I thought I had!
Mrs. Brown: So what was Sam's statement that got everything going?
Sam: You listening, Dad? "Gentlemen, this meeting can do nothing more to save the country".
Mrs. Brown: Was that it? Not much of a speech if you ask me!
Sam: It was never meant to be a speech, mum! It was a sign to those men, dressed up as Mohawk Indians, to go and tip all that tea into the sea!
Ben: Wasn't it a bit salty?
3. Paul Revere's House, Old North Church and Copp's Hill Burying Ground
Lucy: How many children did he have?
Guide: Sixteen altogether! But 5 of these died young, and there were only eight of them living here at any one time.
Mrs. Brown: Only! That sounds more than enough to me, in a house of this size! No wonder the master of the house was always off - on his rides!
Mr. Brown: You can hardly blame him! All those kids! I reckon I'd have taken up riding too!
Sam: So why did that Longfellow fellow choose Revere as his hero? Why not Dawes or Prescott?
Guide: Good question!
Lucy: With an obvious enough answer! What rhymes best with the opening line: "Listen, my children, and you shall hear - Dawes, Prescott or Revere? It's not rocket science!
4. U.S.S. Constitution
Guide: And so we stand before Old Ironsides - the oldest commissioned warship in the world!
Ben: I thought you said this ship was the USS Constitution?
Guide: Correct. But she earned her nickname during the 1812 War when a sailor from a ship she was attacking, shouted out "Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron! See where the shot fell out!"
Sam: So her sides aren't actually made of iron?
Guide: No. They're made from a really strong wood called ‘live oak'. So strong in fact that cannon balls just seemed to bounce right off her!
5. Bunker Hill
Guide: So. Who's feeling energetic?
Lucy: What? After the climb up this hill? Are you serious?
Mr. Brown: Oh come on, Lucy. Surely you're not going to let a mere 294 steps stand between you and a great view of Boston?
Lucy: What? You mean there's no elevator to the top?
Guide: ‘Fraid not! Only one way up - using your feet!
Sam: Come on, sis! Surely you're not that unfit?
Lucy: Who said anything about being unfit? But before I do this act of madness, I want to know a bit more about why it's here. Not just to test fitness levels, I'm guessing!
Guide: Correct! It was built to celebrate the bravery shown at this very spot, at the famous Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 17th 1775 - even though this is actually Breeds Hill!