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Photo of Buckman Tavern and Minuteman Statue

Historic Sites & Museums

Lexington Battle Green

It was here, on the morning of April 19, 1775, that "the first blood was spilt in the dispute with Great Britain," as George Washington wrote in his diary. In this first skirmish, 77 Minutemen (local colonists who had volunteered to be first responders to military and other threats) faced British Regulars. Eight Minutemen lost their lives and 10 were wounded. Two British soldiers were also injured. After the battle, Samuel Adams exclaimed to John Hancock, "What a glorious morning for America!"

View Henry H. Kitson's Minuteman Statue, erected in 1900, to memorialize the Lexington Minutemen. The oldest war memorial in the country, the Revolutionary Monument was completed on July 4, 1799 and sits on what was originally the site of the Town’s first schoolhouse. In 1835 the remains of the colonists slain in the Battle of Lexington were moved from their common grave in the Old Burying Ground and placed under this monument.

Where it is: Lexington Center at the junction of Massachusetts Avenue and Bedford Street (Rt. 4/225). map >>

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The Old Burying Ground

The gravestones on this site, dating from 1690, are the oldest in Lexington. Buried here are Capt. John Parker of the Minutemen and the British soldier wounded on the British retreat from Concord on April 19, 1775 (who died three days later, at the Buckman Tavern).

Where it is: The Old Burying Ground is located off Massachusetts Avenue, west of the Lexington Battle Green. Walk in from Harrington Road at the stone marker next to the church. map >>

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Historical Houses

Three pre-Revolutionary buildings administered by the Lexington Historical Society are open to the public seasonally. Fee charged. For details on dates and times, visit the Society's website or offices at the Depot Building (13 Depot Square), or call 781-862-1703.

Buckman Tavern (circa 1704-1710)

The oldest tavern in Lexington. Here, about 77 Minutemen gathered in the early hours of April 19, 1775, while awaiting the British regulars. The tavern was licensed to serve drovers in 1713, and served as a place for churchgoers during the Sunday nooning. The interior today is much the same as it was when the tavern was the headquarters of the Minutemen. Among the many items on display is the Tavern’s old front door with a bullet hole from the 1775 Battle of Lexington. To the left of the tavern is the Memorial to the Lexington Minutemen of 1775, erected in 1949, and containing the names of the Minutemen who died on the Green in the first battle of the Revolutionary War. The inscription reads "these men gave everything dear in life Yea and Life itself in support of the common cause." More >>

Where it is: The Buckman Tavern is located across from the Lexington Battle Green at 1 Bedford Street. Phone: 781-862-5598. map >>

Hancock-Clarke House (circa 1698)

Home of the Hancocks and the Clarkes, this house was the destination of Paul Revere on the night of April 18, 1775, as he and William Dawes rode from Boston to warn the sleeping Samuel Adams and John Hancock (first signer of the Declaration of independence) of the coming of British troops. The house contains period furnishings and portraits, William Diamond’s drum, and the British Major Pitcairn’s pistols. A barn behind the Hancock-Clarke House serves as the Society’s Fire Equipment Museum. More >>

Where it is: The Hancock-Clarke House is located at 36 Hancock Street. Phone: 781-862-1703. map >>

Munroe Tavern (circa 1690)

More than 300 years old, this former tavern served as a temporary headquarters and field hospital for British Brigadier General Earl Percy and his 1,000 reinforcements on the afternoon of April 19, 1775. Fourteen years later, President Washington dined at the tavern when he visited the Lexington battlefield in 1789. The tavern contains artifacts from his visit and many articles used by the Munroe family when they ran the tavern from 1770 to 1827. More >>

Where it is: The Munroe Tavern is located at 1332 Massachusetts Avenue. Phone: 781-862-1703. map >>

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The Belfry

Originally built on its present site in 1762, the Belfry was moved to the Battle Green in 1768. From there the bell summoned people to worship, warned them of danger, tolled on their deaths, and sounded the alarm of April 19, 1775. After the original structure was lost to fire, this exact reproduction was built in 1910 on the Belfry’s original site on Belfry Hill.

Where it is: The Belfry is located atop the hill at Massachusetts Avenue and Clarke Street. map >>

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Lexington Visitors Center

Open 9 AM to 5 PM 362 days a year, the Visitors Center offers information and hospitality to visitors. On display is a diorama of the Battle of Lexington, created by William F. Buckley, former assistant director of Cary Library and hostage in Iran for over a year before his execution. The Visitors Center also contains a gift shop and restrooms. The Lexington Chamber of Commerce operates the Visitors Center.

Where it is: The Visitors Center is located across from the Battle Green at 1875 Massachusetts Avenue. Phone: 781-862-1450. map >>

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U.S.S. Lexington Memorial

The memorial’s five granite markers are dedicated to the memory of those who served aboard the ships that have been named "Lexington". The USS Lexington ship's bell is on display at the Lexington Visitors Center.

Where it is: The memorial is located adjacent to the Visitors Center; phone 781-862-1450.
map >>

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The Lexington Depot

Built in 1847, the Depot building was once the social center and ceremonial heart of Lexington. At one time, as many as nineteen trains stopped there each day transporting passengers to and from Boston. This historic building has been renovated to serve as the headquarters of the Lexington Historical Society.

Where it is: The Depot is located in Lexington Center at Depot Square. Phone: 781-862-1703. map >>

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Minute Man National Historical Park

Operated by the National Park Service and located within the Massachusetts towns of Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord, the Park preserves and protects the significant historic sites, structures, properties, and landscapes associated with the opening battles of the American Revolution and interprets the colonial struggle for natural rights and freedoms. Today, Minute Man Park consists of over 900 acres of lands that wind along original segments of the Battle Road used on April 19, 1775. At the Park's visitors center, experience a multi-media theatre program on the Revolution, exhibits, and book store. More >>

Where it is: The Park is located on Route 2A. Phone: 978-369-6993. Directions >>   map >>

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Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library
National Heritage Museum

Founded and supported by 32° Scottish Rite Freemasons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, the museum showcases exhibitions on a wide variety of topics in American history and popular culture. The museum also features a library with archives for research on historical events. The museum sponsors many events each year, including the Heritage Music Series, lectures, educational and cultural programs, and special weekend events. More >>

Where is it: The Museum is located at 33 Marrett Road. Phone: 781-861-6559. map >>

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