The Boston Tea Party Museum is the Perfect Brew on Your Itinerary
As you have probably noticed from my monthly series on Boston and its many incredible landmarks, this city is one of the most historically significant in all of the USA. The first speech of the confederation, the oldest warship docked, Paul Revere’s history-changing ride, and the oldest hotel in the entire country, are all pieces of this centuries-old story. I mean, you can even follow the Freedom Trail to see it all at once. But it doesn’t stop there. I am sure another famous incident graced your history class a time or two… Have you ever heard of the famous Boston Tea Party? Yep, I’m talking about that infamous act of dumping tea overboard right in Boston Harbour. It is such a significant event that Boston embraced it and has preserved many an artifact in an interactive museum right in the exact spot the incident occurred.
Your Mini History Lesson
Just imagine yourself back in 1773. No mobiles, no computers, no selfies. Instead, you have two opposing sides disagreeing on terms that could potentially bring them closer to war. In December of that year, Samuel Adams and the other Sons of Liberty headed to three ships docked at the Boston Harbour and threw nearly 350 boxes of tea into the sea. As a result, the Punitive Coercive Acts in place pushed the two opposing sides closer to the American Revolution that eventually ensued. This act became so notorious that the Tea Party Movement remains a protest to this day referencing the events of December 16 1773.
The Interactive Museum
While in Boston, it is essential to pop in to the Boston Tea Party Museum! Whether familiar or not with the events noted above, it is a poignant event in American history with such interesting build-up to the actual elimination of the British’ favourite beverage.
Upon arrival, you are given a card and a feather to denote your position in the court. You head to the first part of the museum and enjoy an interactive presentation reenacting the events leading up to the tea dumping. See how the member you received was responsible for the decisions and series of events leading to the removal of tea into the harbour. Considering this is the single most important event that led to the American Revolution, being a part of this truly makes a trip to Boston all the more significant. (And the card and feather are yours to keep!)
After listening to a fabulous interactive and informative presentation by the animated staff, guests head to the ship to feel the pulse of the events that took place in 1773. Explore the 18th century ship, see exhibits featuring the life and time endured by those involved, and see just how the Sons of Liberty adapted to sea life upon the vessel. Take pics and learn further about everything from the food they ate, the time spent on the ship, and the weight of those darn crates! My word! Did you know they were over 200 kilos each? Needless to say that was a workout for those guys. Holy moly that’s a LOT of tea!
Toss the Tea!
Now, why not take a stab at tossing the tea overboard? Mind you, the crates are not 200 kg like back in 1773, but the experience of reenacting history is quite rewarding! You literally feel like you were one of the Sons of Liberty writing a page in USA history.
After tossing the tea, head inside for the second presentation. This segment gives guests a true sense of how the event evolved. Actors demonstrate Paul Revere’s great ride that night warning of the British approaching, the meetings that unfolded leading up to the great dump, and how the American Revolution helped shape the USA to what it is and what it embraces today.
It was truly enlightening and it reminded me so much of my history classes in high school as we covered such significant events. You sadly cannot take photographs in this part of the experience, but let me tell you, the talking oil paintings they had within the gallery blew my mind! There is no way that the naked eye could detect an animated painting. Usually I can see behind them or can assume it will speak, but not these ones! I defy you when you go to tell me that you knew they would move. I won’t even tell you which ones they were or that would be too easy ;).
After the film, head to the next room and see the one and only preserved tea crate from the event in 1773! This is quite remarkable seeing how the wooden crates were dumped into the water and that wood doesn’t always last being soaked. A family kept it for years and donated it to the museum for guests all over the world to see it in person. Sadly, you cannot take any photos of it, but you can get a cool magnet or figurine in their huge gift shop! (So I of course got a magnet for my ever growing collection.)
Abigail’s Tea Room
After enjoying the two presentations and hopping aboard to reenact the tea tossing, you will probably be hungry. Head to Abigail’s tearoom right inside the museum for a bite! Personally I recommend the broccoli soup and the tea tasting! You get to sample all 5 of the teas that were thrown off the boat! One of them was very smoky in flavour. It reminded me of a campfire. I personally loved the set up of the tearoom with the wooden tables, chess and checkers, and copper pots each holding the brewed teas.
Make sure you add the Boston Tea Party museum to your Boston itinerary. Our friends at Historic Tours of America are wonderful hosts and make this an experience to remember. The very handy and convenient trolley stops right out front and can easily pick you back up after you enjoy the exhibit. I loved learning about how the Tea Party really was poignant in how the USA’s charted history was gravely affected by these acts and most certainly reaffirmed the history lessons endured in high school. I cannot recommend this enough and when you go, you will see just why it is considered the #1 museum in all of Boston.
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Fill My Passport were a guest of the Historic Tours of America and the Boston Tea Party Museum on our recent trip. All opinions in this post are our own and were not influenced in any way.