Concord Guides - Walking Tours
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Revolutionary War Buff Guides Visitors Through Historic Concord
By Martin Desmarais

Greater Boston is full of sites steeped in the history of the American Revolution, and while Lexington may be the first town that comes to mind, neighboring Concord should not be overlooked.

There to ensure a fruitful visit to our country's past is Concord Guides, started 10 years ago by part-time physician and Revolutionary War buff Dr. Joseph Andrews Jr.

Concord Guides offers two-hour walking and bus tours that highlight Concord's Colonial, Revolutionary, literary, natural and social heritage. Led by a licensed guide, each tour features two one-hour, mile-long loops with a 10-minute rest in between.

The first part starts in the town center, at the front porch of the Colonial Inn. It paints a vivid picture of Colonial life, with tales of the town's 1635 founding. It passes historic shops, a burying ground and settlers' houses. There's insight into Concord's time as a literary hotbed in the mid-1800s with some of America's most famous writers strolling its streets. Several authors' houses remain for viewing, including Ralph Waldo Emerson's, Henry David Thoreau's, Louisa May Alcott's and Nathaniel Hawthorne's.

The second half of the tour jumps into the Revolutionary lore that made the town famous. Walk across the North Bridge, where on April 19, 1775, minutemen and militia from Concord and 27 neighboring Massachusetts towns resisted British Army regulars and kicked off the American Revolution.

At the Bridge, visitors can view the Daniel Chester French statue of a minuteman with his left hand on a plow and his right hand on a musket. Visitors can also walk the Battle Road Trail, the route of the British entry into and then retreat from Concord.

Dr. Andrews leads many of the tours and his passion for Revolutionary history is evident when he talks. "It is the first time in the history of the world that colonists had deliberately opposed an imperial power," he said. "It is the first time it had happened in history, that colonists had rebelled."

He pointed out there is always some confusion about the famous "shot heard 'round the world." Often, people think it occurred on the Lexington Green, when in fact it was at North Bridge, where the minuteman waited for the British.

"In Concord, they confronted the British by choice," said Dr. Andrews, who has written the guide, "Revolutionary Boston, Lexington and Concord: The Shots Heard 'Round the World." Mr. Andrew is adamant that those who take a Concord Guides tour will not be disappointed. "They are going to learn and enjoy visiting Concord a lot more," he said. "I know about it, I wrote a book about it, and I am very enthusiastic about it. Concord is an amazing town."

Article Photograph

Guests on a Concord Guides' tour snap
shots of the famous Minuteman Statue.

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