Black Heritage Trail

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Boston, Massachusetts - (617) 725-0022

Black Heritage Trail Boston Reviews

WalterC WalterC
389 reviews
Boston's lesser known trail Sep 11, 2017
As part of the Boston African American Historic Site, the Black Heritage Trail is the lesser known trail in Boston. This trail takes people to the different sites along the way, that were important for African-American (or black) history.

Be sure to pick up a map at the visitor center in Boston Common, which also gives very good descriptions on the sites along the Black Heritage Trail. Without it, you will miss the historical part of it. And there is no sign or marker that will help you point the way.

The starting point is the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial/54th Regiment Memorial in Boston Common, just across the street from the Massachusetts State House. The memorial was a monument to the 54th Massachusetts regiment, which was the first African-American infantry in the Civil War, fighting for the Union.

From there, the trail takes you to a bunch of sites into the Beacon Hill neighborhood, which was one of the largest black communities before the Civil War. If following the trail in the intended order, they include the following…

1. Robert Gould Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial

2. George Middleton House

3. Phillips School

4. John J. Smith House

5. Charles Street Meeting House

6. Lewis and Harriet Hayden House

7. John Coburn House

8-12. Smith Court Residences

13. Abiel Smith School

14. African Meeting House

Most of these are private residences, and not open to the public. So respect their privacy! The last 2 (#13 and #14) are part of the Museum of African American History, which will have a separate review of its own.

The Black Heritage Trail takes you into a very nice looking neighborhood that is Beacon Hill. The architecture of the Federal style of the row houses, are really nice to look at, and make it enjoyable to walk through. If not for the cars, it would look like a step back in time. So for this reason alone, the walk on the Black Heritage Trail should not be missed at all.

At the same time, the part on black history should not be ignored either. While you may not recognize the names of these people who once lived in those homes, the struggles that they had to go through, and the fight for equality and against slavery, should never be forgotten. We need to be reminded constantly about this part of American history.

For any visitor to Boston, the Black Heritage Trail should not be missed at all!
#1 - Robert Gould Shaw/54th Regime…
#2 - George Middleton House
#3 - Phillips School
#4 - John J. Smith House
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
ChristineN says:
Thanks for sharing about your trip to Boston. I went there a few years ago and wish I had known about the Black Heritage Trail 😊
Posted on: Oct 24, 2017
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