Sunday, March 9, 2008

Irish Heritage Trail

Everyone in Boston is familiar with the Freedom Trail and its red line that threads through the downtown streets. Well, did you know there is also an Irish Heritage Trail? There’s no green line on the city sidewalks to lead you along, but the Irish Heritage Trail incorporates 20 sites across Boston that both honor those who emigrated from Ireland and left their mark on the city and country and tell the story of the Irish in Boston. What better time than around St. Patrick’s Day to take a trip along the Irish Heritage Trail?

The trail starts at the Rose Kennedy Greenway, makes its way through Government Center and Boston Common, goes up to the Esplanade, and then across Back Bay where it ends at Fenway Park. What better place for the Irish trail to end that at a place renowned for its gigantic wall of green? And if you are need in libations along the way, I feel pretty confident you’ll pass an Irish pub or two. (An Irish Pub Trail in Boston would probably have 10 times as many stops as the Irish Heritage Trail although I doubt you’d be walking it at the end.)

The trail is about three miles of walking. I did it yesterday and will profile some of the individual sights in the coming days. Some of the notable stops are:

● Statues of Boston mayors Kevin White, James Michael Curley, and Patrick Collins
● Boston Irish Famine Memorial
● Old Granary Burying Grounds and Boston Massacre Memorial (one of the massacre victims, Irish sailor Patrick Carr, is buried at the Old Granary)
● Colonel Robert Shaw Memorial and Boston Public Library, which include the work of Augustus Saint Gaudens, who was born in Ireland
● John Singleton Copley Statue
● John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial

The web site for the Irish Heritage Trail has a map of the route along with a description of the sites, but it’s not really conducive to printing out at home and using to guide you along. You can pick up a large postcard with a map and site descriptions at the Boston visitor center on Boston Common, but here’s hoping the Boston Irish Tourism Association posts a PDF of the postcard up on the web site so that it makes it easier for people to wander the trail. The Boston Common visitor center is not at the beginning of the trail, so it’s not a great place to start your journey. Printing the map from home would be much easier.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Robert Kraus the Boston Massacre is truly a treasure that symbolizes Freedom using a female figure and honors Africans and other immigrant's seminal contributions in creating our Country and Liberty. You suggest the monument should be relocated to the place where the historical event took place. I could not agree more. Thank you for the idea.
Theodor Lehrer, M.D.