The oldest house in downtown Boston was occupied by one of Boston’s most famous patriots, Paul Revere. The early colonial-style wooden house was built in 1680 by wealthy merchant Robert Howard. Revere is best remembered for his “midnight ride” that began with this house.
History of the House
In 1775, Paul Revere worked as an express rider to carry messages and news. On April 18 of that year, he was sent to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock of the march of British troops to Concord, where weapons and ammunition were hidden. This trip was later immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Paul Revere’s Journey. Paul Revere was arrested by a British patrol en route from Lexington to Concord but was released and witnessed the Battle of Lexington.
The house was sold by Paul Revere in 1800 and was later used as a residence, cigar factory, candy store and grocery store. To save the building from demolition, Paul Revere’s grandson John Reynolds Jr. bought the house in 1902. From 1907 to 1908 the building was restored by the newly founded Revere Memorial Association with the help of architect Joseph Chandler.
In April 1908 it opened as one of the first historical museums. To date, the Paul Revere Memorial Association continues to maintain the building, which is now a National Historic Landmark.
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Revere House today
The building has been restored to its seventeenth century appearance. Most building materials are original. The interior includes colonial furniture, artefacts, historical documents, and displays of Paul Revere’s silverware. Guided tours of the building are self-guided, but text panels and staff will help you with any questions. The Paul Revere House is located at 19 North Square in North Boston.
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