Did you know that Paul Revere didn’t say “The British are coming”? Even rebellious colonists generally considered themselves British, as the newest Old State House Museum exhibit will remind you. “A British Town: The Council Chamber in Boston before the American Revolution,” which opened in 2014, re-creates the appearance of the royal governor’s meeting room in this building during the 1760s. Other exhibits in the museum, which the Bostonian Society runs, include a fun interactive experience that focuses on the building’s history, and a multimedia presentation exploring the Boston Massacre. A Paul Revere print depicting the Massacre is on view, as is tea from the Boston Tea Party. Changing exhibits focus on other topics that help explain the evolution of Boston, using the society’s historic photographs and artifacts. Explore on your own or take a 20-minute guided tour, available every hour on the hour.
The 1713 Old State House, a little brick building, is itself an artifact. After the Revolution, it was the state capitol until 1798. The lion and unicorn—symbols of British rule—on the facade are replicas of the originals, which the new Americans burned the day the Declaration of Independence was first read in Boston.
To continue on the Freedom Trail: Leave the building, turn left, and walk half a block.