The historical society's signature properties were among the country's first historic houses when restoration of the three buildings began around the turn of the 20th century. A guided tour (30-45 min. each) is the only way to see the houses.

Across from the Battle Green is the Buckman Tavern, 1 Bedford St., built around 1710. If time is short and you have to pick just one house to visit, make it this one. The tour of the tavern, by a guide in period dress, is both educational and entertaining. The interior of the tavern has been restored to approximate its appearance on the day of the battle. The colonists gathered here to await word of British troop movements, and they brought their wounded here after the conflict.

Within easy walking distance, the Hancock-Clarke House, 36 Hancock St., is where Samuel Adams and John Hancock were staying when Paul Revere arrived. They fled to nearby Woburn. Visit the 1737 house, which contains some original furnishings as well as artifacts of the Battle of Lexington, to see an orientation film about the town.

The British took over the Munroe Tavern, 1332 Massachusetts Ave. (about 1 mile from the Battle Green), to use as their headquarters and, after the battle, as their field hospital. In this building (1690), you'll learn more about the royal troops and see furniture carefully preserved by the Munroe family, including the table and chair Pres. George Washington used when he dined here in 1789. The historically accurate gardens in the rear (free admission) are beautifully planted and maintained.

The historical society makes its headquarters downtown in the 1846 Lexington Depot, where changing exhibits on local history are open to the public.