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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Benjamin Franklin tour of Boston

We have been studying Benjamin Franklin as part of our recent study of The Hatmaker's Sign. (Lots of resources at THSM, btw) He is a really fascinating guy. Anyone who can invent the lightning rod, convince the French to help the US defeat England in the Revolutionary war, and write Poor Richard's Almanack is amazing. We won't even mention the zillion other accomplishments over his lifetime.

So, having been blessed to live so close to Ben Franklin's birthplace, I thought I'd take the kids for a quick educational trip on our way to the Aquarium. None of the original sites are still standing, but the markers were fun to see and talk about anyway.

First his birthplace on Milk Street,

Then his statue on School street commemorating his attendance at Boston Latin, the first public school (from which he dropped out after only 2 years),

And finally, the site of his brother's printing press on Court street where he was apprenticed and wrote the Silence Dogood letters before running away.

Okay, those were the close up shots. Now, for a dose of reality.

I have this funny idealistic part of my brain that says these sites should remain somehow stuck in colonial times. None should have burned down or demolished for commercial reasons. I envision them slightly dusty, yet preserved for all posterity. Not so. The reality of what my kids saw was more focused on Tow Zones and Printing Centers than history.
Strange - the printing businesses are oddly fitting.
What do you think old Ben would say if he could see his stomping grounds now?
Seriously, things just ain't what they used to be.

1 comment:

Doris said...

A lesson in time and how things change..