Thursday, July 6, 2017

Cambridge Common, Massachusetts

The Cambridge Common started out as a pasture for grazing animals and an area for drilling soldiers and militia. Nowadays, it is an unassuming green space that has a playground and plenty of military memorials.
Cambridge Common

More of the common

The military heritage is kept alive with a few memorials along the edges. The western edge has some items from and honoring the American Revolution.

Ominously tombstone-like intro to area

Several cannons that were captured at the abandoned Fort Independence (or Castle William) when the British fled Boston on March 17, 1776.

A formerly British cannon

A filled cannon, so we can't use it again

George Washington had laid siege to Boston in 1775-1776. At that time he was made leader of the Continental Army in this very park. 

A general order from General Washington

Bas relief of Washington inspecting the troops

Posers posing

Nearby is a surviving tree that was where Washington took command in July 1775.

More posers hoping for a promotion

At the south end of the common is a memorial to the American Civil War with Abraham Lincoln under the covering. The top has a soldier.

American Civil War Memorial

We left the south end of the park and the trees obscure the memorial, keeping the common looking unassuming.

Big white monument obstructed by bigger green trees

Across the street, we saw some golden horseshoes imbedded in the sidewalk. We couldn't figure out what it was about until we headed farther along. 

What the shoe?

At the middle of the block came the explanation. This bit of trail commemorates William Dawes's ride on April 19, 1775 (though he started the ride on the 18th) to warn the countryside that the Regulars (i.e. the British Army) were coming. He was the other rider along with Paul Revere to race from Boston and raise the alarm before the Battle of Concord and Lexington.

The solution!

More on the playground in the next post!

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