The Freedom Trail1
may be the most popular and toured historical attraction in Boston2
, but Irish history also comes to life in the city’s streets through the Irish Heritage Trail, a 20-stop journey that explores the important Irish figures and dates that help define the town. The trail was designated by the Boston Irish Tourism Association3
and covers more than three miles. While Boston is the focus, the self-guided trail also includes 50 other sites throughout the state. It was designed with the encouragement to cherish the care of these historical landmarks, many of which, according to the BITA need restoration. It’s also a popular attraction around St. Patrick’s Day4
.Here are the stops along the Boston portion of the trail, which travels through the downtown and Back Bay5
1. Rose Kennedy Garden – Christopher Columbus Park along Rose F. Kennedy Greenway The garden pays tribute to Boston’s most famous political family.
2. Kevin White Statue – Fanueil Hall along Congress St. White was Boston’s 45th mayor, serving from 1968-83. He passed away in early 2012.
3. James Michael Curley Statues – Union St. at Congress St. “The Rascal King,” Curley was a famous, local politician.
4. Boston City Hall – Congress St. at Government Center Hugh O’Brien became Boston’s first Irish mayor in 1885.
5. Boston Irish Famine Memorial – School St. and Washington St. A tribute to the more than 100,000 who fled starvation in Ireland for America.
6. Old Granary Burying Grounds – Tremont St. Established in 1660, the Granary is the burial site of many of Boston’s earliest settlers.
7. Colonel Shaw Memorial – Beacon Hill at Park St. The memorial took 14 years to build, and depicts the state’s 54th Black Infantry Regiment which fought in the Civil War.
8. Massachusetts State House – Beacon Hill at Park St. The State House was designed by Charles Bullfinch, built in 1798.
9. Soldiers & Sailors Memorial – Flagstaff Hill on Boston Common Dedicated to Bostonians who died during the Civil War.
10. Commodore John Barry Memorial – Boston Common along Tremont St. Barry was a naval hero during the Revolutionary War.
11. Boston Massacre Memorial – Boston Common along Tremont St. A tribute to the five Boston Massacre victims in 1770.
12. Central Burying Grounds – Boston Common along Boylston St. Established in 1756, a number of unknown Irish Catholics and Freemasons are buried here.
13. Colonel Thomas Cass Statue – Public Garden along Boylston St. Cass was a significant figure during the Civil War.
14. David I. Walsh Statue – Charles River Esplanade at the Hatch Shell Walsh was the first Irish-Catholic to be elected governor of the Commonwealth.
15. Maurice Tobin Statue – Charles River Esplanade at the Hatch Shell Maurice Tobin was the youngest state representative at the age of 25.
16. Patrick Collins Memorial – Commonwealth Ave. between Clarendon and Darmouth Streets Collins was Boston’s second Irish-born mayor, elected in 1885.
17. John S, Copley Statue – Copley Square Park at Boylston and Dartmouth Streets In the square named after him, Copley was considered one of America’s greatest portrait artists
18. Boston Public Library – Boylston St. at Dartmouth St. America’s oldest library boasts an Irish collection with more than 13,000 items.
19. John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial – Boylston St. and The Fens Arriving in Boston in 1870, O’Reilly was an outspoken supporter of the less fortunate in the city.
20. Fenway Park – Yawkey Way at Brookline Ave. The home of the Boston Red Sox, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2012, was built by Irish immigrant Charles E. Logue
For more information on the Irish Heritage trail, including a map of all locations, visit www.irishheritagetrail.com/boston6.