Special to the Patriot-Bridge
History enthusiasts and curious visitors alike are invited to step back in time and explore the rich tapestry of Charlestown’s past at two events this week. The City of Boston’s Archaeology Program, National Park Service, Charlestown Historical Society and Charlestown Preservation Society will bring together the community on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 6 p.m.—in the Community Room at the Bunker Hill Museum to present an overview of what has been done archaeologically in Charlestown and ask the Charlestown community want they want to know about the events and places surrounding the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Two days later, on Sunday, October 29 at 3:30 p.m., CHS will host its annual Historic Cemetery Tour at Phipps Burial Ground.
“Both events underscore the rich history that exists under our feet in Charlestown and are united in history as the Phipps Burial Ground is one of the only places in Charlestown that survived the burning of Charlestown after the Battle of Bunker Hill,” said Julie Hall, president of the Charlestown Historical Society. We are honored to host Joe Bagley, the team from Boston’s Commemoration Commission and the National Park Service for this event to kick off Bunker Hill 250.” The Bunker Hill 250 program is a consortium of historical organizations coming together to memorialize and plan events leading up to the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 2025. Bunker Hill 250 is supported by a joint collaboration of the Charlestown Historical Society and Charlestown Preservation Society.
Thursday, October 26, 2023, 6 p.m.–Community Room at the Bunker Hill Museum
The research team from the City of Boston Archaeology Program, Boston’s Commemoration Commission, and the National Park Service are looking to answer questions, track down the real stories behind legends and rumors, and uncover underrepresented stories of the people impacted by the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. Joe Bagley and the City Archaeology Program team, Genesis Pimentel of the Commemoration Commission, and Meg Waters Wilkes of the National Park Service will share a brief presentation about previous archaeological work around the events of June 17, 1775. There will be a discussion about the diverse histories in Charlestown, and some exciting work done using technology and new archaeology methods to uncover history at Parker’s Revenge and other Revolutionary War battle sites.
The group plans to hold several conversations with stakeholders presenting an overview of what has been done archaeologically in Charlestown and ask the question: What do you want to know about the events and places surrounding the Battle of Bunker Hill?
Their goal is to develop a list of community-driven research questions that the archaeology team can design a survey/dig around to answer them, with community members assisting in the dig and the interpretation afterwards. This fall/winter would be the listening/question development time, next summer would be preliminary surveys, and 2025 would be the larger-scale digs on the sites with the best potential to answer questions.
Sunday, October 29, 2023–3:30 p.m.–Phipps Burial Ground, Phipps Street, Charlestown,
The annual Cemetery Tour of the Phipps Burial Ground will take place this Sunday, October 23 at 3:30 p.m. This cherished event, now in its 4th year, offers a unique opportunity to delve into the fascinating history of Charlestown, with a particular focus on the Phipps Burial Ground, the only place in Charlestown that survived the flames of the American Revolution in 1775. The Phipps Burial Ground, dating back to the early 17th century, has stood witness to centuries of history, and its tombstones bear the names of prominent figures, soldiers, and ordinary citizens who played vital roles in shaping the destiny of Charlestown and the nation. During the Annual Cemetery Tour, attendees will have the opportunity to discover the stories behind these names and gain a deeper understanding of Charlestown’s pivotal role in American history. Dr. Tim Riordian, former Charlestown resident, historic archeologist, author and Charlestown Historical Society vice president will lead attendees through the labyrinthine paths of the Phipps Burial Ground, recounting tales of courage, sacrifice, and resilience from the Revolution to the present day. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/charlestown-historical-society-annual-phipps-burial-ground-tour-tickets-734000424027?aff=ebdssbdestsearch.