Lexington, Massachusetts Community TourJune 12, 2021
– Lexington, Massachusetts is a historic town in Middlesex County. Originally settled nearly four centuries ago, the town is most famous as the site of the opening shots of the American Revolution. Today, Lexington is an affluent community that prides itself on the beauty of town land, the safety of its residents and the excellence of its public school system. The town has numerous parks, conservation lands, museums and libraries that provide exceptional opportunities for recreational and cultural activities.
The town was first settled as a part of Cambridge in 1642. Incorporated separately in 1713, the community saw light industrial development in the succeeding decades but remained predominantly agricultural in nature throughout the colonial period.
On the morning of April 19th, 1775, Lexington entered our nation’s history when the British Army marched into town and were met by a local militia. Assembled by General Thomas Gage under the orders of British Secretary of State William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth, the British “redcoats” intended to capture and destroy a store of military supplies belonging to a rebel colonial militia. Rebel leaders had already received word of the Earl’s instructions from sources in London, so the store of arms was removed from Concord and distributed to neighboring community. When the British troops arrived in town, a party of 77 militiamen emerged from Buckman Tavern to confront them, and amidst the ensuing confusion shots were fired on both sides. Eight colonists were killed, but a larger rebel force had already assembled in Concord, and once word of the fatalities reached nearby towns their ranks quickly swelled. At the North Bridge in Concord, several hundred militiamen fought and defeated three companies of the King’s troops.
Today, the town commemorates the historic battle on Patriot’s Day each April, with a reenactment of Paul Revere’s ride and the battle itself drawing large crowds perennially. The town remains a popular tourist destination, with the historic landmarks of Battle Green, Buckman Tavern, Munroe Tavern and the Hancock-Clarke House all lovingly maintained by the historical society.