Friday, August 19, 2011


Hey again everybody! Today is Knowledge Friday which will be the first in a series of Friday posts (if I can keep up) where I pick a topic/place/person/thing/etc sometimes at random, sometimes relating to something I did in the past week, and get all historical on your asses. Today's lesson: Faneuil Hall.

Heather and I went up to Boston today to visit an old friend of hers and to grab some lunch. After eating at Quincy Market we wandered around and explored the area a bit and part of the square is this building. Faneuil Hall was built in 1742 and has served as a marketplace and meeting hall ever since. It's second floor meeting hall is where many Bostonians voiced their dissent leading up to the Revolutionary War.

In 1761 a fired gutted the building's interior, with repairs being conducted over the next two years. When repairs were finished the hall was host to the first rumblings of the war. Though the served as the town hall for Boston and should have concerned itself with only the politics and issues of the city, the concerns that were voiced often turned to taxation and issues involving the British Empire.

At times the debates and protest meetings that were held ended in violence and spilled over into the streets. Debates led by James Otis, Samuel Adams, and other "Sons of Liberty" led to an increase in opposition to the Sugar Tax of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765 and other British political movements including concerns regarding a recent shipment of tea and the tax that they were expected to pay on it. While the debates and politics focused only on Boston, reports and accounts of the meetings traveled throughout the colonies and served as a unifying force, bringing colonists together against the British.

Today the hall sits in what is known as Quincy Market. During the 1800's it was joined by three granite buildings to the east to form the new square which served as Boston's wholesale food distribution center until the 1960's. Faneuil Hall still serves as a public meeting place as well. National issues continue to be addressed, but more frequently it houses debates on community issues, high school graduations and naturalization ceremonies.

The upper floor houses a museum and armory of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1638
for the defense of the colony and has occupied the space since 1746. For two centuries the symbol of Faneuil Hall has been the grasshopper weathervane. It was inspired by similar vanes on the Ryoal Exchange building in London. Today it is the only portion of the hall that remains totally unmodified from the original 1742 structure. The hall is owned by the city of Boston, is a unit of Boston National Historical Park and is preserved through the cooperation of the city of Boston and the National Park Service.

This has been the first installment in Knowledge Friday, we hope to see you again next week, and keep checking back here for regular updates.This has been knowledge: thinking, so you don't have to.


  1. Dang. If I'd registered the fact that you were heading up to Boston sooner, I would have told you to have lunch in the theatre district at the Intermission Tavern. Fanueil Hall is awesome though, I'm glad you guys got to go.

  2. well we're about 45 minutes away and we're planning on heading back relatively soon, so we'll keep it on the list.