History Camp Boston 2024 Weekend

Include the History Camp Boston 2024 t-shirt in your registration
Include the History Camp Boston 2024 t-shirt in your registration

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Sunday, August 11, 2024

Historic Site Tours and Events

You have your choice of four tours. Space is limited and we expect all four to sell out. Select and pay for your tour when you register for History Camp Boston. The tours to Beverly and Hingham are at roughly the same time, so you will only be able to attend one. The Innovation Trail and Black Heritage Trail walking tours are in the morning and afternoon, so attendees can choose to do either or both.

Boston’s Innovation Trail: A Special Collaboration with History Camp

10:00 am–12:00 pm—Includes special entrance to Verizon Museum of Innovation in Communications

Beacon Hill’s 19th Century African American Community – A Walking Tour

1:30PM – 4PM – a walking tour developed especially for History Camp

Witches, Privateers, and Bankers: Five Centuries of North Shore History in Beverly

9:30 am–3:20 pm—Includes train to and from Beverly, entrance to multiple sites, and box lunch.

sold out

A Town Torn Apart: Patriots vs. Loyalists in the American Revolution in Hingham

9:00 am–5:00 pm—Includes ferry to and from Hingham, entrance to multiple sites, and box lunch.

Boston’s Innovation Trail — A Special Collaboration with History Camp

On this walking tour, you will see the sites of historic innovations in Boston, including the invention of the telephone, surgical anesthesia, the Polaroid camera, and yes, even the Ponzi scheme, and much more.

When people think of Boston, they often think of American History as told through the Freedom Trail, but historic sites of world-changing innovations are all around us. On this special Innovation Trail walking tour you learn about these breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine. We will also visit a site not open to the public.

This tour will include a special visit to the Verizon Museum of Innovation in Communications, which is not regularly open to the public. This museum includes a recreation of Alexander Graham-Bell’s laboratory that was removed from the house on 109 Court Street where in 1876 he spoke the words, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want you.”

When the Court Street house in which Bell lived was torn down in the 1920s, the laboratory was reassembled inside the Verizon Building based on plans approved by Thomas Watson himself. This rebuilt laboratory includes Bell’s tools, models for patent application, work sketches, and his workbench. A window looks out onto a painting of the view of 1875 Boston that Bell would have seen from his workbench.


This tour is scheduled to end by 11:30 to give participants time to eat lunch and participate in the Black Heritage Trail Walking Tour if they so choose.

Tour Guide

Your host is Scott Kirsner, Innovation Economy columnist for The Boston Globe. Scott has been a big supporter of History Camp, including as a speaker and sponsor and as a guest on History Camp Author Discussions where we talked about his book, Innovation Economy: True Stories of Start-Ups, Flame-Outs, and Inventing the Future in New England.

Tour Meeting Place

We’ll gather at the Irish Famine Memorial, which is on a plaza between Washington Street and School Street in Boston, near the Old South Meeting House. (This is only a four minute walk from Suffolk Law School, the location of History Camp Boston.) We will conclude near the MBTA’s Charles/MGH Stop. You can walk back to the starting point, or take the Red Line one stop back to Park Street. One of the History Camp Boston 2024 organizers will be with you for the entire tour and the return.



Ben Gebo Photography
Ben Gebo Photography

Beacon Hill’s 19th Century African American Community – A Special Collaboration with History Camp

Walk through Boston’s Beacon Hill with expert guide, Dana Smith, learning about the 19th-century African American Community who lived there and their monumental national leadership role in bringing about the downfall of slavery in America.

As you walk around charming Beacon Hill, you will learn how this remarkable Free Black Community formed alliances, strategies, and institutions that led directly to bringing about the American Civil War. Boston was not just the birthplace of America’s greatest political revolution in the 1700’s, but also its greatest social revolution – ending slavery at the national level in the 1800’s. The methods and systems seen in the Civil Rights movement in the 20th century have their origins right here in Boston’s Black community of the 19th century.
A hundred and twenty years before Malcom X spoke in the Streets of Harlem, or Martin Luther King took his first footsteps on the long March toward Selma, Boston’s African American community had started that journey, and created the path.
On this walking tour, your guide will show you and explain in detail:
1. the actual birthplace of the Abolitionist movement network that expanded across America (founded in 1831 on Beacon Hill),
2. sites of one of the most successful underground railroad systems in America,
3. the site of the first legal action taken against school segregation in American History,
4. and sites that commemorate the first volunteer Black regiment to fight in the Civil War, The Massachusetts 54th, as seen in the movie, Glory.

Tour Guide

Dana Smith moved to Boston in 1977 and, after immersing himself in its rich history, chose to never leave. He was a history teacher at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, MA for 37 years. His expertise comes from his 20 seasons with the National Park Service at the African American National Historic Site where he served as a historical interpreter and tour guide.

Dana has curated this special tour for History Camp attendees, knowing they love ‘the story behind the story.’


This tour is scheduled to begin at 1:30 PM to give participants in the Innovation Trail tour a chance to join.

Tour Meeting Place

The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial. We’ll have more details for the folks who register for this tour.


$30 — Includes 2.5 hour walking tour, with plenty of places to sit and rest along the way. One of the History Camp Boston 2024 organizers will be with you for the entire tour.

Witches, Privateers, and Bankers: Five Centuries of North Shore History in Beverly

Embark on a 35-minute train ride from Boston to the picturesque North Shore, where the historic town of Beverly awaits with its rich, diverse, and surprising history. Your ticket includes a round-trip train ticket from Boston North Station to Beverly, entrance to the Hale Farm & the Cabot House, and a box lunch.


Starting from Boston’s North Station Train terminal, you’ll board a train for a scenic 35-minute ride up the North Shore, passing through Chelsea, Swampscott, and Salem. Along the way, you’ll get glimpses of the coastal beauty and the charming towns that dot the route.


Upon arrival in Beverly, your adventure continues with a 15-minute walk to the historic Hale Farm. As you stroll through the streets, your guide will regale you with tales of Beverly’s past, tracing its origins from its significance as a Naumkeag settlement through its European colonization by figures like Roger Conant and John Balch.

You’ll learn about the town’s evolution, including its separation from Salem in the mid-17th century when it became its own entity within the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This period of history marked significant milestones in Beverly’s development, shaping its identity and contributing to its unique cultural heritage.

THE HALE FARM (c. 1694)

Exploring the Hale Farm offers visitors a unique journey through time, with its architecture spanning three centuries and embodying the stories of the families who lived there. The oldest parts of the house, dating back to 1694, were constructed for Reverend John Hale, a prominent figure in Beverly’s history who famously became entangled in the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Hale’s involvement in the trials, as well as his subsequent reflections and writings on the nature of witchcraft, have left a lasting legacy that continues to intrigue and provoke discussion.

Visitors will have the opportunity to walk through the very spaces where Reverend Hale once resided and contemplate the complexities of his life and times. From there, they’ll explore the 1745 additions made by Colonel Robert Hale, Jr., the grandson of John Hale, which include the present staircases and additional rooms. Subsequent additions in 1881 and 1889 by Robert Hale Bancroft further expanded and transformed the house, turning it into a summer estate for his family.

The transformation of the Hale Farm over the centuries mirrors the changing fortunes and priorities of Beverly’s inhabitants, from the early settlers to the affluent families of later generations. By experiencing the architecture and history of the Hale Farm firsthand, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of Beverly’s rich heritage and the individuals who shaped it.



After exploring the Hale Farm, visitors will embark on a short walk to Beverly’s oldest burial ground, a site steeped in history and significance. Here, they will delve into the cemetery’s origins, tracing its evolution from its inception to its present-day landscape.

As visitors wander through the burial ground, they will encounter gravestones dating back centuries, each bearing witness to the lives and stories of Beverly’s past inhabitants. Among these, the graves of Reverend John Hale and his family stand as poignant reminders of their contributions to the community and their place in Beverly’s history. Moreover, the discussion will extend beyond the historical significance of the graves to address the challenges of preservation. Visitors will learn about the deterioration of some of the tombstones and the ongoing efforts to protect and conserve these valuable artifacts.


As visitors depart from the historic cemetery, they will embark on a short walking tour that celebrates the remarkable women of Beverly who defied societal norms and shattered barriers to achieve greatness. Shining a spotlight on the achievements of these pioneering women serves as a reminder of the importance of diversity, inclusion, and the continued fight for social justice.


The newly restored c.1781 John Cabot House stands proudly as a stunning exemplar of Georgian architecture, offering visitors a captivating glimpse into the life and times of one of Beverly’s most illustrious figures. John Cabot, hailing from a lineage of prosperous merchants and seafarers, carved his own path to success by wisely investing in privateer vessels during the tumultuous era of the Revolutionary War.

Through his ventures, Cabot amassed a considerable fortune, establishing himself as a prominent figure in Beverly’s economic landscape. As guests step into the meticulously preserved rooms, they are enveloped in an atmosphere of elegance and refinement. The formal first-floor parlor, adorned with original features such as the exquisite Dutch tiles adorning the fireplace, serves as a testament to Cabot’s affluence and worldly tastes. Here, visitors can marvel at the diverse array of objects sourced from around the globe, each bearing witness to Cabot’s prowess as a savvy merchant and well-traveled individual.

Adjacent to the formal parlor lies its counterpart, once the abode of the Beverly Bank, which found its inception within these very walls in 1802. This space, too, retains its original charm, boasting features such as a secure safe and a discreet underground vault, offering a glimpse into the financial operations of yesteryears. Moreover, the John Cabot House serves as the custodian of Historic Beverly’s extensive archival collection, a treasure trove comprising over one million artifacts that chronicle the town’s rich and vibrant history. Visitors are treated to a rare opportunity to lay eyes upon seldom-seen objects, including an original publication of Reverend John Hale’s seminal work and the signet ring of Revolutionary Officer Nathan Hale.


At the end of the tour of the John Cabot House, guests will be escorted back to Beverly Depot to take the train back to Boston, or can remain to explore Beverly on their own.

One of the History Camp Boston 2024 organizers will be with you for the entire tour and the return.

Tour Guides

Michael Maler is the founder of Boston-based Crescendo Productions, LLC, forging collaborations between performing artists and historic sites. He holds degrees in art history and economics from Duke University and a Masters Degree in Museum Studies from Harvard University, and currently serves as a trustee for Historic Beverly, chairing its events committee.

Sue Goganian, a Dorchester resident,  is the director of Historic Beverly and a member of the Boston Landmarks Commission.


9:30 AM – Train departs for Beverly
10:04 AM – Train arrives in Beverly
10:05 AM – Walk to Hale Farm
10:30 AM – Tour Hale Farm
11:30 AM – Box lunch at Hale Farm
12:15 PM – Tour of Abbot Street Cemetery
12:45 PM – Women’s History Walking Tour
1:00 PM — Tour Cabot House
2:37 PM – Train departs for Boston
3:17 PM – Train arrives in Boston

Tour Meeting Place

Boston North Station, 135 Causeway Street, Boston. We’ll have more details for the folks who register for this tour.


$100 — Includes box lunch and roundtrip train fare

Sold out

A Town Torn Apart: Patriots vs. Loyalists in the American Revolution in Hingham

Updated June 1: This tour is full

Take a 30-minute ferry ride across picturesque Boston Harbor to Hingham and explore a well-preserved 18th century New England town that still bears the scars of its Revolutionary War Patriot and Loyalist split. Your ticket includes a round-trip ferry ticket, entrance to the Benjamin Lincoln House, the Old Ordinary, and the Old Ship Church, and a box lunch.


Meet at the Long Wharf ferry terminal and take a 30-minute ride across Boston Harbor to Hingham. Your guides, Max Nosbisch and Deirdre Anderson, will meet you at the ferry terminal in Boston. As you travel across Boston Harbor, they will point out islands and areas of historical interest as they pertain to the heady days of the American Revolution – a time where towns across America, like Hingham, were split between Loyalists and Patriots. As the conflict developed, Boston Harbor was a warzone of massive strategic interest to both the British and Americans. There’s no better way to learn about the struggle over Boston Harbor than on a ferry sailing across the harbor itself!


Perhaps more than any South Shore town, Hingham’s loyalties were divided during the American Revolution. Even individual families were split by divided loyalties. On this tour of Hingham, guests learn the history of how one town came to grips with this division. Stories of Patriots are interspersed with the struggles of Loyalists. These stories, amongst others, highlight the human drama of a town caught in the middle of the seismic forces of history.

Guests will be provided with a tour of historic downtown Hingham along with tours of multiple properties including the Benjamin Lincoln House, the Old Ordinary, and the Old Ship Church. The Benjamin Lincoln House is a meticulously conserved 18th century house that was once home to American Major General Benjamin Lincoln – a general with a muddled and controversial military career whose father was one of the most prominent Loyalists in Massachusetts. The Old Ordinary was the home of a loyalist Hingham family who were connected to a wider loyalist network throughout the South Shore. In this building, guests will have the opportunity to learn from Hingham historian Ellen Miller about an enslaved painter who self-emancipated himself from his Loyalist enslavers by joining the American forces in their campaign against the British. Lastly, guests will tour the Old Ship Church – the oldest continuously operating wooden church in the United States, whose American Revolutionary War Loyalist minister Ebenezer Gay, found himself struggling to maintain his pulpit.

At the end of the tour of Hingham, guests will return to Boston via the ferry. For guests that have mobility needs, the Hingham Historical Society History Cart (an electric low-speed, street legal, six-seater, golf cart) is available for transport between sites.

One of the History Camp Boston 2024 organizers will be with you for the entire tour and the return.

Tour Guides

Deirdre Anderson is a lifelong Hingham resident who serves as the Executive Director of the Hingham Historical Society.

Maxwell Nosbisch is a public historian with a passion for Revolutionary War history. He serves as the Education Manager of the Hingham Historical Society.

Ellen Miller is a historian and author of The Patriots of Hingham – an extensive historical survey of Hingham’s Patriots. She manages the Hingham Historical Society’s Old Ordinary property.


9:00 AM— Meet tour guides Deirdre Anderson and Max Nosbisch at Boston Long Wharf and board the ferry.
10:30 AM — Arrive in Hingham
10:45 AM — Walking tour of downtown Hingham
11:45 AM — Box Lunch at the Hingham Heritage Museum
1:00 PM — Tour of Old Ordinary with Ellen Miller
2:00 PM — Tour of Benjamin Lincoln House
3:15 PM
— Tour of Old Ship Church
4:30 PM
— Ferry leaves for Boston
5:00 PM
— Ferry arrives in Boston at Long Wharf

Tour Meeting Place

Meet your guides, Dierdre Anderson and Max Nosbisch, at Boston Long Wharf ferry terminal. We’ll have more details for the folks who register for this tour.


$125 — Includes box lunch and roundtrip fare for the ferry

Register now

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