“Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…” Every school child from Boston to Los Angeles can recite that part of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, Paul Revere’s Ride, about the Bostonian’s fateful warning that the British were about to attack the city. But where did the Revolutionary, an established, involved citizen with a flourishing silversmith practice reside during the war years? That would be at what is now 19 North Square, a home built in 1680, long before the North End neighborhood would take on its Italian identity. Here’s the story behind the Paul Revere House.
All About the Paul Revere House
Revere bought the home in 1770, and it was here that he raised his growing family (which would ultimately include 16 children from two wives. He also frequently hosted like-minded Patriots to discuss the future of the young country. Revere sold the home in 1800, but its vast ties to the vibrant cultural history of Boston don’t stop there; it then became a sailor’s boarding house, immigrant tenement, cigar factory, and even a candy store before Paul Revere’s great-grandson, John P. Reynolds Jr., bought the home in 1902 to avoid it being razed. Through hard work from the Paul Revere Memorial Association, the oldest building in downtown Boston was carefully restored and opened as a historic house museum to guests in 1908.
The home is now restored to how it would have looked in the late 17th century with nearly 90 percent of the home (don’t miss looking up at the ceiling beams) in its original state. The ground floor contains the kitchen and furnished hall while upstairs has two bedrooms, including the master suite where Revere would have slept…and even entertained guests! The rooms and items displayed throughout the home are explained by detailed text and museum docents. Bring a few dollars along with you as the Paul Revere House admission is cash-only, and have a few extra in hand to grab a cannoli nearby after the self-guided tour.