• Dedication of the Shaw Memorial 1897

    Boston African American

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

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  • Shaw Memorial Restoration and Fall Tours

    We are now in our Fall Tour Season. Black Heritage Trail tours depart at 2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday from behind the Shaw Memorial as it undergoes restoration.

Things To Do

Black Heritage Trail
The Black Heritage Trail® explores the history of the 19th century free Black community of Boston. The trail consists of 14 sites and begins at the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Beacon Street. Self-guided tours can be conducted at any time, Monday through Sunday. Maps and site brochures can be obtained at the Abiel Smith School during site hours.

Ranger guided tours of the Black Heritage Trail® are conducted as follows:

Fall Season (September 1st, 2014-November 26th, 2014): Tuesday-Saturday; 2:00 p.m. tours are open to the public. Please call in advance to reserve a tour for groups of 5 people or more. Group Size Limit: 15 people.

Please note, the tour will start from BEHIND the Shaw Memorial as it undergoes renovation throughout Fall 2014.

Winter Season (November 27th, 2014 - TBD): No Ranger guided tours conducted.

Spring and Summer Season 2015 (TBD): Please check back for updated information.

Schedules are subject to change. Please call (617) 742-5415 for information and reservations.


The Museum of African American History

The Museum of African American History's Abiel Smith School and African Meeting House are open to the public year round, six days a week, Monday-Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. National Park Rangers are available there throughout the day for historic talks.


Special Events

Throughout the year Boston African American National Historic site will be conducting specialized programs on a variety of topics relating to the African American community in Boston. For more information, please see our Events page.


NOTE: The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial is owned by the City of Boston, is located on the Boston Common and is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. The African Meeting House and the Abiel Smith School are owned by the Museum of African-American History. The Abiel Smith School is open to the public during site hours only and houses the National Park Service visitor area. All of the other sites on the Black Heritage Trail are privately owned and are not open to the public.

Did You Know?

George Middleton House, Beacon Hill, Boston

By 1800 some 1,100 Black Bostonians made up one of the largest free African American communities in North America.