Special Events 2024


British soldiers in 1775 light infantry uniforms march in open order through a field surrounded by trees

Julie Pollock

Check back often for upcoming special events as we enter the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution!

May 2024


"Leaving It To the Fate of Time" Concord and the Civil War in 1864

The Wayside: Home of Authors
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Join us at the Wayside: Home of Authors for a day of Civil War Living History, Wayside Open House, and guest lecture by Historian Richard Smith.

In 1864, the American Civil War ground into its fourth summer of carnage. In Concord, news of horrific fighting brought unwelcome lists of the dead and injured, including those of the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. The men of Concord who had marched away years before were now battle-hardened veterans and the hardships of campaign took their toll. By year’s end, Asa, John, and Samuel Melvin, three brothers from Concord were dead.

At home support for the war ebbed and flowed. A contentious presidential election loomed on the horizon and with another of summer of horrific bloodshed looming there seemed to be no end in sight. Join us at the Wayside to learn about the trials and triumphs of Concord in 1864.

Schedule of Events:

10:00 am to 4:30 pm Wayside Open House

  • The Wayside house will be open for guests to explore Nathanial Hawthorne’s Sky Parlor and writing space.
  • Members of the Liberty Rifles living history organization will be set up on the Wayside lawn talking about the 1864 experiences of Concord soldiers in the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.
  • Park staff will discuss Louisa May Alcott and the contributions of women on the home front.

11:00 am - "By The Book"~ Infantry drill demonstration (non-firing)
  • During the American Civil War, Heavy Artillery Regiments served multiple roles. During the spring of 1864 the 1st MA Heavy Artillery traded their cannon for rifled muskets. Watch as living historians demonstrate the basics of Infantry drill used by the regiment in 1864.

2:00 pm- "Leaving It To the Fate of Time: The Civil War Diary of Samuel Melvin." ~ Special Lecture by Historian Richard Smith

  • In 1861 Asa, John, and, Samuel Melvin of Concord enlisted in the Union army to fight in the Civil War. As members of the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery they were stationed in forts around Washington D.C. but in 1864 the regiment was made into Infantry and sent to the Army of the Potomac, where the Melvin brothers and their comrades would be thrown into some of the bloodiest battles of the war. Join Concord historian Richard Smith for a look into the lives of the Melvin brothers and their experiences in the Civil War. In particular, Richard will talk about Samuel Melvin, the brother who was captured by Confederate troops and sent to the notorious Andersonville prison. Samuel's diary gives a vivid first-hand account of Samuel life -- and death -- as a Union soldier.

4:30 pm ~ Site Closed.

This event and special guest presentation is co-sponsored by Friends of Minute Man National Park


June 2024


Closing the Port: 250th Commemorative Program

Minute Man National Historical Park
Hartwell Tavern
June 1, 2024
10:00 am - 4:30 pm

On June 1, 1774, Boston once again became a city under occupation. Following the destruction of tea in the harbor, British Parliament dispatched a new Royal Governor, General Thomas Gage, with several regiments of regular soldiers and news of the Boston Port Bill to Massachusetts. Beginning on June 1st the bill employed the Royal Navy to blockade the port of Boston until the destroyed tea was paid for.

The closure of the port represented a dramatic escalation in the political struggle between British Parliament and the American Colonies. Boston’s booming maritime trade came to a halt, along with the flow of everyday goods in the surrounding countryside.

With few routes of response available, radical ideology spread amongst the local population. On June 1, 2024, join us as we explore the political upheaval that put Massachusetts on the path toward rebellion this day, 250 years ago.

This event and special guest presentation is co-sponsored by Friends of Minute Man National Park

10:00 am - 4:30 pm~ Hartwell Tavern Open House: Pull up a chair in Hartwell Tavern to talk with living history interpreters about the turmoil of 1774 or how an 18th century tavern operated.

11:00 am~ Port Closures and Politics: Join National Park Rangers in an interactive program that explore the causes and consequences of the Port Closure in 1774.

2:00 pm ~ “A Pressing Matter: 18th Century Media Literacy and Bias” with Michele Gabrielson.

Michele Gabrielson is a local history teacher and historic interpreter of the 18th century. When she is not teaching in the classroom, Michele can be found leading tours, lectures, and demonstrations at historic sites in the greater Boston area. She specializes in interpreting the history of colonial women printers, 18th century chocolate makers, and revolutionary playwright and poet Mercy Otis Warren.

Media and information literacy are essential skills to develop in order to be an informed citizen, whether in the 21st or 18th century! In this discussion, we will analyze perspective, language, and bias in 18th century newspapers with a critical lens to learn how news was consumed in Colonial America; especially surrounding the Boston Port Act of 1774.


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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

North Bridge / Park Headquarters
174 Liberty St.

Concord, MA 01742


978 369-6993

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