Spring meeting in Lexington and Concord

  “Discontent smoldering in the American colonies under British rule flared into open hostilities on April 19, 1775, when, on a stretch of country road outside Boston, a prolonged skirmish between 3,500 Colonial Militia and 1,700 of His Majesty’s Redcoats opened the American Revolution.”         Minute Man National Historic Park brochure

One week and 239 years later, come see historic Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, sites of the “First Shot” and the “Shot Heard Round the World,” respectively.

The meeting dates are April 25-27, 2014.

Our hotel is the Best Western Plus at Historic Concord located at 740 Elm Street in Concord, MA  just off Routes 2 and 2A.  Please call the hotel directly for reservations:  (978) 369-6100   and mention the DSDI.  Queen room is $109 + tax; King /2 Double beds will be $119 + tax.

You will be prompted to request a room on either the 1st floor or 2nd floor but note, there is no elevator.  There is a complimentary Deluxe Buffet Breakfast served daily on the 2nd floor.  For those who do not climb stairs easily, breakfast will be brought to your room on the 1st floor.  Rooms and rates are available pre- and post-meeting.  Check-in: 3 PM.  This is a 100% non-smoking facility.  The hotel website (http://bestwesternmassachusetts.com/hotels/best-western-plus-at-historic-concord) shows a map and provides driving directions.

For those flying, there are three airports from which to choose:  Boston Logan  (BOS); T.F. Green, (PVD), Providence, RI;  and Manchester, NH  (MHT).  By car, from I-495; take Rte 2 E to Elm Street; from I-95 (Rte 128); follow Rte 2 W to Elm Street.  There is also the train option.  If you are arriving from points south via Amtrak, get off at Back Bay station and connect to the Orange Line.  Go upstairs to lobby (purchase subway ticket); then return to subway – Inbound – to North Station (6 stops).   From North Station – take the MBTA Fitchburg Commuter Rail  (www.mbta.com)  and get off at either the Concord station (2 mi) or West Concord station (1 mi) from the Best Western.

On Friday, the Board will meet at 4 PM in the Board Room (2nd Floor) at the hotel.  At the same time, SODS and other early arrivals will be encouraged to explore Concord, just a short drive from the hotel.  We will reconvene around 6 PM and drive to our dinner destination, the River Rock Grill in Maynard, approximately 5 miles away.  After a brief social time, we will descend to the lower level of the restaurant for our evening meal.  Our dinner guest speaker will be Professor Adolfo Caso, who will educate us on the two Declarations.

After our early Saturday morning breakfast buffet, we will board our all-day bus around 8:15 AM in order to be in place for the 9 AM multi-media showing of The Road to Revolution at the Minute Man Visitor Center.  Following the presentation, we are off to Lexington for a visit to the Buckman Tavern, Hancock-Clarke house, and Lexington Green.  Our 1 PM lunch and General Meeting will be held at the nearby Depot.  We will then re-board our bus for a narrated ride to Concord, following parts of Battle Road.  At the North Bridge area, we will walk across the Bridge with our guide and see the Minute Man statue sculpted by Daniel Chester French.  Then it is back to the Best Western.

Our evening Banquet will take place at the Concord Museum, an easy 2-mile drive from the hotel.  For those wanting to see more of the museum and/or wishing to visit the well-stocked gift shop, the museum is “ours” from 5 PM until dinner.  [The bus will leave the Best Western around 5:45 PM.]  A timely upcoming exhibit, “The Shot Heard Round the World: April 19, 1775” opens to the public on April 18, 2014.  Our dinner venue, French Hall, in the Cummings Davis building, adjacent to the Museum building, is wheelchair accessible.  The 7 PM Banquet buffet will be followed by some delightful evening entertainment.  Afterwards, the bus will return us to the hotel.

There is a Sunday breakfast at the hotel and a variety of churches in Concord for morning services.  For those who can spend more time, there are other sites to see.  The Concord Chamber of Commerce organizes 2-hour walking tours at noon on Sunday starting from the Visitor’s Center at 58 Main Street.  The Colonial Inn on Monument Square offers Afternoon Tea (by reservation).  The South Bridge Boat House has canoes and kayaks for rent.  Both the Minute Man Visitor Center and the North Bridge Visitor Center are open daily and are well worth a visit to see the exhibits and to ask questions of the rangers.  If it is a pleasant day, the 5-mile Battle Road Trail is a fascinating pathway to explore, including a visit to the 1733 Hartwell Tavern.  A short drive out to see Col. James Barrett’s house, where several companies of redcoats were detailed to get supplies, is also very interesting. There is the commuter train to Boston (North Station), which is within healthy walking distance of the Old North Church (of steeple fame) and the U.S.S. Constitution (of War of 1812 fame).

Come early; stay late!  Here are a few more suggestions of places to experience and enjoy before or after the meeting.  Please check websites for up-do-date operating hours.

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The Concord Museum (9-5)  (978) 369-9763– www.concordmuseum.org

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery  (Daylight hours)– a serene, park-like setting; Authors’ Ridge

Orchard House  (10-4:30)  (978) 369-4118– www.louisamayalcott.org

The Old Manse  (10-5)  (978) 369-3909– a National Historic Landmark,

www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/greater-boston/old-manse.html

Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge– http://www.fws.gov/refuge/great_meadows

observation tower, walking trails, great photography, but no bikes, dogs, or horses

Walden Pond  (5 AM – sunset)  (978) 369-3254– www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/walden

the solitude spot for Henry David Thoreau; a free walk, but you pay for parking

Garden in the Woods  (9-5)  (508) 877-7630 Framingham– www.newfs.org

Great Brook Farm State Park  (978) 369-6312 Carlisle — an agri jewel in Mass!

Farm stand & ice cream– www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/gbfm.htm

& farm tours– www.farmfresh.org/food/farm.php?farm=1293

We look forward to welcoming you for the entire weekend or for whichever event(s) you can attend.  The formal meeting announcement and registration form will be in the mail in early 2014.

 

Marianne Brinker

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