Todays vintage pictures are of Concord Massachusetts. Fourth stop in the photographer’s romp through the Boston area exploring important sites from the beginning of the American Revolution. These are still from August 31, 1973.
After traveling to Lexington he came over to Concord to visit the Minuteman National Historic Park and walk across the Concord Bridge, or “Old North Bridge.”
This graceful arch across the Concord river is a replica of the bridge that stood during the battle of Concord in 1775. It was built in 1956 based on drawings of the original bridge, and refurbished in 2005. In fitting tribute and purpose, the bridge leading between Cinderella Castle and Liberty Square in Walt Disney World is based upon this bridge.
On the west side of the bridge, facing it, is Daniel Chester French’s statue “Minute Man.” Note the differences it and Kitson’s statue of Captain John Parker of the Militia in Lexington. The plow on this one symbolizes the fact that the citizen-farmer Minute Men were volunteers to the cause and not professionals like their Militia counterparts.
The statue is inscribed with the first stanza from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1837 poem “Concord Hymn,”
“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.”
The rest of the poem is:
“The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.”
This can be found in Emerson’s Collected Works