On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere asked Robert Newman, the church sexton or caretaker, if he would send a back-up signal to warn the patriots that the British were coming, just in case Revere was captured on his ride before he could spread the alarm. Newman agreed to light the lanterns in the steeple at what was then Boston’s tallest building, known today as the Old North Church in Boston.
Many years ago, as a photography student, I had the amazing opportunity to photograph a little bit of this beautiful building (built in 1723!!) while it was undergoing historical restoration. The school required all first year students to learn how to use a 4 x 5 view camera, so the photos you see here were taken with a large format camera and film. Some of the negatives have become scratched and corrupted over time, giving them an unintended vintage feel, but I still like them.
Today, the Church’s Foundation has a wonderful program called “This Old Pew” where you can learn interesting little tidbits about the people who worshiped here, so long ago.
I loved walking around the pews, imagining how lovely it would be to attend a service here and sit in this historic and elegant space, surrounded by the beautiful morning light.
Especially back then, when life was hard and cold and short. Hey, I lived in New England for 33 years. I know how brutal Boston winters can be, even with today’s amenities; never mind 300 years ago with no plumbing or electricity.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit Boston, I highly recommend a stop here for some quiet reflection. There is a garden and a period chocolate shop nearby, as well.
The old North Church is located at 193 Salem Street, Boston.
And, yes, they still have church service on Sunday mornings.