Old South Meeting House
Lonely Planet review for Old South Meeting House
‘No tax on tea!’ That was the decision on December 16, 1773, when 5000 angry colonists gathered here to protest British taxes, leading to the Boston Tea Party. The graceful meeting house is still a gathering place for discussion, although there's less rabble-rousing now. Instead, it hosts concert and lecture series, as well as reenactments and other historical programs.
This brick meeting house, with its soaring steeple, was also used as a church house back in the day. In fact, Ben Franklin was baptized here. Which is why he found it so abhorrent when – after the Tea Party – British soldiers used the building for a stable and riding practice. The Old South congregation moved to a new building in Back Bay in 1875, when Ralph Waldo Emerson and Julia Ward Howe gathered support to convert the church into a museum.
When you visit today, you can check out an exhibit about the history of the building and listen to an audio of the historic pre–Tea Party meeting. Kids will be engaged by activity kits and scavenger hunts designed for their age groups.