‘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. Download an audio of the historic pre–Tea Party meeting from the museum website, then visit the graceful meeting house to check out the exhibit about the history of the building and the protest.

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.