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In Washington's Footsteps

Boston 1789

Old State House in Boston

Tour Description

This walk follows the first President on his six-day visit to Boston as part of his post-inaugural tour of New England 230 years ago, in October 1789. In 1789, Boston was on the cusp of transformation, its economy rebounding from the war years, with its advances in industry, technology, and commerce on show for this most important of visitors. Boston in 1789 was still a town, not a city. Charles Bulfinch had yet to create his many churches and civic landmarks, and the hills of the Shawmut Peninsula were not yet plundered for their gravel and landfill. In part, we will walk the route of the civic parade organized for Washington’s arrival; stop by many of the sites where he visited, worshipped, and – yes – slept; and learn about Governor Hancock’s political miscalculation when President Washington came to town.

Private Tours

This tour can be scheduled as a private tour with advance notice. Call 617.367.2345 or use our private tour webform to learn more.

Starting Location

Meet your guide at the corner of Washington and Court Streets, 201 Washington Street, opposite the Old State House.

“I had some visitors in from Hong Kong and wanted to give them a flavor of Boston. I contacted Boston By Foot and we discussed a customized tour that would show us some history and end up in Chinatown. We met our guide at Park Street station and spent the next hour and a half checking out some of the historical buildings along the Freedom Trail, the Big Dig and finished in Chinatown with some little factoids about the Chinese coming to Boston. The tour was very professional, yet casual, allowing us to ask as many questions as we wanted. We all thoroughly enjoyed the information and pace of the tour.”
— Norwell, MA