Paul Revere House

Boston, Massachusetts (MA)

The oldest building in downtown Boston, Paul Revere House played a crucial role in the American War of Independence, it being the start-point of Revere's legendary Midnight Ride. It has now been a museum for over a century.

Paul Revere House
- © Boston Public Library

The Origins of Paul Revere House?

The house was built in around 1680 on the site of a former church parsonage in Boston's historic North Square. Its three-storey timber structure was typical of Massachusetts at the time.

Its first owner was Robert Howard, a wealthy slave merchant. It found its way into more agreeable hands in 1770 when it was bought by local silversmith Paul Revere.

Paul Revere House
- © David Ohmer

The Revolution and Paul Revere House

This was a tumultuous time in Revere's life. The silversmiths shop be had inherited from his father had been hit hard by the new taxes the British had introduced. This had lead him to joining the dissident group the Sons of Liberty.

To assist them in their cause he started producing political engravings and artifacts. One such engraving is his famous depiction of the 1770 Boston Massacre, a protest during which five Bostonians were gunned down by British troops.

Revere became increasingly involved in dissident activity over the years that followed. In 1773 he organized and took part in watches to stop the HMS Dartmouth off-loading its controversial tea shipment. Then, along with his fellow Sons of Anarchy members, he boarded the ship and threw its cargo into the sea in what today is remembered as the Boston Tea Party.

Throughout this period Revere and his family lived at Paul Revere House. What it is most famous for however are the events of 1775.

Paul Revere House
'The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King Street Boston' engraving by Paul Revere - Public Domain

Paul Revere House and the Midnight Run

From 1773-5 Revere served as an express courier, delivering messages on horseback to his fellow Patriots in New York. He completed a documented 18 rides to and from the city but it is a more local effort he is most remembered for.

On the night of April 8, 1775, Revere left his house on horseback to spread urgent word of the British advance. His actions prevented the Patriot militia from being caught unawares, ultimately earning them victory in the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

He went on to serve in the militia and to continue work as a courier throughout the Revolutionary War. When independence had been achieved he expanded his business into other areas of industry with a great deal of success.

Paul Revere House
- © Peter Hopper

Paul Revere House Across the Centuries

Revere sold the house in 1800. It was then turned into a tenement with shop space on the ground floor. This was used variably as a candy store, a greengrocers, a bank and even a cigar factory.

In 1902 Revere's grandson bought the house to save it from demolition. He had it refurbished and, in 1908, opened its doors to the public making it one of the US' oldest historic house museums.

It continues to serve this purpose today, complete with Revere family furniture and a visitor center joined on by an elevated walkway.

Since 1961 it has been recognised as a National Historic Landmark.

Paul Revere House
- © Richard Wise

Visiting Paul Revere House

The house is open seven days a week from 10am-5.15pm in Summer (April 15-October 31) and 10am-4.15pm in Winter (November 1-April 14).

Entry costs $6 for adults, $5.50 for students and seniors and $1 for children (5-17).

Both storeys of the house are accessible to wheelchairs, the second via the visitor center's elevated walkway.

Paul Revere House
- © Jeff Gunn

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What you need to know

Paul Revere House
19 N Square, Boston, MA 02113, United States
Tips before you visit