Around New England

Old South, Old State House Boards To Pursue Merger

April 26, 2019

Two 19th century nonprofit organizations that run famous historic sites in Boston are planning to merge, bringing together Old South Meeting House and the Old State House under one management.

The Freedom Trail sites are closely associated with the American Revolution.

Old South Meeting House, built in 1729, is where Patriots met the night of the Boston Tea Party in November 1773, leaving for the wharf where the tea ships were after Samuel Adams gave them a verbal cue. Joseph Warren in March 1775 gave a Boston Massacre anniversary oration at Old South.

The Old State House, built in 1713, is where James Otis argued against the British government’s so-called writs of assistance, which were general warrants enabling the government to search and seize without probable cause, in 1761. It also overlooks the site of the Boston Massacre in March 1770, a little farther east on State Street, on the north sidewalk near where a bank now stands.

The Bostonian Society, which saved the Old State House from destruction in the early 1880s, runs the historic site. The Old South Association of Boston runs Old South Meeting House, which was a working Congregational church before the 1870s.

Their members are hoping that the two historic sites can attract more interest to both sites by working together.

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