Harrison Bennett’s Walking Tours

History Smiths

Most of these tours are one-hour walking tours, however, the tour in Concord, Massachusetts, requires a bus and a few hours as sites are spread out.

Please contact me to schedule a tour, and you can  check here for my schedule of upcoming tours and talks.

Please also visit our Store where you can purchase three of the books associated with the tours described below!

Boston Women’s Heritage Trail

Let me show you the sites in Boston where women

made history! Choose from one of Boston’s distinct neighborhoods (Downtown, Beacon Hill, North End, Chinatown, Back Bay) and let’s go! Tours are usually an hour and a half, and people often stay in town for lunch at one of Boston’s fabulous eateries or to shop. I’ll bring pictures of the women I discuss to show you, and quotes from the women for people to take turns reading. I can also design a theme-based tour if your group has a particular interest (women artists, reformers, etc.). For more information, or visit the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail.

Boston Women & The Law Trail

I created this walking trail for New England Law | Boston during the law school’s Centennial year in 2008. It’s a fascinating look at four centuries of women’s legal history in Boston from the days of the witch trials, through struggles for equality and suffrage, and up to today’s Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and State Senate, both headed by women! The tour is an hour and a half, and it starts at Park Street Station. It can run longer if you choose to go into some of the sites (such as the State House). I’ll have pictures of the women, and quotes from them for you to read.

Salem Women’s Heritage Trail

Salem, Massachusetts is a wonderfully walkable small historic city, right on the ocean, and this tour takes you through four centuries of women’s history and four centuries of architecture—all within an hour and a half. The world may know Salem for its role during the witchcraft hysteria of 1692, but there are many more stories to tell! You might also choose to spend a couple of days in Salem, to give yourself enough time to do the tour AND visit historic sites that have a women’s history connection (The House of the Seven Gables, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Witch Museum, Phillips House, Pioneer Village, and more). I can entertain you with stories throughout! For more information about Salem Women, or visit my Salem Women’s Heritage Trail website.

Women’s History in Cambridge, Massachusetts

This tour centers around Harvard Square, where women made their mark as reformers, writers, educators, and philanthropists alongside all those Harvard men! They include Margaret Fuller, the first woman to use Harvard’s library and a leading women’s rights advocate, Pauline Agassiz Shaw, who founded Radcliffe College, Alice Longfellow the daughter of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who turned her famous father’s home into a museum, Maria Baldwin, the first African American educator in several arenas, and many more. Allow an hour and a half for comfortable walking followed by refreshments on your own and incomparable shopping! Ipswich Women’s History
Join me for a stroll past historic sites in downtown Ipswich where you will learn about women lace makers, writers, artists, mill workers, tavern keepers, preservationists, and reformers who – for four centuries – helped shape the Town of Ipswich. “Meet” the poet Anne Bradstreet whose 400th birthday we celebrated in 2012; Jenny Slew, an enslaved African who won her freedom; Mary Lyon and the Ipswich Female Seminary; Emma Safford, a descendant of Massasoit; and victims of the 1692 witchcraft hysteria who were held in the Ipswich “gaol.”

Women’s History in Concord, Massachusetts

True confessions: Concord is my hometown, and I enjoy showing it off! Women were involved in “both Revolutions,” as we say out there. Revolution #1: the American Revolution of 1775. Revolution #2: the Literary, Intellectual, and Political Revolution of the next century. Women were very much involved in the events leading up to and during April 19, 1775, although you rarely hear their names. Similarly, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “circle” in Concord included some impressive women, including his sister, Ellen Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Louisa May Alcott of “Little Women” fame. You will learn about women writers, intellectuals, abolitionists, and activists, and visit the sites where they lived, worked, and are buried. The tour includes a visit to the “Old North Bridge” area (including the Old Manse, where Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne lived as a newly married couple, and the National Park Service Visitor Center and sote); Orchard House, the Alcotts’ home; The Wayside, another Alcott home and a National Park Service site; “Author’s Ridge at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery; Emerson House; and the Concord Museum. This is a bus tour as sites are spread out. Its length depends on you and how many sites you prefer to visit, but it’s a full morning or afternoon. Options include a visit to Walden Pond, and shopping and dining in historic downtown Concord.

Unitarian Universalist Women of Boston

When you study women’s history in Boston, you can’t help but notice how many of the movers and shakers were Unitarian, Universalist, or Unitarian Universalist women (the two groups merged in 1961). Let me show you where these extraordinary women lived and worked, and tell you about some of their accomplishments. Judith Sargent Murray, Margaret Fuller, Julia Ward Howe, Maria Weston Chapman, Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Peabody, Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, Lydia Maria Francis Child, Eliza Lee Cabot Follen, Hannah Adams, Abigail Adams—some of these names are familiar to you, and you may not have realized that they were all Unitarians or Universalists! The tour is an hour and a half, and includes a visit to 25 Beacon Street, the headquarters (and book store) of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Also available:

Transcendentalist and Literary Sites in Salem, MA

African American History Sites in Salem, MA