After a week into my internship, I would describe Minute Man National Historical Park as rich in artifacts pertaining to the origins of American independence. Located in the towns of Concord, Lexington, and Lincoln in Massachusetts, Minute Man comprises of 1,038 acres (4.2 km2) filled with preserved historic sites, structures, properties, and landscapes associated with battles of the American Revolution that took place in 1775. It also celebrates the divergence in literary tradition from Europe through landmarks central to the United States’ emerging intellectual culture. Surrounding regions of this park have transformed from a semi-rural cultural area to mature suburbs that face continual pressures from residential, commercial, and industrial development. Hence, historic and cultural site preservation is a large and unique aspect of park operations at Minute Man. For this summer, I am stationed in park housing, a quaint house amidst quiet surroundings, with close access to the many historic sites and recreational outdoor activities available within this park and many downtown Concord activities surrounding the park.
My internship day starts with arriving to one of the two visitor centers. The visitor center that I arrive to is the North Bridge Visitor Center/Park Headquarters. Built in 1911, this visitor center was once known as the Buttrick Estate where eight generations of the Buttrick family lived before its purchase by National Park Service (NPS) in 1962. Major John Buttrick is the most notable family member, as he gave orders to fire upon British soldiers on April 19th, 1775. The estate consists of a formal garden known as the [Stedman] Buttrick Garden along with an extended sunken garden. This garden was built for Stedman Buttrick, Major Buttrick’s great, great grandson. Noted in articles of National Geographic and Better Homes and Gardens in the 1950s and 1960s, the grand garden was filled with peonies, lilies, and irises. Overlooking the sunken garden balcony is the North Bridge, the site of “the shot heard ‘round the world”, where one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War occurred. Throughout my first week internship tenure, I have participated in many team efforts to maintain not only the conditions of the Buttrick Garden, but its many surroundings with garden weeding, trail cleaning, volunteer facilitating, etc. This park maintenance keeps visitors happy and impressed with the level of care taken to maintain historical site conditions.