Take a tour of Worcester’s lesser-known historic sites

WORCESTER — A large group of local residents met up with a Lincoln Plaza to attend a historic walking tour on Sunday where local guides introduced many of the city’s lesser-known historic spots on the final day of Worcester’s tercentenary celebration.

Participants learned of local events in Worcester that changed local and national history.

The Worcester Peace History Walking Tour was organized by the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, a group that previously ran tours in the city last October. The Tercentenary Tours are part of a program funded by the Worcester Action Council, a local affiliate of the Mass Cultural Council.

Sunday’s tour was the first of six tours planned to celebrate Worcester’s 300th anniversary. Two more tours will take place later this month on Saturday, June 25 at 10 a.m. and Sunday, June 26 at 3 p.m. After a summer hiatus, the center plans to resume touring in the fall.

Contact the Center for Nonviolent Solutions through their website for more information on upcoming tours.

The eight-stop tour began at the Lincoln Square landmark identifying the city’s origins as a colony and ended at City Hall Plaza. The eight events featured on the tour were:

  1. Strategic peace of Massasoit le Grand Sachem. The pact between the Mayflower Arrivals and the Grand Sachem that lasted 50 years.
  2. The Worcester Nonviolent Revolution of 1774
  3. The case of Quock Walker which resulted in the eradication of slavery in the State of Massachusetts.
  4. Insight into the life of Elihu Burritt – peacemaker in the 19th century.
  5. The 1850 National Women’s Convention at Brinley Hall.
  6. The Butman Riot – recounts how the people of Worcester forbade a federal agent from capturing William Jankins, a barber and fugitive from slavery.
  7. U.S. Senator George Hoar’s opposition to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
  8. Quick overview of peace activism in the 20th century. This stop includes a vivid summary of an end-of-war march and rally on March 26, 1966, as reported in the local press.

Local actors Michael Daniels, Tina E. Gaffney, Charles Grigaitis and Ellen O’Neall-Waite read for the tour and performed the parts of the historical figures mentioned.

Kathleen Moylan, a retired professor of United States history and Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, program director at the Center for Nonviolent Solutions, served as tour guides.


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Patrick F. Williams