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Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum 2013

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FC: Boston Tea Party Museum, Boston MA | 2013

1: This picture was taken by Sara Murray. These cards were the identities our group was given as well as our feather (to become feather hats) as we readied our "MoHawk" disguise. There were given in the Meeting Room, described next. | Pictures on the front cover by Sarah Murray, exception lower left from the BTP website.

3: We began the experience meeting our guide Mrs. Thomas (Polly sp). Tours began every 15 minutes and were one hour in length. There are currently two ships to tour with the third under construction currently. As a guest you will board only one of the ships and view the other from the the dock. Polly led us straight away in the meeting room where the stage was fully set. We met Samuel Adams and entered directly into the meeting held on the night of December 17th 1773. Each member of the museum we encountered was in attire of the era and in complete character through the entire experience. Even as I ask professional questions at the end on their training, they remained in character (very well done). We were given a tutorial of responses of approval and disapproval during this time period, so that we could interact during the entire re-enactment. The Meeting was performed well and really set the stage and really hooked the audience. From here we transitioned to our ship "the Eleanor". Johnson (2009) says "Transitions can be a powerful device to create cohesiveness in the tour and also allow for presentation flexibility" (p 47). The transitions throughout were smooth, well timed, and logistically well written in to work with large visitor numbers. Pictures to the left all taken by: Sarah Murray (friend along for the visit)

5: On the page to the left we boarded our ship the Eleanor. Here we learned the history of what took place on the ship that night and were able to toss some tea ourselves. | To the left on this page are text panels with history of the Stamp Act and other information about the history of the time. The panels were easy to read and not too text. This area was used to hold and transition into Griffin's Warf. Johnson (2009) states, "the idea behind using transitions in tours is to emphasize for the docent the 'pull' of the tour and making connections from one area to next" (p 49). We transitioned several times through the tour and each was flawless with person to person and person to multimedia transitions. | Pictures taken here and on previous page were by Sarah Murray.

6: A little about the ship on our adventure: The Eleanor The original Eleanor was one of several vessels owned by leading Boston merchant, smuggler, and Boston Board of Selectman, John Rowe. His holdings included stores, warehouses and Rowe’s Wharf, a current Boston landmark. Rowe was an active smuggler and inciter in the years preceding the American Revolution. He was influential in protesting British authority, specifically Britain's tightening restrictions on colonial trade. John Rowe is credited for being one of the leading instigators of the Stamp Act riot in August 1765. During the riot, the mob destroyed the mansion of Thomas Hutchinson, the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Justice of Massachusetts. At the time of the Boston Tea Party, Captain Bruce, a Tory sympathizer, commanded the Eleanor, and her homeport was the city of Boston. The Eleanor, with her cargo of 114 chests of British East India Company tea, arrived at Griffin's Wharf in Boston on Thursday, December 2, 1773 – fourteen days prior to the December 16, 1773, Boston Tea Party. *Information from: http://www.bostonteapartyship.com

7: Once off the ship we were engaged in other stories and learned more about our characters assigned to us at the beginning of the experience. This allowed for the timing necessary for other groups to move through the next portion of the re-enactment. | Picture to the right from the museum website, below abd previous page by Sarah Murray

8: Walk through the doors of the state-of-the-art Minuteman Theater and feel the rush of excitement as you embark on a journey that transports you more than 230 years into the past. Witness the emotions, the passion and the bravery of the Patriots who stopped at nothing to win our freedom. The American Revolution comes to life before your very eyes in this compelling, multi-sensory film that dramatically recreates one of the most important events in the history of the United States. The theatre’s giant wrap-around movie screen will place you in the middle of the battle. See, hear and feel the sensations of horses galloping, muskets firing and soldiers marching across the countryside. Exhilarating, entertaining, immersive, unforgettable, “Let it Begin Here” will leave you breathless. - Information from: http://www.bostonteapartyship.com This use of senses is discussed Scottish Museum Council's a closer look. The publication states to Stimulate the Senses, "This helps you consider the needs of people whose senses are impaired. In fact, most visitors enjoy the chance to use a combination of senses. Although the entire tour is not ADA compliant, the experience is indeed built for all and for use of multiple senses (p 10). | The Minuteman Theatre

9: The photos here are from the museum website. Below is an actual Tea Chest from 1773 donated to the museum. The story of how it survived and was passed down was well displayed as well as told through a speaker system (story-teller style). Above is Abigail's Team Room where the visitor can experience a cup of tea just like the Tea thrown over board that night or other tea of the era. The visitor can also learn more about the tea making process overall. I took this time to inquire about training and how the staff decided to work there. All three that I spoke with studied the arts, whether it be music or acting or both. The training was two months with several field trips, documentaries and heavy studying of the era.

10: Below is the brochure we discovered at the hotel. We purchased our tickets shown below also. The visitor survey is attached to the ticket. The visitor can simply fill out the survey and return at the end or in the mail after returning home.

11: Overall, the experience is one that we will always remember and was a favorite among all of my group of our activities in Boston. Great hook, excellent engagement. Information was presented with multiple sensory techniques and wonderfully timed transitions that kept us on the edge of our seat. I would recommend highly! | Our delightful cast once again. Pictures: Sarah Murray

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  • By: Sandra K.
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  • Title: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum 2013
  • Photo Visit Essay JHU Educational Programming for Museum Audiences
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  • Published: about 6 years ago