Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry last night introduced legislation to protect a one-of-a kind national historic treasure, Colonel James Barrett's Farm in Concord, Massachusetts. The farm was a central site in the first battle of the Revolutionary War in 1775.
Senator Kennedy said, "It's an honor to work with Senator Kerry to make sure this extraordinary part of the nation's history is permanently protected as part of our National Park System. The Congress should pass this bill so that Barrett's Farm is protected for future generations."
Senator Kerry said, "Preserving Colonel Barrett's farm will help future generations learn more about a critical moment in our nation's history, the start of the American Revolution," Senator Kerry said. "I am pleased to work with Senator Kennedy to preserve this important historical area."
Barrett's Farm is located two miles from the famous Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, and spans approximately five acres. The farm is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is certified as a nationally significant site.
The farm belonged to Colonel James Barrett, one of the primary figures in the first battle of the American Revolution. As commander of the Middlesex Militia, he used his farm to store cannons, gunpowder and other munitions. When British forces marched on Concord on April 19, 1775, their principal purpose was to search Barrett's Farm and confiscate the colonial militia's weapons, but Barrett received advance notice of the British plan and successfully hid the weapons.
The legislation authorizes a boundary adjustment of 67 acres in the current National Park in Concord and Lincoln. The expansion doesn't involve a federal taking of private property. Instead, it allows the Park Service to purchase private properties from willing sellers, such as the local, non-profit organization Save Our Heritage, which now owns Barrett's Farm.
Last year, legislation sponsored by Senators Kennedy and Kerry authorized a boundary study for the Park, to establish the suitability and feasibility of adjusting the boundary to include Barrett's Farm. The study was completed earlier this year, and concluded that the addition of Barrett's Farm was consistent with the Park's mission to preserve significant historic resources, and that it would be feasible for the Park Service to manage. The study opened the way to the present legislation to accomplish the addition of the farm to the Park.