KENNEDY, KERRY, TSONGAS LEGISLATION TO PRESERVE HISTORIC BARRETT'S FARM REVOLUTIONARY WAR SITE RECEIVES KEY SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVAL
Legislation to protect a one-of-a kind national historic treasure, Barrett's Farm in Concord, Massachusetts received approval Wednesday by the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Barrett's Farm was a central site in the first battle of the Revolutionary War in 1775, and the legislation to preserve it was introduced in the Senate by Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, and Representative Niki Tsongas in the House of Representatives.
Senator Kennedy said, "We're a major step closer to guaranteeing this extraordinary part of the nation's history will be permanently protected in the National Park System, so that generations to come can learn about this dramatic moment in the birth of our nation."
"Including Colonel Barrett's Farm in the Minute Man National Historical Park is critical to helping preserve this historic landmark. The farm has enormous historical value for our state and this legislation will ensure that our children and our children's children will be able to learn from and enjoy all the site has to offer," said Senator Kerry.
Congresswoman Tsongas said, "I am pleased that as a result of Senator Kennedy and Kerry's diligent efforts, legislation to protect Barrett's Farm is one step closer to becoming law. Last month, I introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives that would permanently preserve this important piece of Massachusetts' rich revolutionary history, and I am currently working with my colleagues to secure passage in the House to finally enact this measure and ensure that this historic site is protected."
Barrett's Farm is two miles from the famous Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, and covers approximately five acres. At the time of the Revolution, it belonged to Colonel James Barrett, the commander of the Middlesex Militia, who 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 weapons, but Barrett received advance notice of the British plan and was able to hide them successfully.
The legislation authorizes a boundary adjustment in the current Minute Man National Park in Concord and Lincoln. 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.
In 2006, 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 in 2007, 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 add the farm to the Park.