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What Is the State of Massachusetts Known For?

There are so many states in the U. S. that it’s difficult to remember that every state has its own cultural values and differences. Take Massachusetts, for example – does it have anything else to it besides Harvard? What is that state known for?

 

Massachusetts is known for its history as being one of the first New England States and the Salem witch trials. The Boston Tea Party made Massachusetts famous for fighting the English. Besides this, it has several cultural landmarks and foods that it is imperative to try. 

 

To learn more about this state, keep reading!

 

 

What Is Massachusetts State Famous For?

As one of the original New England States, Massachusetts has a rich history.

 

Besides critical historical events that happened here, Massachusetts state is famous for its culture and art and housing some of the most famous sports teams in the world.

 

Before delving into its intricacies, let’s examine how it all began. 

 

 

What city is Massachusetts Most Well Known For?

Boston is the most populated and most well known city in Massachusetts with almost 700,000 residents. Find out everything Boston is known for here

 

 

The Origin of Massachusetts

Massachusetts is thought to be named after the Massachusetts Indigenous tribe that once lived there. The term ‘Massachusetts’ roughly translates to ‘near the great hill,’ referring to the Blue Hills.  

 

Although the Massachusetts tribe still exists to this day, their numbers have been vastly reduced due to the smallpox epidemic introduced by New Englanders.  

 

Massachusetts is one of the six original New England States, named by explorer Captains John Smith who was part of the Separatists who fled England due to the theological conflict between the Separatists and Puritans. 

 

This state is historically famous because it was the first location where the Separatists landed, in a boat commandeered by John Smith called the Mayflower

 

 

Salem Witch Trials 

Our everyday knowledge of witches as they exist today was developed partly by the infamous Salem Witch Trials, which took place in Salem, Massachusetts. 

 

It all began when a merchant named Samuel Parris decided to become a minister and move to Salem. Parris preached orthodox Puritan ideology, which caused contention within the Church, resulting in Salem being divided into pro-Parris or anti-Parris factions. 

 

One day, Parris’s 9-year old daughter Betty Parris and his niece Abigail Williams began acting up. They were screaming and throwing fits, contorting their bodies into strange positions. As nothing wrong could be found with them, it was said that these girls were bewitched under the hand of the Devil. 

 

The Witch Hunt Continues

Soon, other women started suffering from these strange fits, which led to the accusation of women, particularly outsiders, as witches. Witches had to plead guilty and identify co-conspirators or be hanged to death, even if they were innocent. This debacle ended after a year, with about 20 deaths and 150 arrests.  

 

 

The Boston Massacre and Path to Independence

Events like the Boston Massacre were crucial to leading Massachusetts on its path to eventual independence. It is a historically famous riot occurring on March 5th, 1770, on Kings Street in Boston. 

 

This riot was initially between a single British soldier and American colonists who had moved to the Americas from Britain to escape religious persecution. However, it soon escalated. 

 

On March 5th, Hugh White was tasked with guarding the King’s money on King Street. A group of colonists threatened violence, and after calling for reinforcements, in the commotion, soldiers ended up firing and killing five people, injuring six others. 

 

 

The Riot Spurred the Boston Tea Party

The reason for this riot was discontent with taxation laws. American colonists were unhappy that they had to pay additional taxes through the Stamp Act and Townshend Act to pay for British war debts. 

 

They argued that these taxes could not be applied to the colonies because the bills were only passed in the British parliament and not in the parliament of the American colonies. 

 

Although there weren’t many casualties, the Boston Massacre stoked the flames of anti-British resentment, serving as a trigger for the American colonists to fight for their independence. 

 

This led to a similar incident fuelled by anti-British sentiment known as the Boston Tea Party in 1773. American colonists, fed up with the excessive taxation of essentials like tea under the Townshend Act and Tea Act, dumped 342 chests of tea imported by the British East India Company into the Atlantic ocean. 

 

Events such as these culminated in the American Revolution of 1775, where American colonists fought for their independence from Britain.

 

 

Which Sports Teams Are Massachusetts Famous For?

The iconic baseball-playing Red Sox, basketball’s Celtics, and the professional hockey-playing Bruins are the sports teams that Massachusetts is famous for. If you follow sports at all, you have probably heard of these names

 

Let’s take a closer look at the brief history of each team. 

 

Red Sox

The Red Sox is one of the most famous teams in American baseball history. Established in 1901, the Boston Red Sox took their name from the first baseball team in Boston called the Boston Red Stockings. 

 

This team would then go on to win nine World Series titles and 14 American League pennants. 

 

Celtics

Like the Red Sox, the Boston Celtics are a historically successful franchise, having won 17 NBA titles in total. Of these 17 titles, they had a winning streak from 1957 to 1969, where they won 11 of 13 titles. 

 

It’s easy to see why people rave over the Celtics if they’re capable of accomplishing that much in one shot. 

 

Bruins

The Boston Bruins was the first American ice hockey team to join the National Hockey League. 

 

Named after a mythical, untameable animal, one of the most famous examples of its players’ intensity is Eddie Shore, who won the Hart Trophy four times and was so dedicated to the game that he continued playing in Montreal despite having frostbite

 

The Bruins have 6 Stanley cups under their belt. 

 

 

Famous Massachusetts Landmarks

Massachusetts has everything from beautiful nature trails to historical landmarks. 

 

If you ever feel like going on a trip around this state, here are some of the most iconic landmarks:

Old State House, Boston

The Old State House was previously the center of the royal colony when Boston was still under the reign of British colonialists. The Declaration of Independence was read here on July 18th, 1776. 

 

The Boston Massacre also took place in the square directly in front of the State House. It was recently completely restored in 2014 and is now home to historical guided walking tours, artifacts, and other events. 

 

If you’re fond of museums or history, be sure to visit this landmark!

 

The Mount, Lennox

Book-lovers would surely have heard of the famous American writer, Edith Wharton (click here for her author page on Amazon.) The Mount was a country home that she owned, designing the house and grounds herself.

 

It has since been converted into a house museum and cultural center hosting various arts programs, from jazz concerts to yoga to poetry readings. 

 

 

Fenway Park, Boston

Sports fans might be interested in a visit to Fenway Park. This baseball park is the home field to the Boston Red Sox and is the oldest of all the major league ballparks. 

 

You can opt for a guided tour around Fenway Park, where you will be able to see features of the stadium that you might not usually witness if you simply buy a ticket and go to a game. The tour guides will also explain the history of Fenway and the Red Sox, so if you’re a Red Sox fan, consider signing up for a tour here

 

 

Blue Hills, Boston

Even if Massachusetts isn’t named after the Blue Hills, this state park is picturesque enough to warrant going there anyway. This reservation is home to various trails that you can hike to witness mountains, swamps, and ponds. 

 

You don’t need to be a hiker to enjoy the beautiful scenery at Blue Hills. If you don’t feel like hiking, you can go cycling or skiing. 

 

Here’s a complete list of what to expect once at Blue Hills.  

 

 

Mohawk Trail

The Mohawk Trail is a famous trade route through New England, which was originally a footpath trail before the invention of the wheel. Today, it makes up part of the expressways of Route 2 and 2A. 

 

This trail is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful routes throughout the United States. Think of easy driving through miles of beautiful foliage, clear blue skies, and feel-good afternoons. 

 

The endless side roads and stops along the trail will let you pull over and soak in as much of the scenery as you want. 

 

You can learn more about prospective driving routes to take and locations to stop at here

 

 

Harvard University

Harvard is the oldest institution for tertiary education in the United States. Established in 1663, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anybody who doesn’t know about the prestigiousness of Harvard. 

 

However, some might not know that you can get into Harvard without studying or applying for school. This university offers public tours, some of which are free, to elaborate on the architecture and history of Harvard. 

 

Find out more on Harvard’s official website right here

 

 

Old Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village is New England’s largest living history museum. A visit to Old Sturbridge will let you understand how life in the 19th century worked. 

 

Living history museums like Old Sturbridge are more interesting than traditional museums because they have historians on-site to explain artifacts or cultural rituals and practices. 

 

Here’s the link to learn more about this fascinating project. 

 

Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge

Painters, or anybody who has listened to a Lana Del Ray album, have probably heard of Norman Rockwell. This 20th century American painter is notorious for his Four Freedoms paintings and illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post. 

 

This museum has the most extensive collection of Rockwell paintings and works. Besides this, they also hold various art exhibitions featuring different artists and workshops. 

 

If you’re an aspiring artist, you might want to check out the official website

 

House of Seven Gables, Salem

The House of Seven Gables is a colonial mansion made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book of the same name. 

 

Hawthorne inspired the supernatural happenings of the book in a house inspired by this mansion. One of the oldest remaining mansions of New England, the house became a must-see for historians and literary critics alike. 

 

If you want to book a visit, you can get your tickets here.

 

 

What Food Is Massachusetts Known For? 

Seafood dishes are among the many food items that Massachusetts is known for since it’s a coastal ocean state. Other foods that the state is famous for and Bay Staters love include Boston Baked Beans, fried clams, fluffernutter, and Boston Cream Pie. 

 

Boston Baked Beans

Boston Baked Beans are a traditional New England dish made from molasses, navy beans, and salt pork. It’s so popular that the baked bean became the official state bean in 1993. There’s a reason Boston is called Beantown!

 

Before British colonists, beans were also a staple for Native Americans. 

 

Here’s the recipe for Boston Baked Beans if you ever want to make it yourself at home.

 

There’s also a popular candy called Boston Baked Beans which you can check out here.

 

 

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnuts are perfect for harvest or fall. They’re a cake-based doughnut infused with apple cider and famous throughout many New England states. When you go to Boston, you should buy a few warm apple cider doughnuts with a side of apple cider. 

 

If you’re ever making them, be warned that they’re only good for a day or two. After that, you might have to convert them to waffles. 

 

 

Fried Clams

Massachusetts is famous for its seafood, from oysters to lobster rolls. However, it’s the fried clams that you should get. These serve as an appetizer alone, but they always taste better with either fries or onion rings. 

 

Don’t forget a tartar sauce to go with your clams! You can learn to make them here.

 

 

Boston Cream Pie

The name of this dessert is deceiving because the Boston Cream Pie is a cake. It’s theorized that the name originates from the fact that pie plates were commonly used for baking cakes, including this particular cake. 

 

This vanilla cake is layered with pastry cream and chocolate ganache, created by the Omni Park Hotel in, you guessed it, Boston. 

 

You must pick one of these cakes up the next time you visit Boston. 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie with their afternoon tea or coffee? What you might not have known is that this delicious biscuit originated from Massachusetts. It was invented surprisingly recently in 1938 by Ruth Wakefield, who ran an inn called the Toll House Inn. 

 

Although you don’t need to visit Massachusetts to enjoy a good chocolate chip cookie, you might be reminded of this wonderful state the next time you enjoy the gooey euphoria of a good chocolate chip cookie. 

 

 

Fluffernutters

A fluffernutter is a sweet sandwich made of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. You might have heard of variations of the fluffernutter using Nutella instead of peanut butter, but this is the original New English snack. 

 

It’s not complicated to make a fluffernutter – you can learn how to do it right here

 

 

Final Thoughts

Massachusetts is home to good food, good culture, and a good history. If you haven’t already, it’s highly recommended that you visit this state.