What could be better than chocolate? How about a live historical exhibit of old time colonial chocolate making in the North End at Old North Church on the Freedom Trail!
Located at the Clough House, adjacent to Old North Church on Unity Street, the grand opening of Captain Jackson’s Colonial Chocolate Shop is set for Saturday, April 13, 2013, 11 a.m., brought to life by the Old North Foundation in cooperation with Mars Chocolate Company and the Freedom Trail Foundation. Captain Jackson’s Colonial Chocolate Shop features American Heritage Chocolate®, an authentic colonial-style chocolate recipe developed by Mars Chocolate North America. This permanent, living history exhibit is the only of its kind in New England and will educate visitors on the importance of chocolate during the American colonial period, demonstrating how chocolate was made and consumed by some of Boston’s most famous Revolutionary-era.
I stopped in for a preview of the new exhibit that is certain to tantalize the senses of taste and smell. The cocoa beans are grinded using period tools such as a metate and mixed into a rich chocolate drink served in sample cups. Helping to explain the story of chocolate in colonial Boston was Ed Seguine of the Mars Company with the enviable title of Chocolate Research Fellow. Tea gets all the glory in Boston, but according to Ed, there was a lot more cocoa imported by the East India Company into colonial Boston than tea.
Daily demonstrations will explore how chocolate was made and consumed by some of Boston’s most famous Revolutionary-era patriots as well as Captain Newark Jackson for whom the shop is named. Captain Jackson was an esteemed member of the Old North Church and resident North End chocolatier in the 18th century. Captain Jackson’s Colonial Chocolate Shop will be open to visitors Saturdays and Sundays beginning April 13 through June 15, and seven days a week beginning June 16 through October 31.
“The Old North Foundation is excited to open the doors of Captain Jackson’s Colonial Chocolate Shop thanks in part to generous support from Mars Chocolate North America and The Freedom Trail Foundation,” says Old North Church Vicar and Interim Executive Director Stephen Ayres. “Captain’s Jackson’s will allow the Foundation to expand our educational programming, offering visitors a unique and delicious experience they won’t soon forget.”
American Heritage Chocolate® products will be available for purchase at Captain Jackson’s Colonial Chocolate Shop as well as at the Old North Gift Shop as part of the new permanent display. Profits from sales of American Heritage Chocolate® go directly to the programming and educational activities of The Old North Church Foundation.
Visitors to the permanent colonial chocolate exhibit will also be able to see the Printing Office of Edes and Gill, Boston’s only colonial era printing experience also located on the Old North Church campus, at the Clough House. The historical 18th century print shop is staffed to show demonstrations and printing examples.
Patriot’s Day weekend is an exciting time at Old North. Not only is the new colonial chocolate shop opening, but the Lantern Ceremony will be held on Sunday, April 14, 2013. The Old North Church is located across from the Prado on the Freedom Trail at 193 Salem Street, Boston.
Click on any image for a full screen slideshow. Photos by Matt Conti.