Heartbeat of the Revolution
Please note: Due to the current pandemic situation, sites on this letterboxing trail may or may not be open to the public at this time.
Pack a picnic lunch and boots if it’s wet
And on an adventure you can set.
To find a town with history filled
A place where once French soldiers drilled
For its white cedars it was named;
For Revolutionary governance it is famed.
Heartbeat of the Revolution with a brick church at its heart,
From the blinking light head north to find the place to start.
In the public parking on your right,
Leave your car both day and night.
If a tavern you seek like men of olden days,
Then pause and read our sign about colonial ways.
When for more adventure you are ready.
THIS FIRST BOX IS TEMPORARILY DOWN FOR REPAIRS - PLEASE CONTINUE ON TO THE DIRECTIONS BELOW TO BOX #2
Find the tree standing strong and steady.
It’s near the road beside a wall.
With your back to the tree take 3 paces south, turn
and take 3 paces west. The box with your next clue will be
in front of you tucked into the stonewall.
Box #1 to Box #2
From this historic site, continuing walking south in front of the Community Center building (temporary home of the J. Trumbull Library). Using the crosswalk, cross Rt. 87, turn left and walk to the corner at the crossroads of Rts. 87 & 207, turn right and continue your walk on the grass until you arrive at the front of the Congregational Church, continue to the crossroads of Rt. 207 and West Town Street. Using the crosswalk, carefully cross Rt. 207 to the “Little Green” where the Town Hall is located.
The “Little Green” has changed many times over the years. From 1743 until the 1840s, this was the site of a school where many of Lebanon’s Revolutionary War leaders were educated. To learn more about the school, its patriotic students, as well as your next clue look for the memorial to Lebanon veterans who served between 1946 and 2002. Spend a few moments reading the memorial and hunt under the bush on its left side to find the box with the next clue.
Box #2 to Box #3
To continue your tour, carefully cross the street to the brick First Congregational Church.
After admiring the tall spire and the elegant main doors, check your watch. If it’s close to an hour mark, you’ll hear the steeple bell toll the time. If it’s close to 12:00 or 6:00 listen for the carillon which plays familiar hymns after the clock strikes those hours. Then turn right and continue to the "Trumbull" monument. Standing with your back to the monument and facing south, you will find Box #3 at the base of the pedestal supporting the stationary eagle on the right.
Box #3 to Box #4
Walk in front of the pillared doorway and note the only original wall left standing by the 1938 storm. As you get to the corner of the roads, look straight across to where the Governor Jonathan Trumbull House originally stood. In the early 1820s a new owner had the old house moved two building lots to the north. To find your next box, turn right and cross West Town Street to read the large interpretive sign in the yard. If you then face south, you will see a low stonewall. Approach this and head west. Just beyond the large tree stump you will see your next box tucked into the wall.
To continue following the trail to find the next box, walk back to the large interpretive sign and face north. Cross the driveway that leads to the back of the Governor’s House. Continue along the backside of the wall to the very large maple tree. Go 3 paces, move a small rock and you will find the next box tucked into the stone wall.
Walk to West Town Street which is east of the Wadsworth Stable and then turn left so you are heading north. Imagine the Green as it looked 250 years ago with no grass. It was a marshy swamp with rutted dirt paths crisscrossing it. Soon you’ll spot a very small red building on the left. Small as it was this building was the heart of Connecticut’s Revolutionary War effort.
As you stand facing the War Office, you are looking west. To look north, you need to turn __________. On the north side of the building you will find a second door. Search all around the steps to the door to find your next clue.
It is a bit of a walk to reach your next destination; but if you imagine you are a soldier in General George Washington’s Army, marching 25 miles a day and carrying almost 50 pounds of equipment, today’s walk will not seem so bad.
Cross the road and find a dry passage onto the Green walking path. Turn left onto the path and walk north. This is the area where, in 1781, the French hussars you read about at the Trumbull House drilled and practiced. How exciting it must have been for Lebanon residents to see their bright uniforms and prancing horses. Follow the path around the end of the Green and continue south. You can look down most of the length of the Green towards the brick meeting house. Keep an eye out to your left for a large yellowish house with signs out front. The signs have the same name as one of the houses you passed earlier. Carefully cross the street and look for your next box.
As you stand in front of the house:
Check the Garden mailbox and hope there’s no shower
For a flier to guide you through the bower.
Walk through the rustic wooden arbor
Enjoying the plants that gardeners barber.
Look at the intricate armillary sphere
That tells where the stars in the sky are near.
Rest a moment on the bench of stone
Where the flowers round it have grown.
Down the pathway, cross a bridge that’s nigh
And covers the stones that keep the path dry.
Pass under the trellis covered with a flower.
Turn left and southward to seek the stone that made flour. On the edge of the garden there’s a stone out of place that once belonged in a mill race.
Find the hole where the gear used to wind
And see what you can find as you reach in behind.
Rest and catch your breath for a bit before heading south to complete this letterboxing trail. Cross back to the Green walking path and turn left. Keep walking until you reach a low hill with a bronze marker. If you take the time to read this marker, you’ll learn what is under the hill. Now look ahead on your left for a wooden bridge across a ditch. Cross this bridge and look carefully both ways before crossing the road.
After crossing the road, walk down the driveway looking for a large stone patio. Your next box is behind a large flower pot near the entrance doors.
Only a few more stops and you will have completed Lebanon’s “Heartbeat of the Revolution” trail. Walk to the front yard of the Lebanon Historical Society Museum and turn north to follow the path until you find a red door. Stand facing the front of the house with the road at your back. Walk to the north side of the house and look into the second well that allows you to peek into the cellar. The next box will be nestled inside.
Make your way back to the stone wall near the road. Walk north along the yard side of the stone wall and stop when you reach the end, which will be at a long gravel driveway leading to a private home. Continue north 34 paces across the driveway and along the stonewall. Just beyond a storm drain, between a small maple tree and an iron fence post on your right, move aside a stone or two and tucked behind will be the next box.
Clue to a Bonus Box #11
Thank you for adventuring around the Green on our "Heartbeat of the Revolution" letterboxing trail. If you’d like just a bit more adventure, follow the following bonus clue.
Using your car is recommended. To find your car turn around to face south and walk inside the stone wall to return to the parking lot.
At the flashing light, turn left onto Rte. 207 east and keep an eye out for a place where old bodies gather. A stout stonewall keeps unfriendly people and scavenging pigs out of the yard, but some careful looking will reveal that you do not need a key to open the gate if you want to go in. Climb away, up and over. Once on the grass beyond the flat stone landing, take one pace and look to your right for the last box neatly tucked away on the Lebanon Revolutionary War letterbox trail.