Feb 14, 2024 - News

How Boston got the King's Heritage Trail

Locations on King's Heritage Trail
Data: King's Heritage Trail, developed by historian Clennon King and AugustineMonica Films; Map:Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

After years of research, historian Clennon L. King found several sites tied to Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott in their early years in Boston.

  • He selected 21 addresses to make up the King's Heritage Trail.

Why it matters: Few sites in Boston commemorate the Kings' early lives and work on civil rights in the neighborhoods they actually frequented.

What's happening: The city recognized the trail last year in a resolution proposed by City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson, after Clennon L. King contacted her and Mayor Michelle Wu in October 2022.

Protip: See the full map here.

A few highlights from Clennon King's map:

  • The Twelfth Baptist Church at 680 Shawmut Ave., where King was assistant minister between 1951 and 1954. Clennon L. King got a plaque there in the fall of 2020.
  • Coretta's first Boston residence on 1 Chestnut Street on Beacon Hill. She earned her room and board while working as a maid for a member of the Cabot family.
  • The New England Conservatory of Music at 290 Huntington Ave., where Scott studied and where Scott and King met.
  • The MLK Jr. Elementary School at 77 Lawrence Avenue. It was called the Patrick T. Campbell School when King addressed fellow protesters outside the school about racial inequities in education on April 22, 1965. The next day he and more than 20,000 others marched from Roxbury to Boston Common.
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