The educational exhibits include the Eleanor and the Beaver, historically accurate replicas of two of the original tea ships—both built in America—that carried the tea and other cargo owned by the British East India Company from London to the colony. Of particular interest is the museum’s Robinson Half Tea Chest, the only known surviving crate from The Boston Tea Party. The morning after the protest, teenager John Robinson found this chest stuck in the sand near the shore and took it home as a souvenir. Now a part of the museum’s collection, it serves as an inspiring reminder of American patriotism. A historic vial of tea, believed to be part of the tea party, is also on display as part of the museum’s 2018 expansion of the exhibit. This expansion further supplements the museum’s mission to tell the story of the single most important event leading up to the American Revolution.
Following the hour-long tour, visitors can drop by the waterfront Abigail’s Tea Room to ask questions about brewing in the 18th century and to taste five different tea blends that were thrown overboard during The Boston Tea Party including Bohea, Congou, Hyson, Singlo, and Souchong. Pots of all the tea varieties, as well as a delicious assortment of baked goods including fat rascal cookies, currant scones, and cinnamon shortbread are available for purchase from costumed servers.
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and the Old South Meeting House team-up to host a Boston Tea Party Reenactment annually every Dec. 16 with hundreds of reenactors, and this year will mark the 246th Anniversary of the event. This annual reenactment is one of the largest theatrical moving performances in the United States and an opportunity for the public to experience one of America’s most iconic public protests live where 100+ reenactors from across New England bring to life the story of The Boston Tea Party and theatrically recreate the evening of Dec., 16, 1773.