Massachusetts Has an Official Folk Hero But It’s Not Who You Think
When I heard Massachusetts has an official folk hero, I assumed it might be Paul Revere, the guy who rode through the night yelling, "The British are coming! The British are coming!"
As it turns out, according to historians, Revere never said any of that stuff but probably something closer to "The regulars are on the move." Not as sexy sounding but apparently effective just the same.
But Paul Revere is not the official Massachusetts folk hero. So, who could it be? John Adams?
Nope, none of the above. So who is the official Massachusetts folk hero?
The officials Massachusetts folk hero is someone you have probably heard of, but not since you were a child. Perhaps you even thought our official folk hero was a fictitious character as I did. I assure you he is not a fictitious character.
The official Massachusetts folk hero is none other than Johnny Appleseed.
Say what? Yep, Johnny Appleseed.
Wikipedia states John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman was born September 26, 1774, in Leominster, Massachusetts. He died on March 18, 1845, near Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Britannica.com states Johnny Appleseed was "an American missionary nurseryman of the North American frontier who helped prepare the way for 19th-century pioneers by supplying apple-tree nursery throughout the Midwest."
Britannica states Chapman began collecting apple seeds around 1800 from cider presses in Pennsylvania "and soon began his long trek westward, planting a series of apple nurseries from the Alleghenies to central Ohio and beyond."
What a guy.
Northwestern Massachusetts is known as "Johnny Appleseed Country" and there is a statue of Appleseed at the Massachusetts Visitors Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts.
Massachusetts has dozens of official state symbols some of which will leave you scratching your head, but there is only one official Massachusetts folk hero and that is Johnny Appleseed.