The Grasshopper Weathervane on Faneuil Hall on the Freedom Trail Boston

Along the Freedom Trail, in Boston, on the top of Faneuil Hall (The Cradle of Liberty) sits a giant golden grasshopper weathervane with a story as unique as the hall. The Grasshopper Weathervane was created by master coppersmith Shem Drowne in 1742, and the grasshopper references the royal exchange building in London.

During the American revolution the Sons of liberty would ask strangers “What sits on the top of Faneuil Hall?” If they answered incorrectly, they knew they were a spy.

Clever indeed.



In 1761 a time capsule was added to its belly. The first message put in the grasshopper’s belly was “Food for the grasshopper.”


Since 1761 it has been tradition for each mayor to add a new item to its belly. And for over 200 years the tradition went on until 1974. That was the year of the great grasshopper heist.


Some dumb dumb climbed to the roof and stole it. The weather vane weighs 32 pounds and is 4 feet and 4 inches long. Must have been a strong fella.


The grasshopper was recovered. But the contents of its belly are lost forever.


Learn more about the Freedom Trail, Faneuil hall, and the history of the the grasshopper weather vane on solo walking tour “The Freedom Trail Part 1 Revolutionary Boston!” only on the WalknTours app, an only $5.99 when purchasaed in the WalknTours app.


Wondering what visitors are saying about the tour? Check out a review on TripAdvisor below:


Mimim, Tripadvisor review “History Comes Alive With The WalknTours App! We did three tours around Boston on the WalknTour app and used our AirPods with our iPhones. It gave me a personal experience. What I liked best about the app: 1). the Dig Deeper episodes told with authentic voices. 2) the precision of the instructions going from one stop to the next on the tour. It was like I was traveling with Rick Steves—only in the US.


The WalknTours app offers solo tours navigated by your smart phone. Go at your own pace, on your own schedule and on your own terms. It's like a real life tour guide, only it's on your phone, way more convenient and a better story teller. Now available in Boston, Charleston, Savannah, Salem, New Orleans and Portsmouth.


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