Boston Navy Yard in Boston

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The Boston Navy Yard, originally called the Charlestown Navy Yard and later Boston Naval Shipyard, was one of the oldest shipbuilding facilities in the United States Navy. Established in 1801, it was officially closed as an active naval installation on July 1, 1974, and the 30 acre property was transferred to the National Park Service to be part of Boston National Historical Park. Enough of the yard remains in operation to support the USS Constitution. The USS Cassin Young, a World War II-era destroyer serving as a museum ship, is also berthed here. Among people in the area and the National Park Service, it is still known as the Charlestown Navy Yard.


The earliest naval shipbuilding activities in Charlestown, Massachusetts, began during the American Revolutionary War. The land for the Charlestown Navy Yard was purchased in 1800 and the yard itself established shortly thereafter. The yard built the first U.S. ship of the line, USS Independence, but was primarily a repair and storage facility until the 1890s, when it started to build steel ships for the "New Navy". By then, it was called the Boston Navy Yard.

On June 24, 1833, the staff and dignitaries including Vice President Martin Van Buren, Secretary of War Lewis Cass, Secretary of the Navy Levi Woodbury, and many Massachusetts officials, witnessed "one of the great events of American naval history": the United States frigate Constitution was inaugurating the first naval drydock in New England designed by prominent civil engineer Loammi Baldwin, Jr.. On March 14, 1975, the historic ship floated out of the dock—the last commissioned vessel to use the facility.

The Ropewalk supplied cordage used in the Navy from the time it opened in 1837 until the Yard closed in 1975. After the Civil War, the Yard was downgraded to an Equipment and Recruit Facility. Attack on Pearl Harbor - Battle of Savo Island - Battle of the Philippine Sea - Battle of Leyte Gulf

  • 1935 — - (Farragut class destroyer) Attack on Pearl Harbor - Battle of the Philippine Sea
  • 1935 — - (Mahan class destroyer) Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • 1936 — - (Benham class destroyer) Guadalcanal Campaign
  • 1939 — - (Sims class destroyer) Doolittle Raid - Battle of Midway - Naval Battle of Guadalcanal - Battle of Kolombangara
  • 1940 — - (Gleaves class destroyer) Naval Battle of Casablanca
  • 1940 — - (Gleaves class destroyer) Operation Torch - Allied invasion of Sicily
  • 1941 — - (Gleaves class destroyer) Battle of the Philippine Sea - Battle for Leyte Gulf
  • 1942 — - (Fletcher class destroyer) Battle of Leyte - Battle of Iwo Jima - Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943 — - (Fletcher class destroyer)
  • 1942 — - (Evarts class destroyer escort)
  • 1943 — - (Evarts class destroyer escort)
  • 1943 — - (Evarts class destroyer escort)
  • 1943 — - (John C. Butler class destroyer escort) Ultimately, these plans fell through, and the site became part of the Boston National Historical Park. Its mission is, "to interpret the art and history of naval shipbuilding." <ref name="cnyhist" />

The Charlestown Navy Yard hosts many attractions. The fully commissioned and the museum ship are tied up at Pier 1 and open to the public (as the Constitution is a US Navy ship, consult her official website before visiting). The Navy Yard also hosts the USS Constitution Museum. Drydock No. 1 is still used for ship maintenance, mostly on historic vessels.

The Yard is toward the North end of the Freedom Trail and is seen by thousands every year. The MBTA Water Shuttle stops at nearby Pier 3, providing easy visitor access to the Yard.

See also

  • Port of Boston

External links