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flag  History of Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

(Romney's Marsh)

Visit Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA - Washington Ave. (about 1906)

Chelsea, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA

Settled in 1624 as Winnisimmet, it was renamed in 1739 for Chelsea, London. The city suffered massive fires in 1908 and 1973. britannica.com

Chelsea includes: Bellingham, Powder Horn Hill and Prattville.
netronline.com

Chelsea is situated just across the Mystic River from downtown Boston and is part of the Boston metropolitan area. It was one of the first towns established in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Chelsea Clock Company, which was founded in the 19th century, is still known for producing high-quality clocks.

Over the years, Chelsea became a hub for various immigrant communities. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it saw an influx of immigrants from different countries, including Ireland, Italy, and Eastern Europe. This diversity continues to shape the city's cultural landscape.



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Postcards and Memories of Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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There is MUCH more to discover about Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Chelsea Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Washington Ave. (about 1906)
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Washington Ave. (about 1906)
Soldiers Home and Hospital
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Soldiers Home and Hospital
Chelsea Square
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Chelsea Square
Chelsea Savings Bank
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Chelsea Savings Bank
Chelsea Water Department, 1905
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Chelsea Water Department, 1905
First National Bank
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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First National Bank
Soldiers Home
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Soldiers Home
Ferry
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Ferry "City of Chelsea"
Chelsea High School, 1907
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Chelsea High School, 1907
Chelsea Fitz Patrick Library
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Chelsea Fitz Patrick Library
Union Park
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Union Park
First Unitarian Church, 1907
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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First Unitarian Church, 1907
Ruins of the Great Chelsea Fire, Sunday, April 12, 1908. Frank B. Fay School.
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Ruins of the Great Chelsea Fire, Sunday, April 12, 1908. Frank B. Fay School.
1908 fire ruins - Odd Fellows Hall and Post Office
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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1908 fire ruins - Odd Fellows Hall and Post Office
R. S. Frost Hose No. 3, Chelsea Fire Department
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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R. S. Frost Hose No. 3, Chelsea Fire Department
Carey Square, 1909
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Carey Square, 1909
Old Ladies Home, 1909
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Old Ladies Home, 1909
St. Rose Catholic Church and School
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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St. Rose Catholic Church and School
Armory
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Armory
Frost Hospital
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Frost Hospital
First Methodist Church, 1910
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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First Methodist Church, 1910
Chelsea Savings Bank
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Chelsea Savings Bank
Chelsea Trust Company Building and Broadway
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Chelsea Trust Company Building and Broadway
Washington Avenue, 1910
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Washington Avenue, 1910
Williams School, 1910
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Williams School, 1910
Entrance to Chelsea Ferry, 1911
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Entrance to Chelsea Ferry, 1911
Broadway, looking North, 1914
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Broadway, looking North, 1914
Fire House, Engine 1, 1915
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Fire House, Engine 1, 1915
Shurtleff School
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Shurtleff School
Post Office, 1931
Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Post Office, 1931

Discover Chelsea: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1624 - Chelsea is settled
originally called Winnisimmet
Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1839 - Chelsea
Chelsea, Massachusetts
Suffolk county. This town was formerly a ward of Boston. Incorporated, 1738. Population, 1837, 1,659. The centre of the town lies from Boston about 3 miles N.E., across Charles river, and 3 miles E. of Charlestown. The manufactures of Chelsea consist of upholstery, stone ware, snuff, segars, wood and copper engravings, carriages, bricks, vessels, salt, boots, shoes, &c;—annual value, about $90,000.
The United States Marine Hospital in this town is on a large plot of ground, in a delightful and airy situation, and affords a comfortable retreat for sick and disabled seamen. Point Shirley, extending southeasterly, forms the northern part of Boston harbor. Winnesimet Ferry, leading from the foot of Hanover street, in Boston, to this town, is probably the oldest establishment of the kind in America. The first grant was given to Thomas Williams, in 1631. The distance across the Charles river is about a mile and a half. Neat and commodious steam-boats are continually ... Read MORE...

1845 - CHELSEA. [Population, 2,390. Incorporated, 1738.]

Chelsea (numbered 4) was formerly a part of Boston, and was called Romney's Marsh. Its Indian name was Winnesimet.

The inhabitants were chiefly gathered around the first church, on the road to Lynn, until the increase of Boston, .and the establishment of steam ferry-boats, induced many from Boston to settle around the ferry, where is now the largest village.

The only public buildings, except churches and schoolhouses, are the United States Hospitals ; and the chief business, next to farming, is brickmaking.

The southern extremity of Chelsea, ending in Point Shirley, (so called from one of the colonial governors of Massachusetts,) forms one of the defences of Boston Harbor against the ocean.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
Get it HERE!
1854 - Chelsea
Chelsea, a post-township of Suffolk county, Massachusetts, 5 miles N. E. of Boston. The United States marine hospital in this township has a beautiful and commanding situation. The village contains a bank and 2 newspaper offices. Population, 6701.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1857 - Chelsea is incorporated as a city

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1857 - DISASTROUS CONFLAGRATION IN CHELSEA - LOSS $50,000.
From the Boston Traveller.

Thursday night, the city of Chelsea was visited by one of the most destructive fires which has ever taken place there, and which resulted in a large loss of property.

At about 12 o'clock, fire was discovered issuing from a closet in a dwelling house, No. 162 Cedar street, which was one of a block of about twenty-four houses. The fire spread quickly, and soon the building was in flames. An alarm was given, the firemen were prompt on the ground, but scarcity of water prevented their immediate action, and in the meantime the flames gained an alarming headway, and soon the entire building, which is three stories in height, was enveloped in flames. The flames then ran through into house No. 160, which suddenly took, was speedily enveloped, and soon entirely gutted.

The buildings were of brick, three stories in height, and very fine edifices. We have obtained the following list of the parties who were rendered houseless by this disastrous fire:

No. 138 ... Read MORE...

1859
CHELSEA, a township in Suffolk co., in Massachusetts, 4 m. NE of Boston. Pop. 2,290.
A Gazetteer of the World: Or, Dictionary of Geographical Knowledge, Publisher A. Fullarton, 1859
Chelsea Massachusetts, 1890
CHELSEA is a beautiful and growing city in the northern part of Suffolk County, inhabited largely by people whose daily business is in Boston, — from whose several northern parts it is separated only by the waters of Chelsea Creek and the Mystic and Charles rivers, which here meet and mingle with the sea, forming an extension of the harbor proper. Everett, the only town from which it is not separated by water, lies on the northwest; Revere, the northern town of the county, is on the northeast; Breed's Island, the northeastern extremity of Boston, lies directly east; the high island of East Boston occupies a southeast position; and the promontory of Charlestown lies at the southwest, separated from it by Mystic River.

The assessed area is 961 acres; and in this are upwards of 30 miles of streets. Many of these are shaded by well-grown elms and maples. The city has excellent water-works, — drawing from the Mystic River department of the Boston Water-works. It has also a well equipped ... Read MORE...

1895 - Chelsea
Chelsea, a city of Suffolk co., Mass, is a northeastern suburb of Boston, and is about 3 miles from the state-house, on the Eastern Railroad. It is separated from Charlestown and Boston proper by the estuary of Mystic River, and is bounded on the S.E. by Chelsea Creek, which separates it from East Boston. A long bridge across Mystic River connects it with Charlestown, and steam-ferries run to Boston. Here is a United States marine hospital. Chelsea h" printing-offices which issue a daily and 4 weekly newspapers, a city hall, 15 churches, an academy of music, a masonic hall, 2 national banks, 2 savings-banks, a public library, and manufactures of furniture, stoves, machinery, rubber goods, oil, &c. Pop. in 1880, 21,782; in 1890, 27,909.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1908 - BIG FIRE IN CHELSEA CHELSEA, MASS. SWEPT BY A GREAT CONFLAGRATION MANY HAVE TO FLEE FOR LIFE
Petroleum, Tarred Paper, Old Rags and a Gale Add Fury th(sic) Disaster - Ten Thousand Homeless.

Boston, April 13. - The greatest fire that has scourged any part of the metropolitan district in ten years devastated the manufacturing tenement and retail sections of Chelsea, burning over one square mile of territory, and leveling many of the city's best structures. The fire started at 10:40 a. m. and was not under control until 9 p. m., notwithstanding that half of the Boston fire department's strength, and steamers from a dozen other cities and towns, went to the aid of the Chelsea brigade. The loss is estimated at about $10,000,000. About 10,000 persons are homeless. So far as can be learned there were but four fatalities all unknown. Half a hundred persons were either injured or painfully burned.

Mile and a Half of Ruins.
The fire originated in the rear of the Boston Blacking company's works on West Third street, near the eastern division of the Boston and Maine Railroad and in ... Read MORE...

1908 - WALL KILLS EIGHT. COLLAPSES, CRUSHING WORKMEN, AT CHELSEA, MASS. - 20 MORE INJURED.
Chelsea, Mass., Aug. 25. - A brick wall forty-five feet high collapsed today in Chelsea Square, burying beneath it some thirty workmen. Eight were killed outright or died in ambulances on the way to hospitals. Twenty others were injured, eleven of whom were taken to hospitals in a serious condition.
Those killed were:
MEYER ARTWOK, of Chelsea.
FERRI SANTE, of Boston.
FELECHI GENELIFA, of Boston.
MORRIS ZACHLAD, of New York.
JOSEPH ADLER, of Malden.
JOHN COSTELLO, of Lynn.
CARMELLO MURELLO, of Chelsea.
One identified man.

Gordon & Segal, the contractors who had the work in hand, were arrested on warrants charging manslaughter.

Five minutes before the collapse of the wall FRANK WEYMOUTH, inspector of buildings, had ordered the foreman to stop work, as he saw that the wall was crumbling. It was planned to build a four story house on the spot, which was the site of the old Academy of Music. To the left stood the Odd Fellows' building and post office, before they were... Read MORE...

1916
Chelsea, a city of Suffolk CO., Mass., is a northeastern Suburb of Boston and is about 3 miles from the state-house, on the Boston and Maine R. It is separated from Charlestown (part of Boston) by the estuary of the Mystic River, and is bounded on the SE. by Chelsea Creek, which separates it from East Boston. A long bridge across the Mystic River connects it with Charlestown, and steam-ferries run to Boston. Here are a United States marine hospital, a naval hospital, and a soldiers' home. Chelsea has varied and important manufacturing industries. Pop. in 1890, 27,909 ; in 1900, 34,072.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Chelsea:
Chelsea's Waterfront Park: Start your visit with a relaxing stroll along Chelsea's Waterfront Park. This beautiful park offers scenic views of the Boston skyline and the Tobin Bridge. It's a great place for a picnic, taking photos, or just enjoying the peaceful atmosphere.

Exploration of Mystic Mall: Mystic Mall is a shopping center in Chelsea that offers a variety of stores, including clothing shops, restaurants, and specialty stores. It's a good place to shop for souvenirs or grab a quick bite to eat.

Apollinaire Theatre Company: If you're a fan of the arts, check out a production at the Apollinaire Theatre Company. This local theater group stages a range of performances, including plays, musicals, and contemporary works.

Chelsea Walk: Chelsea Walk is a unique public art project that celebrates the city's history and diverse culture. As you walk along this path, you'll encounter sculptures, murals, and other artistic installations that tell the story of Chelsea's past and... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Chelsea Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about 114 ancestors who were born or died in Chelsea.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Chelsea, Massachusetts, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Chelsea

Our Chelsea Gift Ideas


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Updated: 9/22/2023 10:26:45 AM