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flag  History of Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

Journey back in time to Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

Visit Charlestown, 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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Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA* - V. M. Dunn 540 and 542 Main Street, Charlestown, Mass.

Charlestown, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA




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

Charlestown Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

V. M. Dunn
540 and 542 Main Street, Charlestown, Mass.
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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V. M. Dunn
540 and 542 Main Street, Charlestown, Mass.
City Square
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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City Square
The Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775, Charlestown, Mass.
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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The Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775, Charlestown, Mass.
Bunker Hill Monument
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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Bunker Hill Monument
Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass., 1905
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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Navy Yard, Charlestown, Mass., 1905
Charlestown Bridge
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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Charlestown Bridge
Winthrop Square, Charlestown, Mass.
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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Winthrop Square, Charlestown, Mass.
Charlestown, Mass., Dry Dock, Navy Yard
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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Charlestown, Mass., Dry Dock, Navy Yard
Sullivan Square, Charlestown, Mass.
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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Sullivan Square, Charlestown, Mass.
Frothingham School, Charlestown, Mass.
Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

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Frothingham School, Charlestown, Mass.

Discover Charlestown: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1630 - Charlestown is settled and incorporated

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1839 - Charlestown
Charlestown, Massachusetts
Middlesex county. The Indian name of this town was Mishawun. First settled, 1628. Incorporated, 1629. Population, 1820, 6,591; 1830, 8,787; 1837, 10,101. Charlestown is a peninsula, formed by Charles and Mystic rivers, and is united to Boston by Charles and Warren bridges. It is also united to Boston as a port of entry, and in its various commercial and manufacturing pursuits. This town is noted for its sacrifices in the cause of liberty; and its soil will ever be dear to the patriot's bosom. The town is not so regularly laid out as Philadelphia, yet it is neatly built, and contains many elegant public and private edifices. The streets are wide and airy, and many of them have recently been planted with trees for shade. Considerable shipping is owned here, engaged in foreign and domestic commerce. The annual value of the cod and mackerel fisheries is about $40,000. The value of the manufactures in Charlestown, the year ending April 1, 1837, exclusive of a... Read MORE...

1845 - CHARLESTOWN. [Pop. 11,484. Settled 1628.]
Charlestown, the oldest town in the county, and called Mishawum
by the Indians, was named after King Charles the First, by Winthrop,
the first Governor, who resided here before he crossed over to Boston.

Charlestown was first settled by some of the Salem people.

The present town is a peninsula, nearly all beyond the isthmus
having been, from time to time, set off into the towns of Maiden,
Woburn, and Somerville.

It is connected to Boston by two free bridges, and to East Cambridge, Maiden, and Chelsea, by toll bridges of great length.

Charlestown has the peculiar honor of containing Bunker Hill,
where the first regular battle of the Revolution was fought,* June
17, 1775.

The State Prison and United States Navy Yard are in Charlestown.

Charles River separates this town from Boston, as the Mystic does
from Chelsea. The Middlesex Canal also has its outlet in Charles- town.

The commerce is considerable, and the manufactures of Charlestown are very various, and... Read MORE...

1847 - Charlestown is incorporated as a city

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1848 - Charlestown
CHARLESTOWN was settled in 1628, being the oldest town in Middiesex county, and one of the oldest in the state. It was incorporated in 1635. It derives its name from Charles I. of England, the reigning sovereign at the time of its settlement. Its Indian name was Mishawum. In 1628 “six or seven persons, with the consent of Gav. Endicott, traveled from Naumkeak (Salem) through the woods westward, and came to a neck of land, between Mystic and Charles rivers, called Mishawum. It was full of Indians, called Aberginians; and with the unconstrained consent of their chief they settled there.” Their old sachem being dead, his eldest son, John Sagamore, was chief in power. He is described as a man of gentle and good disposition, and was probably induced to give his consent to the settlement on account of the advantages he had derived from the skill of Thomas Walford, a blacksmith, who had previously taken up his residence, and built himself a house, which he had thatched and palisadoed, at the ... Read MORE...

1854 - Charlestown
Charlestown, a city and seaport of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, is situated on a peninsula immediately N. of Boston, with which it is connected by the Warren and Charles River bridges. It is 237 miles by railroad N. E. from New York; 200 miles E. by S. from Albany ; and 1 1 1 miles S. S. W. from Portland ; lat. 42° 2' N., Ion. 71° W 33" W. The peninsula extends from the main land of Summerville about two miles in a south-easterly direction, between two small estuaries, formed by the Mystic and Charles rivers. These are crossed by two public bridges ; the one on the right leading from Prison Point to East Cambridge, and the other to Chelsea and Maiden. The surface is remarkably uneven, and near the centre rises into two prominences called Bunker's and Breed's Hills, the summits and slopes of which afford delightful sites for dwellings. The streets, though irregular, are generally spacious and finely shaded. Two broad avenues, Main and Bunker Hill streets, extend nearly through the... Read MORE...

1859
CHARLESTOWN, a township in Middlesex co., in Massachusetts, 1 m. N of Boston, on the peninsula between Charles and Mystic rivers; connected with Boston by two bridges; and with Chelsea and Malden by two bridges crossing the Mystic. The navy-yard in this township covers 60 acres, and contains two large covered slips, under which vessels of the line are built. Breed's hill, commonly called Bunker's hill, celebrated as the scene of the engagement between the Americans and the British troops on June 17th, 1775, is immediately in the rear of this place. Pop. 1,184.
A Gazetteer of the World: Or, Dictionary of Geographical Knowledge, Publisher A. Fullarton, 1859
1866 - Fire at Charlestown
BOSTON, Monday, Dec. 17. A fire in Charlestown last night destroyed the wooden building at the corner of High and Pearl streets, formerly occupied as a Methodist Church. Loss, $10,000. The Armory of the Prescott Light Horse Guard, a school-room and several offices in the building were burned out.
The New York Times
New York, New York
December 18, 1866
1869 - A Morocco Factory in Charlestown, Mass., Burned.
BOSTON, Dec. 14. - The morocco factory of C. C. PERKINS, in Charlestown, including the machinery and a portion of the stock, was destroyed by fire last night. The loss in 20,000, which is partially covered by insurance.
The New York Times
New York, New York
December 15, 1869
1873 - Charlestown is annexed to Boston

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1885 - Men of Brains - Some of the Distinguished American Inventors
Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor and patentee of electric telegraph; born at Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1791; died in 1872; artist painter; exhibited his first drawings of telegraph in 1832; half-mile wire in operation in 1835; caveat in 1832; Congress appropriated $30,000, and in 1844 the first telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore was opened; after long contests the courts sustained his patents, and he realized from them a large fortune.
The Daily Republican
Monogahela, Pennsylvania
January 20, 1885
1895 - Charlestown
Charlestown, Massachusetts, a former city, merged in 1873 into Boston, of which it now forms a part, contains Bunker Hill monument, a state prison, a United States navy yard, fine churches and public buildings, and has extensive sugar-refineries and other industrial establishments, besides many warehouses. Its water-front is partly upon Boston harbor, and partly upon Charles and Mystic Rivers, which divide it from Boston proper and from Chelsea respectively. These rivers are crossed by fine bridges. Charlestown has a station at the crossing of the Boston & Maine and Fitchburg Railroads, 1 mile from Boston, and a branch of the Eastern Railroad extends hence to Somerville. The peninsula on which Charlestown stands is connected with the mainland by a narrow isthmus called Charlestown Neck. Pop. 33,556.
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
1898 - BIG FIRE IN BOSTON. DUST EXPLOSION BLOWS THE ROOF OFF AN ELEVATOR AND STARTS A BLAZE.
Boston, April 17. - The roof of the grain elevator at Hoosac Tunnel docks, Charlestown, was blown completely off by a dust explosion at 4 o'clock this morning, and the fire that followed not only destroyed the remaining portion of the immense structure, but consumed nearly the entire contenst, over 400,000 bushels of grain, mostly wheat. The steamer Cambroman, which had just finished loading at the dock, was towed out without injury, but some of the small tenants adjoining, and a building used as a distillery by Chapin & Trull, were damaged more or less by the debris from the roof.

The loss is estimated by fire underwriters at nearly $600,000, well covered by insurance. The explosion not only shook up the entire section of Charlestown, but was noticeably felt in the city proper and many of the suburbs. Coming at such an early hour, the tremendous jar aroused half the city. Three-quarters of the fire department, including two horseless engines and fire boats, were soon massed in the ... Read MORE...

1910 - CAR SEALER KILLED IN FREIGHT YARD.
Patrick McGloin, a car sealer, living at 58 Chapman street, Charlestown, was so badly crushed between freight cars in the Fitchburg yard of the Boston and Maine railroad in Charlestown shortly before 6 o'clock last night, when an engine backed down on him, that he died a few minutes later in the arms of Patrolman Landrigan of the Charlestown station. McGloin's wife is in a serious condition, suffering from pneumonia.
The Boston Journal
Boston, Massachusetts
March 26, 1910
1912 - SAVES THREE TOTS IN HOUSE ABLAZE. Oficer Takes Litle Ones From Their Beds in Charlestown.
Three children of Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Grant, all under 8 years of age, were taken from their beds on the first floor of the dwelling house at 88 Moulton street, Charlestown, by Patrolman T. B. S. Donahue of the City square station, shortly before 10 o'clock last night, when a lively fire was discovered in the cellar of the building.

The fire, which the police believe was of incendiary origin, started in the center of a pile of lumber.

The hallways and rooms of the building were filled with smoke when the alarm was sounded. The upper portion of the house is occupied by Mrs. John Gotsell and her two sons.

The house is owned by Stephen F. Morgan of 30 Moulton street, Charlestown.
The Boston Journal
Boston, Massachusetts
April 5, 1912
1916
Charlestown, a former city of Middlesex co., Mass., since 1873 a part of Boston, contains Bunker Hill monument (commemorating the battle of Bunker or Breed's Hill), 221 feet high, a state prison, a United States navy-yard, and Sue public buildings, and has extensive sugar-refineries and other industrial establishments. Its water-front is partly upon Boston harbor and partly upon the Charles and Mystic Rivers, which divide it from Boston proper and from Chelsea respectively. These rivers are crossed by fine bridges. The peninsula on which Charlestown stands is connected with the mainland by a narrow isthmus called Charlestown Neck. Charlestown was settled in 1629. See BOSTON.
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 - Charlestown is a fantastic neighborhood with a rich history and plenty of things to see and do. Here's a list to get you started:
USS Constitution Museum:

Explore the rich maritime history of Charlestown and the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. The museum provides a fascinating look into the life and times of sailors during the 19th century.

Bunker Hill Monument:

Climb to the top of the monument for a great view of Boston. The Bunker Hill Monument commemorates the first major battle of the American Revolution.

Charlestown Navy Yard:

Take a stroll through the Navy Yard and see historical ships, including the USS Constitution. The area has been transformed into a park, making it a pleasant place for a leisurely walk.

Freedom Trail:

Charlestown is part of Boston's famous Freedom Trail. Follow the red-brick road to explore 16 historical sites, including the Old North Church and Paul Revere's House.

Paul Revere Park:

Relax by the waterfront in this scenic park named after the famous American patriot. It's a great spot to enjoy a picnic and take in the... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Charlestown Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

We currently have information about 167 ancestors who were born or died in Charlestown.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA*

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Charlestown.

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Genealogy Resources for Charlestown

Our Charlestown Gift Ideas


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Updated: 9/27/2023 8:04:53 AM