Charlestown Navy Yard: Boston NHP

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The Charlestown Navy Yard opened in 1800 and supported the US Navy for 174 years. President George Washington established the Navy in 1794. The Navy then established Charlestown Navy Yard to help build the fleet. It remained an active ship-building, repair and resupply port until the government closed it in 1974. Of the 130 acres, 30 acres went to the National Park Service to form this section of the National Historic Park.


USS Constitution Museum

The Constitution Museum opened in 1976 in the old dry dock pump house building. It cleared the decks of all display cases to provide a more authentic experience for visitors when boarding the vessel. We almost skipped the museum, but are glad we didn’t miss it. The exhibits on the ground floor do a great job of explaining the dry dock and some of the history. The second floor is interactive and brings to life what it was like to be a sailor on the Constitution during the war of 1812. It explains why this ship is so important to America.


USS Constitution

We waited on line for about 15 minutes to get through security screening. Old Ironsides was undergoing restoration during our visit, but stepping aboard this 200-year-old symbol of American independence was a humbling experience. There are Naval officers on board to answer visitors’ questions. This ship is still commissioned in the Navy and is the oldest commissioned vessel still afloat.


USS Cassin Young

The Cassin Young was a WWII and Cold War era Destroyer. Visitors can board her and tour many areas of the ship. The Park Service has put together a series of virtual tours.

Location: 114 16th St, Charlestown, MA 02129
Designation: National Historical Park
Date designated/established: 1975
Date of my visit: July 15, 2015

10 thoughts on “Charlestown Navy Yard: Boston NHP

      1. Lately I’ve been listening to my books in the car. I dumbed my Sirius down to the $5/month plan because I hardly listen. But when I do, 80s on 8 is the farthest back I go. Well, I would go back further if I still got the classic rock station, but that’s not in the cheap plan😂

  1. This was a great post, Theresa. The tour of the USS Constitution was superb when we were there several years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Cassin Young was there (or we missed it) and I loved the video. My first midshipman cruise was on the USS John R. Craig DD 885 – commissioned in 1944 and also an active member of the Tin Can Navy in WW II.

    Visitors should take the opportunity to take the tour as there are not too many of these wonderful fighting ships left. For example, the Craig was sunk for target practice by the Chilean Navy in 1980!

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