Charlestown Navy Yard: Boston NHP

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

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