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Boston Navy Yard

Boston Navy Yard

Written by Julie Greiner
The Boston Navy Yard is sometimes known as the Charlestown Navy Yard, the Boston Navy Yard facility served the navy for some 174 years. It was the first naval dry dock in New England which allowed repairs on ships to be performed in any weather. It started with wooden hulls
and muzzle-loading cannons and ended with steel ships and modern day electronics. Charlestown is the site of one of the six navy yards established to bring together ship building skills to build warships for the United States. A drydock, a ropewalk and brick buildings were built on to the original launching pads and storage sheds. To keep up with the times, new skills needed to install and repair missiles and radar were added. The National Park Service now maintains an important part of the ship yard and as
Iron Steel
part of the park services interpretive program, USS Constitution, in conjunction with the United States Navy, and the Cassin Young are preserved as representatives of the kinds of vessels built in the yard. These two ship represent over a 200-year-old tradition of building ships for the United States Navy.

USS Constitution Museum

The frigate Constitution was launched in 1797 from Hartt's shipyard in Boston. She earned the name "Old Ironsides" in the War of 1812 when she sank the British frigates Guerriere and Java and captured the Cyene and Levant in a single battle. In 1833 she became the first ship to use the new drydock at Boston Navy Yard. After the Civil War the ship suffered neglect and decay until 1925 when extensive repairs were begun. In 1931, in a 90-port tour of the United States,
she returned to the city of her birth where she remains as a memorial to t he Navy's age of fighting sail. The Constitution Museum has exhibits and special programs on the ship's construction history and life of that on board.

USS Cassin Young

The USS Cassin Young, named after Capt. Cassin Young, represents the many ships built at the Boston Navy Yard during World War II. (Captain Cassin Young was killed in action at Guadalcanal and was also awarded the Medal of Honor for his service at Pearl Harbor.) The
USS Constitution
USS Cassin Young was in service for the USS Navy for over 30 years.

History of The Boston Navy Yard

In 1799 the United States was engaged in a naval war with France and six cities were selected to build six battleships. The Boston Navy Yard was one. In 1812 the yard completed the Navy's first ship-of-the-line, the 74-gun Independence. The officers and men of Charlestown Navy Yard were joined by distinguished guests such as Vice President Martin Van Buren, Secretary of War Lewis Cass, Secretary of the Navy Levi Woodbury to witness the 1833 inauguration of the first naval drydock in New England by the USS Constitution. In 1975, one hundred and forty-two years later the historic ship the USS Constitution was the last commissioned vessel to use the famous facility. Congress set aside part of the navy yard in
Charlestown Ship Yard
1974 as a unit of the Boston National Historical Park. The yard now has the new mission of interpreting the art and history of naval shipbuilding. The navy yard is in Charlestown, Massachusetts. It can be reached via US 93 or by public transportation from downtown Boston. In the summer months there is a shuttle to the yard by water, which visitors can take.
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Last Updated: September 23, 2015