Pier 5 Association Makes a Splash

At the Head of Boston Harbor

Pier 5 Association is returning the Boston Naval Yard Historic Pier 5 Park to the Public. Imagine a climate resilient inclusive waterfront. Pier 5 Park offers significant healthful public equity and compliments other efforts to preserve a climate resilient Boston Harbor.

History Honored

  • Navy Yard and Pier 5 roles in Colonial times thru WWII – Civic Recognised National Park
  • Preservation of Boston’s Sea Based Community Heritage (Tourism Asset).
  • Veterans, Gold Star Families
  • Women Rights History
  • Collaboration for a global solution.
  • Specially Designated Place
  • Re-establish view and vista Easements. Secure unobstructed views protection.  

Economic Legacy

Pier 5 is a global point of value and interest. It is central to historic economic arteries of Boston’s tourism market.

  • Freedom Trail
  • Bunker Hill
  • Harbor Walk
  • Maritime Municipal Operations (Ferry, Taxi)
  • Shipping Lane (Commerce Vessels)


  • Recreational and 60% of Head of the Harbor is Private use for Marinas and Commerce.


  • Social needs of Charlestown Community
  • Public Open Space Recreation
  • Public Waterfront Access Recreation
  • Community: Socio-economic Equity
  • Community: Socio-ecological Equity
  • Heat Island Reports
  • Sealife
  • Birds
  • Coral
  • Shellfish/Crustaceans
  • Heat Island Effect

Preliminary Studies

  1. Environmental Impact Study (Issues of toxic waste removal)
  2. Transportation & Traffic Impact Study
  3. Tourism Economic Study
  4. Park vs Private Public Equity Value
  5. Climate Resilience: Boston is in Retrograde
  6. LOMR of Flagship affect Pier 5.

Our Team

  • Your Neighbors and Friends with over 200 years of local residency combined.
  • We represent over 3,200 Petition Supporters
  • Access to Harbor and Water for community
  • Join us and Help make Pier 5 Park Public Again.
  • Online Petition at Change.org

Waterfront Law Preserves Public Access to – Chapter 91

Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 91 – Preserves Public Access Waterfront

  • Chapter 91 codifies the public trust doctrine.  
  • Chapter 91 protects the public’s rights and waterfront access. 
  • All land under Pier 5 is public land.
  • Flowed Tidelands for Water Dependent Use
  • Courageous Sailing full operations protection
  • Charlestown Ferry docking station.
  • Water dependent uses are the focus.


Insert Visual Easements four image page


  • The Boston Redevelopment Authority- plans to develop Pier 5 as Affordable Housing
  • 3 RFPs (request for proposal) for Pier 5 from 2019 are still pending.
  • DEP- Dept of Environmental Protection (in charge of preserving public rights to waterfront) has been found to have violated the law in the creation of the MHP (Municipal Harbor Plans) in a lawsuit by Harbor Towers residents and the Conservation Law Foundation challenging MHP. Case is on appeal.
  • DEP is now trying to add the Illegal MHPs into the DEP regulations to fix this problem. The regulation changes are pending.
  • Charlestown MHP is from 1991 and expired in 1996 which BPDA denies.
  • Using a Waterfront Activation Plan from 2007 for Charlestown which  is probably illegal but would have to be subject of a lawsuit.

Our issues with BPDA plan

  • No parameters for any developments of  Pier 5
  • Current zoning height 55 ft plus mechanicals plus 5 feet for FEMA zone
  • Ch. 91 requirements –Water Dependent Uses Required
  • MHP – Coastal Development Overlay, etc. blockage of waterfront
  • Coastal Zone Management or Federal Navigation Servitude
  • Fire, Police, Traffic, Parking etc..
  • Conflicts with the Flagship Wharf c.91 licensing. 
  • Toxic Waste Release if Pier 5 disturbed
  • Flooding and Climate change
  • Structural Damage to surrounding Buildings

BPDA Vision- “Imagine Boston 2030”? 

Image from Boardwalk of viewshed Nitzan did.

“Green Area” at the Head of the Harbor for Public Uses
– This huge mural was hung at the BRA entrance for years –

The Community ideas

  • Marine life education and research
  • Historical exhibits, art presentations… 
  • Cafe, pop-ups, fresh air venues
  • Underwater viewing: Ecology, Technology 
  • Complete Public Access and Views

Insert Image



  • NYC and Philadelphia piers are iconic models
  • Lots of other examples
  • History with BPDA
  • 2015 Director Brian Golden meeting Golden Promise  to welcome the opening of Pier 5 as an public park 

“An activated waterfront is anchored by varied types of open spaces, featuring cultural resources and year-round programming and connecting people with the natural, cultural, and economic history of the region.“ 

Source: Imagine Boston 2030 | Boston.gov


Insert Image of I Beam wrapping

  • No repairs done from 1975 to present
  • 43 years since first evaluation (April 15, 1987)
  • BPDA ONLY solutions –Build or Bulldoze 
  • Pier 5 unique fireproof construction 
  • Steel pilings different from typical wood pilings
  • Need creative approaches
  • Unique challenge


Examples (partial list)


Our community collaborative for socio-ecological justice includes

  • Feasibility Visions of Pier 5
  • Strategic plan
  • Thousands of Boston Redevelopment Authority Documents Reviewed
  • Thousands of Petition Signatures
  • Community Events & Engagements
  • Pier 5 Fence Public Children Decorated
  • Fight Disinformation (Bullying from Developers on Several occasions including physical threat)
  • Several Independent Engineering Firm Engagements

Insert image of waterfront with three parts circled in colors. Rosemary made?

Please help Keep Pier 5 Public

Many hands make light work

  • Sign the Petition at Change.Org 
  • Donate to our efforts—Can we count on you?
  • Engage with us and Volunteer
  • Advocate and call your councilor, legislator, governor 
  • Invite Our Community to Pier 5 to share Our Vision
  • Save Pier 5 for future for generations
  • Explore Options for Making Our Vision a Reality
  • Multiply $$$$$, people and support 

This meeting request – BPDA adherence to the community promise

“The Charlestown Navy Yard Waterfront Activation Network Plan The 2007 plan’s overarching goal is to: 

  • enhance the Navy Yard’s waterfront with uses that are appealing to both local residents and workers, as well as visitors. 
  • The plan seeks to fulfill the promise made upon decommissioning to make this site of national significance open and welcoming to all. 

while doing so in a way that is compatible with the needs of those who have chosen to live and work in the Navy Yard

Strategies from the 2007 plan include: 

  • the creation of year-round public destinations
  • improved access, wayfinding, and signage; and 
  • increased water-dependent uses such as sailing facilities, marinas, and water transit facilities.”

Source: http://www.bostonplans.org/neighborhoods/charlestown/navy-yard-master-plan-implementation

Child’s Engineering Study is Insufficient

A second technical opinion with a detailed analysis of the risks and benefits of competing alternative restoration approaches is necessary

Anticipate an Economic Relief package with earmarks for  infrastructure repair

A public solution to include further detailed engineering & design work, with restoration approaches that address environmental risks, shoreline resiliency, and best community interest – will require prompt action

Incorporate and seek 501(c)3 status

The Boston Naval Shipyard Complex during World War II

Boston National Historical Park

Map: The Boston Naval Shipyard Complex during World War II


Part I: Short of War

In 1932, the Department of the Navy designated the Boston (Charlestown) Navy Yard to be the building site for destroyers. Two years later, the USS McDonough (DD-351) slid down the ways, marking the first major ship launching at the yard in over a decade. The launch of McDonough ushered in the most productive period of ship construction in the history of the Navy Yard. By September 1, 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, the Boston Navy Yard had completed and commissioned six new destroyers. Furthermore, several other destroyers and auxiliary vessels were in various stages of construction across the facility. Though Germany’s invasion of Poland sparked war in Europe, the United States remained neutral.

Photograph with hulls and scaffolding in a dry dock. Crane and industrial equipment in background.
USS O’Brien DD-415 (foreground) and USS Walke DD-416 under construction in Dry Dock 2, Charlestown Navy Yard, October 3, 1938.BOSTS-13817-785

Shortly after the beginning of hostilities in Europe, the U.S. Navy organized a neutrality patrol utilizing several of the new vessels built in Boston. This patrol monitored the activities of warships of belligerent nations within 300 miles of the coasts of North and South America as well as in the Caribbean Sea. Beginning in 1940, the Navy and Coast Guard began providing escorts for merchant convoys bringing provisions, fuel, and military supplies to Great Britain in this neutral zone. The work of these escorts in the oftentimes rough waters of the North Atlantic was punishing, and the Boston Navy Yard had to focus on the constant maintenance and repair of these ships.

Photograph of workers and cranes on a pier in the midst of construction extending into Boston Harbor. Pile driving equipment is on a floating lighter at the edge of the pier.
Pier 5, Charlestown Navy Yard, under construction in the Summer of 1941.BOSTS-8733-1121

After the fall of France in the summer of 1940, attacks on convoys bound for Great Britain increased dramatically. With the establishment of bases for the German Kriegsmarine (Navy) and Luftwaffe (Air Force) in France, losses in merchant shipping and British escorts nearly surpassed the production capacity of North American and British shipyards. To keep the British in the fight, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt pledged that America would provide all assistance “short of war.”

Photograph of two ships exiting dry dock. Scaffolding still surrounds the superstructures of each ship. A tugboat is just off to the right pulling the ships out.
USS O’Brien DD-415 and USS Walke DD-416 undocking from Dry Dock 2 after completion of their hulls. October 20, 1939.BOSTS-13817-710

Under the “Destroyers for Bases Agreement,” arranged between the governments of the United States and Great Britain in 1940, fifty WWI era destroyers were transferred to the Royal Navy for desperately needed escorts in return for 99-year leases that allowed for the establishment of American military bases in British Territories from Canada to the Caribbean. In September 1940 the Boston Navy Yard was tasked with overhauling and outfitting the first eighteen destroyers that the US Navy was transferring to the Royal Navy. Working as quickly as possible, the shipyard’s labor force had these ships ready for transfer within a matter of days.

Map oriented north. Map depicts Navy Yard to the northwest. Chelsea Naval Hostpital and Annex to north. Fuel Depot Annex northeast with a pipeline extending southwest. East Boston Annex center and South Boston Annex to the south.
During World War II the Boston Naval Shipyard complex encompassed nearly every corner of Boston’s Inner Harbor. Due south of this map were even more private shipyard facilities constructing new warships, such as Bethlehem Steel in Hingham and Fore River in Quincy and Braintree.NPS Map

By the summer of 1941, the Boston Navy Yard was a hive of activity; the yard’s labor force had increased from 3,875 in January 1939 to 18,272 in order to meet the increased demand for new ship construction. By then, it had become standard practice to lay the keels of two to four vessels and proceed with their construction at an even pace, with launchings occurring as soon as the hulls were completed. In September, the keels of the first Fletcher Class destroyers to be built at Boston Navy Yard were laid down. The Fletcher Class was considerably larger and more complex in construction than the destroyers previously built at the yard.

In regards to the physical plant of 1941, storage facilities and several new administrative and shop buildings, including a five-story electrical shop, were under construction in Charlestown while ship repair and conversion facilities were expanded at the South Boston Naval Annex (acquired shortly after World War I). Along the waterfront, piers were added, rebuilt, or extended, and the capacity for shipbuilding was dramatically increased with the construction of Shipways 2 and 3 (the latter now referred to as Dry Dock 5). Additional ship repair facilities were acquired by the Navy in Chelsea and East Boston. A Fuel Depot Annex was constructed alongside Chelsea Creek in East Boston and connected by pipeline to a fuel pier extending out into Boston Harbor.

Photograph of roadways, piers, buildings, dry docks, and ships at a naval shipyard.
Photograph of roadways, piers, buildings, dry docks, and ships at a naval shipyard.

 Aerial photograph of the Charlestown Navy Yard in 1925 BOSTS 8613-2865 Aerial photograph of the Charlestown Navy Yard 20 years later in 1945 (slightly warped to better fit with 1925 angle) BOSTS 8615-1073

Yeomen (F) (F for Female) Register to Vote

Yeomen (F) (F for Female) Register to Vote

Grainy photo of scores of women in naval uniforms standing in rows for a portrait.
The Yeoman (F) of Boston Navy Yard, 1918US Naval Archives – Department of the Navy

Yeomen (F) (F for female) were the first women to enlist in the United States military. Their service in World War I was made possible by the Naval Act of 1916, which created a naval reserve force. According to the aptly named history of the yeomen (F), Ebbert and Hall’s The First, the Few, the Forgotten, while women were barred from joining the regular Navy, the Naval Reserve force provided an avenue for their participation as “yeomen”—the naval term for clerks.

The yeomen (F) were primarily young women. Many came from large immigrant families. To qualify, yeomen (F) were required to complete four years of high school. Some had also attended college-level secretarial schools.1 To be accepted, the women had to pass not just a physical examination, but a skills test as well. Upon acceptance, their designation was typically listed as “stenographer.” Technically proficient in shorthand, stenographers rapidly wrote dictations using abbreviations and symbols. In reality, though, these Yeoman (F) stenographers were also responsible for typing, bookkeeping, filing, and payroll, which required copious paperwork. Some even branched out to become radio and telephone operators, electricians, and draftsmen. As Ebbert and Hall put it:

The women were enlisted just as men were, doing many of the same jobs, receiving the same pay, subject to the same military regulations, wearing similar uniforms, and required to meet the same standards of performance, and they received naval benefits.2

Despite these significant changes, though, only White women could enter this new program. All Black women were excluded by the Naval Act of 1916, and the armed forces as a whole remained segregated.

During America’s participation in World War I, over 10,000 women served as yeomen (F) across the country. Over 1,000 worked in the First Naval District, which encompassed Boston and the Boston Naval Shipyard (today’s Charlestown Navy Yard). As the Navy increased production to meet the needs of World War I, they hired more workers to build, repair, and supply ships. Even including the 150 women who worked as civilians in the ropewalk, though, the female workforce at the Navy Yard was outnumbered by men roughly 10 to 1.3 Nonetheless, the service of the yeomen (F) at the Boston Naval Shipyard enabled more men—who would otherwise perform these shipyard duties—to enlist and fight overseas.

Black and white photgraph of three women walking through the navy yard in their yeoman (F) uniforms
Yeomen (F) in the Charlestown Navy Yard

All yeomen (F) enlistments ended on October 24, 1920, although many had been discharged after the war ended in November 1918. Some of these women, however, continued work at the shipyard as civilian employees through their veterans’ preference on civil service exams.4 At a time when less than 25% of American women worked outside the home, the yeomen (F) stepped out of traditional female roles and joined an emerging trend of women becoming clerical workers. By 1920, almost half the clerical workers and 92% of stenographers in the national workforce were women.5 World War I and yeoman status provided these female military pioneers the opportunity to showcase their skills and education in support of the war effort.

These women were also unique in another way: They were part of the first generation of female voters. In August 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution took effect, recognizing that women 21 years and older had the right to vote. The 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Before the passage of the 19th amendment, individual states to determined women’s access to the vote. Fifteen states had granted full voting rights to women and twelve states permitted women to vote in presidential elections.6 Massachusetts was not among them, having turned down an amendment to the state constitution for woman suffrage as recently as 1915. In 1879, the Massachusetts Legislature granted women the right to vote for their local school committee members. Some women did register to vote from 1880-1920, knowing that they could only vote for that one office alone.7

What follows are short biographies of 20 yeomen (F) who registered to vote between 1917 and 1921: 19 from Boston and one from a small town nearby. Eight married after the war, while 11 never married and one was a widow when she enlisted and did not remarry. For women who remained single, being a yeomen (F) enabled them to gain experience and an income during and after World War I. They mostly spent their careers doing clerical work and lived much of their lives with family members. They represent some of the first career women and female white-collar wage earners. However, it should be noted that whereas men could use clerical work as a springboard to management positions, these women performed the same tasks, namely stenography, typing and bookkeeping, throughout their working lives.

Blanche Billington

Blanche Billington registered to vote prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment. While her motivations for registering are unknown, she may have had a desire to vote for school committee members or wished to celebrate adulthood with this new privilege.Billington enlisted in the Naval Reserves in 1918 as a Yeoman 2nd Class when she was 24 years old. She married in 1921 and had three children. In both the 1930 and 1940 censuses, she was not listed as working outside the home. In 1940, her husband was listed as a chauffeur for the City of Boston. As Blanche Towle, her married name, she was, however, very involved in Catholic charities and fundraising for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.8 Her 1960 obituary listed her as past president of the Kennedy Foundation, and requested donations to it in her name.9

Yellowed paper of a register with signatures
Alice Driscoll’s voter registration signature.

Alice F. Driscoll

The 1920 census listed Driscoll as a “Cashier Bookkeeper” at the Navy Yard. Like Blanche Billington, she also registered to vote in 1917 when she turned 21. In the register of voters, the official listed Driscoll’s occupation as “yoeman” in the Navy Yard, misspelling the position. Driscoll married John Murphy in 1922, and by 1940 she was listed as the mother of four children, ages 6-16. Driscoll is the only known instance of someone registering to vote as a “yoeman,” even if it was spelled incorrectly.

Color photograph of marble headstone with cross and name Abigail T Crehan
Headstone of Abigail Crehan in Arlington National Cemetery

Abigail Collins

Abigail Collins had deep roots in Charlestown. She lived with her family on Monument Square. Collinswas the daughter of former state representative, Michael W. Collins, who remained active in Democratic politics until his death in 1956.10 Abigail Collins joined the Naval Reserves at the age of 18 in 1917 as Yeoman 1st Class and later was promoted to Chief.11 The Boston Globe stated that both she and her sister were “active in social affairs.” Not surprisingly, Collins, her mother, and a sisterregistered to vote in 1920 at the earliest opportunity. Voter records often showed women, including the yeomen (F), registering with family members and neighbors, accounting for many new voters in their 60s, 70s and even in their 80s.Collins married Frederic Crehan, a World War I army veteran, in 1920 and soon after moved to Maplewood, New Jersey, where she spent the rest of her life. 12 Frederic was an educator while Abigail Crehan remained at home and raised two children. Most of the former yeomen (F) remained very near to where they started out, some even living in the same house for all or most of their lives. Collins was an exception; she was the only one of the married women to leave Massachusetts after marriage. She and her husband are both buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Her headstone identifies her as a Chief Yeoman, United Stated Naval Reserve Forces, World War I. Rather than burial in Arlington by virtue of it is clear that she is buried there in her own right.13

Mildred Curtis

Curtis registered to vote on August 20, 1920 at the age of 23. In 1923, she married Edward P. Ryan, who for many years served as chief deputy sheriff of Suffolk Superior Court.14 Mildred Curtis Ryan was not listed in the 1930 or in the 1940 census as employed outside the home, but her obituary stated that she had worked as a medical aide in the Boston School System.15 She was the mother of four children and was extremely active in the American Legion Bessie Edwards Post, made up exclusively of women veterans; she even served as leader of the Post.16 This was a departure from most women prominent in American Legion Posts, who largely remained unmarried.

Esther McCall

McCall enlisted as a Yeoman (F) at the age of 21 in May 1917, soon after the United States’ entry into World War I. She previously worked as a stenographer in a downtown Boston department store. In appreciation, the office employees presented her with a pearl and cameo pendant when she left.17 She served as a Chief Yeoman. Even before the passage of the 19th Amendment, McCall entered the political arena when she appeared before the State Legislature in 1919 as part of the lobbying group to secure inclusion of Yeomen (F) into the Bonus Bill that would give veterans a $100 bonus.18 She was an active member of Roxbury Post 44 of the American Legion. In 1936, McCall signed the petition to the United States Congress for a national charter and incorporation of the National Yeomen (F), an organization founded in 1924 to preserve the legacy and history of their unique service.19 In 1922, she resigned as private secretary to Commander Ward K. Wortman, assistant commandant of the First Naval District.20 That same year she married Francis X. McLaughlin, a veteran who had served with the Medical Corps in France.21 The couple and their three children made their home at the Norfolk (Settlement) House Center in Roxbury, where Francis served as physical director for many years.22 McCall registered to vote on August 20, 1920, following in the footsteps of her sister who registered in 1917 at the age of 29.

Helen Beecher

Beecher registered to vote in 1920 at the age of 21. She enlisted on November 7, 1918 at the age of 19 and served for only five days as a landsman, a trainee status prior to the Yeoman rate, before the war ended on November 11. However, she still worked as a stenographer in the Navy Yard in the 1920 census as a civilian. In 1930, Beecher was employed as a stenographer at the State Street Trust Company until her marriage to John Bride on June 14.23 She lived into her nineties and was survived by three children and 13 grandchildren. She was a life-long member of St. Patrick’s Parish in Roxbury and attended school there.24

Marion T. McEachern

McEachern came from a large family that saw service in World War I. She was one of four sisters who served as Yeoman (F) while her three brothers joined the Army. McEachern was a Chief Yeoman. In the 1920 census, she was listed as a stenographer in a bank living at home with her mother and all her siblings. After her marriage to Edmund G. White about 1923, she no longer appeared on census lists as employed. In the 1930 census, Marion McEachern White was living with her husband, a real estate salesman. By 1940, she and Edmund were joined by a son, George, their only child. McEachern registered to vote in 1920 at age 22 in time to cast her vote in the first presidential race in which Massachusetts women could participate. Other than census records and city directories, she then disappeared from public life until 1967 when she reappeared in a Boston Globe article about the “Yeomenettes” 41st reunion.25 She moved to Cape Cod in the 1980s and died in 1993 at the age of 100. Two of her siblings survived her.26

Frances Glover

Glover is the only representative of the Yeomen (F) who registered to vote in 1920 who did not live in the City of Boston. The 1920 voting records of women who lived outside of Boston have thus far been unexplored. Yeomen (F) lived in many towns near Boston including Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, Winthrop, Malden, as well as Wakefield, Salem and Framingham. Undoubtedly, a search in their hometowns would yield more 1920 voters and more unique stories. Glover was born in Boston, and grew up in comfortable circumstances in the small semi-rural town of Wayland, about 16 miles west of Boston. Her family had inherited a farm and had a live-in housekeeper. Records indicate that Glover attended college before enlisting as a Yeoman 1st Class in July 1918 at age 26. In 1920, she was listed as working as a clerk for the Red Cross and later at Harvard University. Glover was an active member of Wayland’s American Legion.27 She also was an organizer of the Little Theatre Group at Wayland’s Vokes Theatre in 1937.28 That same year, Glover married a prominent Boston attorney and a founder of the Greater Boston Community Fund, Charles Rogerson29 Glover devoted much of her time to charitable endeavors.30 She is the only known Yeoman (F) from Wayland.31

Patricia P. Gleason

Patricia Gleason was 35 years old when she registered to vote in 1920. Before and after her enlistment in April 1917 (one of the first to do so), she worked for the City of Boston.32 Gleason was appointed postmaster at the Navy Yard, serving in the postal station in Building 24.33 She was the only woman voter from 1920 in our survey who can be tied to a political party. Gleason was an active member of the Women’s Democratic Club of Massachusetts, as was her sister Minnie.34 She was also active in the Bessie Edwards Post of the American Legion.35 Gleason signed the Congressional petition in 1936 to incorporate and grant a charter to the National Yeomen (F), which had been founded in 1924.36 She is a clear example of an independent career woman, an activist and a proud Yeoman (F), who dedicated her life to service.

Helen Regan

Regan enlisted in the Naval Reserves on May 1917 at the age of 33. She served as Yeoman 1st Class and was promoted to Chief. She registered to vote in 1920 along with her 59-year-old mother, Johanna. Regan was a member of the initial 1919 delegation to the Massachusetts State Legislature to lobby for inclusion of Yeomen (F) in the Bonus Bill.37 She was an active member of the Flaherty American Legion Post in East Boston, and later in the all-woman Bessie Edwards Post. Helen spent her working career in the employ of the federal government, mainly in the Veterans Bureau. Her 1975 obituary listed her as living in Winthrop and made note of the fact that she was a “late veteran of World War I.”38 Most obituaries of Yeomen (F) did not mention their naval service.

Black and white news clipping of two women holding flowers. Headline below reads World War I Yeomen (F) Christen 2 Barracks ships at Charlestown
Sara M Nolan (left) and Ellen E. Kearns (right) photographed as sponsors for a launch in the Charlestown Navy Yard

Ellen E. Kearns

Kearns enlisted May 13, 1918 at the age of 22 and served as Yeoman 3rd Class, later attaining a promotion to Yeoman 2nd Class. She and her mother registered to vote in 1920. In 1944, Kearns and former Yeoman (F) Sara Nolen were sponsors at a double launching of two naval auxiliary barracks ships built at the Boston Navy Yard.39 The Quincy Patriot-Ledger reported on August 8:”She [Kearns] was a Yeoman (F) in 1918 and has been a Civil Service employee since. Until her recent promotion a few weeks ago, she had been secretary to the manager of the Boston Navy Yard for 12 years. This was the first time either (she or Sara) has sponsored a ship, although they have handled much paper work relative to new vessels… during the years they have been associated with the navy.”Kearns signed the 1936 petition in support of the incorporation of the National Yeomen (F).40 Kearns died in Weymouth on Jan. 11, 1986, having devoted her life to serving the navy at the Charlestown Navy Yard.41

Josephine L. Anderson

Anderson enlisted at age 19 in May 1918. Her military record says she served as Yeoman 2nd Class. In 1920, Anderson, 21 years old, and her mother, Margaret, 62, both registered soon after the 19th Amendment was ratified. Her sister, Christine, registered in 1922 when she turned 21. Anderson never married and was extremely active for many years in the Fitton Notre Dame Alumnae Association, an East Boston school that she had attended. In 1944, Anderson was among those honored for her long service as a secretary for the War Department.42 She died in 1986 in East Boston, where she had spent her life.

Elizabeth Gillogly

The Boston Globe announced Gillogly’s enlistment on May 21, 1918. She registered to vote on October 8, 1920 at 25 years old. Her father was a Boston fireman.43 Gillogly never married and lived at the same address in Charlestown into the 1940s. She listed her occupation in censuses as a stenographer (1930) and as a typist (1940) at a bank. The few newspaper articles she appeared in were associated with her work in Catholic Charities.44 She died in Winthrop in 1984 and her obituary mentioned her naval service in World War I.45

Marion Hovey Manning

Manning registered to vote on September 30, 1920 at the age of 26. The Boston Globe announced her enlistment on May 15, 191846, but her rank is unknown. She was still at the Navy Yard in 1920. Manning worked as a stenographer in private industry according to the 1930 and 1940 censuses, still living with her parents or a parent. By 1940, she lived in Quincy and by the time of her death in 1986, she lived in Rockland, Massachusetts. A Dorchester native, Manning has proven to be the most elusive of the Yeomen (F) who registered in 1920 and was never mentioned in any other known newspaper records.

Alice G. Driscoll

Alice G. Driscoll (as opposed to Alice F. Driscoll, a 1917 voter) enlisted September 19, 1918 at the age of 20 as a Landsman training for Yeoman. She came from a large family in Charlestown of which she was the youngest; she had five sisters and two brothers. She registered to vote on October 11, 1920. Neither of her parents were living by that time, however. Her mother died when she was an infant and her father in 1919. By 1930, she had moved to Medford, where she resided the rest of her life with two of her sisters. In 1930, she was listed as a telephone operator at a chemical company, and in the 1940 census, she was listed as a bookkeeper. Driscoll signed the petition to the United States Congress in 1936 to confer legal status on the National Yeomen (F), founded in 1924.47 She died in 1969 the “beloved aunt of six nieces and nephews” and presumably the last survivor of eight children.48

Jane A. Carney

Jane Carney was the oldest in a large family with a widowed father and six siblings. Her mother had died in 1913. Even so, she enlisted in July 1918 at age 25, serving as a Yeoman 3rd Class. She spent her career as a secretary. Carney was very active in the Bessie Edwards Post of the American Legion in the 1920s and 1930s and served on the executive committee.49 She registered to vote in November 1921, even though she was old enough to register in 1920. She died in 1982, leaving only two sisters.50

Angeline Maney

Maney’s enlistment was announced the Boston Globe in May 1918. She registered to vote when she was 21years old in 1920 with her sister Mary. She was active early on with the American Legion Francis G. Kane Post in Dorchester.51 In the 1930s, Maney worked in the entertainment industry on the publicity staff of the Metropolitan Theatre.52 By 1940, she was again employed in government work (it is listed on the census as Department of “Agre Culbire,” most likely Agriculture) and aided the Greek War Relief Association. She lived with her parents in the same house in Paisley Park, Dorchester her whole life. She died a month after her father’s death in 1951, 33 years his junior. At the time of her death, Maney was listed as executive secretary of the Boston store of Bonwit Teller.53

Anna M. McCarthy

McCarthy enlisted as a Yeoman at the age of 24 in May 1918 and served as Yeoman 1st Class.54 In 1920 when she registered to vote, Anna was living with her mother, Margaret, in Charlestown and working as a stenographer at the Navy Yard. She then disappeared from published records for twenty years. In the 1940 census, someone with her name appeared as “sister” to the head of the household; a very common designation as many unmarried former Yeomen (F) lived with family members. A more careful look revealed that all the women in Anna’s household were listed as “sisters” and all with different last names. They all lived at St. Matthew’s Convent in Canton, Massachusetts and were teachers at the religious school. The City Hall in Framingham, Massachusetts was able to confirm that Anna was indeed our Yeoman (F) from her death certificate. She died there in 1986 at the age of 93 at a retirement home for elderly nuns.55

News clipping with title "Yeomanette, 51, and proud of it passes WAVE Physical" with photograph of woman putting on a military cap
Helen F. Harney reports for active duty during the Korean War.

Helen Harney

Harney was 21 years old when she registered to vote in 1920; her younger sister, Doris, who also served as a Yeoman (F) registered when she turned 21 years old in 1922. Helen Harney served as a Yeoman 3rd Class, enlisting at the age of 19 in August 1918. She worked in civilian government positions, mostly as a telephone operator for the City of Boston, into the 1940s. During World War II, Harney was back on duty at the Navy Yard, this time as a civilian specialist on property and supply with the United States Army. In 1950, Harney returned to her roots in the Navy and enlisted as a WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during the Korean Conflict. That made her the oldest WAVE in the Navy. She was delighted to pass the physical, saying “When you’ve hit 50 and go through a physical that lots of boys and girls can’t pass, it makes you feel pretty proud.”56 Harney stayed in the Navy, serving as master-at-arms at the women’s barracks in Newport, Rhode Island and Bainbridge, Maryland.57 In 1961, she joined about 250 other women veterans marching in President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural parade.58

Daisy M. Pratt Erd

One young widow with children was among the former Yeomen (F) who registered to vote in 1920. Erd was born in Nova Scotia in 1888; her family immigrated to the United States when she was an infant. She was raised in Chicago and became a naturalized American citizen. Erd registered to vote in 1920 at the age of 32 and is considered one of the most distinguished yeomen (F). While widowed by the time she enlisted in April 1917 and mother of two young daughters, Erd was known for her considerable musical talents and leadership abilities.59 According to Lettie Gavin’s American Women in World War I: They Also Served, “Erd was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit ‘War Service,’ not an official Navy award but a personal token of esteem from Captain W.R. Rush, USN, commandant.” At the time of writing, Erd also stands out stands out as being the only Yeoman (F) with a Wikipedia entry, featuring her musical compositions.After the war ended, Erd was the first woman to join the American Legion in July, 1919.60 She soon organized the first women’s post of the American Legion with Mrs. Lila Woodbury Lane, who was a known suffragist. Erd served as Post Commander.61 Known as New England Post 29, with a charter membership of 200, enrollment was open to all women of Greater Boston who had served in the military. By September 1919, membership was about 800. Her American Legion Post was dedicated to finding employment for women, and to obtaining sick benefits for them.62 But first, the location of the clubhouse needed to be resolved. Erd and New England Post 29 were apparently caught up in a turf war between the Bunker Hill Post of the American Legion and the Abraham Lincoln Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Charlestown.63 The Bunker Hill Post asserted that the VFW Post was trying to become an American Legion Post through its association with Erd’s Post and “maintained that there was not room in Charlestown for two posts and that Post 29 was there under false pretences [sic].”64 After six months of acrimonious fighting with the State and National American Legion Executive Committees and a trip to Washington, D.C. to plead her case, Erd’s Post had its charter revoked in June 1921.65 The last mention of Erd and her Post appeared in December 1921 in regard to a Christmas party by the now rogue New England Post with her as commander.But Erd had an even bigger fight to wage. She was fighting for her life. During 1922, she was being treated for tuberculosis and, by 1923, Erd was in California in a hospital for disabled veterans. She was later transferred to Asheville, North Carolina where she died on October 24, 1925 at the age of 37. The cause of death was “Tuberculosis contracted during military service.” This dynamic and talented woman was a casualty of the War.66


The women featured in this article were not radicals, and to the best of our knowledge they were not active in the suffrage movement. Yet, on at least two counts, they stand out as pioneers. Foremost, in becoming the first women to enlist in the United States military. Secondly, in registering to vote as soon as the opportunity presented itself.

Many of these yeomen (F) came from the poor and lower-middle classes, often with immigrant parents and many siblings. Other yeomen (F) came from means that were more middling, but needed to work as single women. They all enlisted in service to their country in a time of war. After their service, most remained in the same neighborhoods they grew up in, with some living in the same house their entire life. Their willingness to venture into the world and expand their skills and knowledge surely followed them throughout their lives. For those who married and raised families, their experiences undoubtedly enriched the lives of their children and grandchildren and offered them encouragement in new endeavors. For those who remained unmarried, their experiences as yeomen (F) created new avenues for women to pursue earning wages to help their families and themselves. Career women, many spending their lives in government jobs, provided a much larger and diverse world for themselves than the traditional paths of factory or domestic work available in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Regardless of marriage status, many of the women made time for charitable endeavors, and many remained dedicated advocates for veterans throughout their lives. The courage and persistence of the yeomen (F) in pushing the boundaries of women’s achievements, often in the face of adversity, remain an inspiration for all of us, as we embark on a second century of women’s suffrage.

Note: Census records on the yeomen (F) were obtained through https://www.ancestry.com and https://www.familysearch.org/en/ by inputting each individual name into their search engines. Family Search also has a number of veterans’ records and enlistment scans. All Boston Globe articles were obtained at https://bostonglobe.newspapers.com/search/#.Voter Registration information was gathered from the Voter Registration Lists found in the City of Boston Archives in West Roxbury (with the exception of Frances Glover, of Wayland).Contributed by Jane Sciacca, Historical Researcher


  1. Girls’ High School of Boston started offering commercial courses similar to ones offered by private business schools. By 1909, the commercial curriculum was the largest department in the school: surpassing the Normal School curriculum on which the school was founded in 1851 (Olive B. White, “Condensed from: Centennial History if the Girls’ High School of Boston,” Girls’ High School of Boston Alumnae, IMPACT, 2017, https://ghsalumnaeboston.org/history).
  2. Jean Ebbert and Marie-Beth Hall, The First, The Few, The Forgotten (Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2002), 1-10.
  3. Labor rolls totaled 4500 in June 1917, 6600 in January 1918, and 10,000 in mid-July 1918. The armistice in November did not halt the trend, and February 11, 1919, the greatest workforce yet in the yard’s history, 12,844, reported.” (Frederick R. Black, Charlestown Navy Yard, 1890-1973, Cultural Resources Management Study no. 20, Vol I of III, National Park Service1988. P. 336).
  4. Ebbert and Hall, The First, The Few, The Forgotten, 1-10.
  5. “Gender & the Office,” Early Office Museum, 2000-2026, https://www.officemuseum.com/office_gender.htm
  6. “Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline,” National Constitution Center, 2006, https://constitutioncenter.org/timeline/html/cw08_12159.html
  7. Barbara F. Berenson, Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement (Charleston, South Carolina, The History Press, 2018), 73-76.
  8. “Endearing Young Charms,” The Boston Globe, Sept.17, 1958, p.11.
  9. “Blanche Towle Obituary,” The Boston Globe, Oct.20, 1960, p. 18.
  10. “Michael W. Collins Obituary,” The Boston Globe, Oct. 7, 1956, p. 21.
  11. “Charlestown Girl Made Yeoman in the Navy,” The Boston Globe, May 16, 1917, p. 4.
  12. “Wed Hingham Instructor,” The Boston Globe, Aug. 16, 1920, p. 5.
  13. Arlington National Cemetery Explorer, U.S. Army, https://ancexplorer.army.mil/publicwmv/#/arlington-national/search/results/1/CgZjcmVoYW4SB2FiaWdhaWw-/
  14. “Bunker Hill District,” The Boston Globe, Sept. 11, 1923, p. 8.
  15. “Mrs. Ryan, 70, of Brighton, A.L. Leader,” The Boston Globe, Apr. 23, 1967, p. 79.
  16. “Bessie Edwards Post Annual Bridge Party, The Boston Globe, Oct. 24, 1941, p. 18.
  17. “Roxbury District,” The Boston Globe, May 16, 1917, p. 6.
  18. “Yeomen(F) Want To Be Included In Bounty,” The Boston Globe, May 26, 1919, p. 6.
  19. Ebbert and Hall, The First, The Few, The Forgotten, 112-122 and 127-8. Gertrude French Howalt was responsible for arranging that the memorabilia be housed at the Smithsonian Institution upon disbanding in 1985.
  20. [iv] “Navy Yard Notes,” The Boston Globe, June 9, 1922, p. 4.
  21. “Lt. McLaughlin Weds Miss Esther McCall,” The Boston Globe, June 15, 1922, p. 15.
  22. “Francis McLaughlin, 80, Roxbury Youth Worker (Dies),” The Boston Globe, June 5, 1974, p. 44.
  23. “Miss Helen M. Beecher Bride of John L. Bride,” The Boston Globe, June 14, 1930, p. 13.
  24. “Helen Bride Obituary,” The Boston Globe, May 1, 1991, p. 6.
  25. “They Went Too Near the Water,” The Boston Globe, Aug. 23, 1967, p. 16.
  26. [ii] “Marion T. White Obituary,” The Boston Globe, July 24, 1993, p. 70.
  27. “Wayland Election,” The Boston Herald, Aug. 14, 1919.
  28. “Little Theater Group Organized in Wayland,” The Boston Globe, Apr. 5, 1937, p. 2.
  29. “Father, Son, and Daughter in Rogerson Family Engaged,” The Boston Globe, May 3, 1937, p. 3.
  30. “War Time Society” (photo), The Boston Globe, Feb. 27, 1944, p. 2.
  31. “Newly Registered Wayland Women Voter 191-1920: Who were they?” Wayland Museum & Historical Society Newsletter, Wayland Historical Society, July 2020, https://mailchi.mp/131fadc6a9b6/july2020-5491094 and The Waltham Suburban Directory for Weston, Wayland, Cochituate and Lincoln (Publisher Henry M. Meeks),1919, https://archive.org/details/walthamsuburband1920unse/
  32. “Miss Patricia Gleason Of City Hall Enlists In Navy,” The Boston Globe, Apr. 8, 1917, p. 16.
  33. “Halts Treasonable Literature at Yard,” The Boston Globe, May 20, 1917, p. 14.
  34. “Women’s Democratic Club Plans Party,” The Boston Globe, Feb. 9, 1934, p. 12.
  35. “New Officers of Bessie Edwards Post,” The Boston Herald, Nov. 18, 1934, p. 15.
  36. Ebbert and Hall, The First, The Few, The Forgotten, 112-122 and 27-8.
  37. “Yeomen (F) Want To Be Included In Bounty,” The Boston Globe, May 26, 1919, p. 6.
  38. Helen Regan Obituary, The Boston Globe, Dec. 14, 1975, p. 75
  39. “World War I Yeomen(F) Christen 2 Barrack Ships at Charlestown,” The Boston Globe, Sept. 5, 1944, p. 5.
  40. Ebbert and Hall, The First, The Few, The Forgotten, 112-122 and 27-8.
  41. “Ellen Kearns Obituary,” The Boston Globe, Jan. 12, 1986, p. 54.
  42. “Veteran War Dept. Workers Are Honored,” The Boston Globe, June 4, 1944, p. 21.
  43. “Funeral Rites for James P. Gillogly,” The Boston Globe, Sept. 15, 1924, p. 4.
  44. “Notre Dame Statue Consecration Sunday,” The Boston Globe, Nov. 21, 1947, p. 19.
  45. “Elizabeth Gillogly Obituary,” The Boston Globe, Jan. 7, 1984, p. 27.
  46. The Boston Globe, May 15, 1918, p.10
  47. Ebbert and Hall, The First, The Few, The Forgotten, 112-122 and 27-8.
  48. Alice G. Driscoll Obituary, The Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 1969, p. 94.
  49. “Women To Plan For Legion Convention,” The Boston Globe, Mar. 21, 1930, p. 17; “Bessie Edwards Legion Post Instals [sic.] Officers,” The Boston Globe, Nov. 3, 1933, p. 15.
  50. Jane Carney Obituary, The Boston Globe, Dec. 19, 1982, p. 78.
  51. “Francis G. Kane Post To Hold Its First Reunion,” The Boston Globe, Nov. 6, 1919, p. 2.
  52. “Nancy Carroll Sends Greetings By Pigeon,” The Boston Globe, Feb. 21, 1930, p. 8.
  53. Angeline Maney Obituary, The Boston Globe, Aug. 15, 1951, p. 19.
  54. “Anxious To Rejoin ‘Watchdog’ Fleet,” The Boston Globe, May 4, 1918, p. 10.
  55. Conversation with Framingham City Clerk, January 2020.
  56. “Yeomanette, 51, ‘and Proud of It,’ Passes WAVE Physical,” The Boston Globe, Aug. 28, 1950, p. 21.
  57. Ebbert and Hall, The First, The Few, The Forgotten,134.
  58. “Hub WAVE Vet In JFK Parade,” Boston Daily Record, Jan. 16, 1961, p. 13.
  59. “To Sell Naval Song At Yeoman’s Ball,” The Boston Globe, p. 4.
  60. “Bunker Hill District,” The Boston Globe, Aug. 29, 1919, p. 9.
  61. “War Women Form Their First Post,” The Boston Globe, July 9, 1919, p. 4.
  62. “Veterans Posts In Row At Charlestown,” The Boston Globe, July 28, 1920, p. 18; “Proposed Merger Is Protested,” Boston Post, July 1919.
  63. “Women’s Legion Post May Remain,” The Boston Globe, Feb. 10, 1921, p. 6.
  64. “Women’s Legion Post Loses Charter,” The Boston Globe, June 15, 1921, p. 1.
  65. “Bunker Hill District,” The Boston Globe, Dec. 22, 1921, p. 9.
  66. Elizabeth Foxwell, “Daisy May Erd, Yeoman (F) and War Composer,” American Women in World War I, Word Press, 2015-2020, https://americanwomeninwwi.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/daisy-may-erd-yeoman-f-and-war-composer/

The U.S.S. Constitution

High-resolution Map

Specifications:Length overall: 204 ft.Beam (width): 43.5 ft.Displacement: 2,200 tonsDraft: 22.5 ft.Hull: 15 to 20 in. thickSpeed: 13-14 knotsCrew: 450-470Armament in 1812: 30, 24-pounders; 22, 32-pounder carronades; two 24-pounder & one 18-pounder bow chasers on the forecastle.

1 Quarter boat
2 Quarterdeck
3 Captain’s quarters
4 Captain’s day cabin
5 Officers’ staterooms
6 Bread room
7 Ship’s wheel
8 Wardroom
9 Cartridge filling room
10 Powder magazine
11 Spirit room
12 Cockpit (junior officers’ quarters)
13 Anchor capstan
14 Bilge pumps
15 Shot locker
16 Spar deck (open)
17 Gun deck
18 Berthing deck (crew hung its hammocks on this deck)
19 Orlop deck (storage)
20 Hold
21 Ballast
22 Anchor cables
23 24-pounder guns
24 Long boat
25 32-pounder carronades
26 Galley
27 Sail locker
28 Sand room
29 Rigging blocks
30 Sick bay
31 Forecastle
32 Manger
33 Crew’s head

Source: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/55010/55010-h/55010-h.htm

Boston Navy Yard and the “Great War,” 1914-1918

Boston Navy Yard and the “Great War,” 1914-1918

The Boston Navy Yard on a war footing. Photograph shows new planking of Pier 6 BOSTS 8756-2263

by David Hannigan, Park Guide

At the turn of the 20th century, the Boston Navy Yard (now known as Charlestown Navy Yard) entered its second century of service by embarking on its first major expansion since the Civil War. This growth was in line with the goals of President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration, which wanted the United States Navy to expand and modernize, heralding the emergence of America as a world power. In Boston several new buildings and a second dry dock were built to meet the demands of the growing fleet that it served.

Shortly after the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared that the United States would remain neutral. It would become the navy’s job to protect the nation’s neutrality at sea and at home by stationing destroyers at Boston Navy Yard.

In the aftermath of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in May 1915, President Wilson sided with the growing number of advocates of military preparedness who sought to protect America’s interests at home and abroad. As part of the preparedness movement, Wilson called upon Congress to authorize the construction of over 150 warships. With the passage of the Naval Act of 1916, the Boston Navy Yard prepared for an increase in the number of ships built, outfitted, and repaired at the facility.

Throughout the war years, many of the yard’s older buildings were renovated or replaced, while several new buildings were erected, including a massive general storehouse. An inclined shipway, where vessels could be built and launched, was constructed and towering hammerhead cranes were erected after the Navy Department selected the Boston Navy Yard for the construction of the first ship specifically built to carry supplies and provisions for overseas fleet replenishment. For the repair of smaller vessels, a marine railway was constructed between the yard’s two dry docks.

As preparations intensified, the number of workers at the yard increased dramatically, growing from approximately 2,500 to 4,400 skilled and unskilled laborers by 1917. This workforce would come to include a number of women who filled a variety of roles from clerical workers to manufacturing assistants in the yard’s ropewalk, which had greatly increased its production of cordage for the navy.

Three steel destroyers with four smokestacks are moored along a pier in the Navy Yard.
Destroyers ready for service at Pier 9 in the Navy Yard, circa 1916-1917BOSTS 14934-13

By January 1917, the land war in Europe had reached a stalemate, prompting Germany to resume its campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare in an attempt to cut off Britain’s supply lines and starve the country into submission before America joined the war. After the sinking of several American vessels with loss of life, the United States declared war on Germany on April 6 and rapidly began to mobilize its forces.

Immediately following the declaration of war, the United States Navy ordered Destroyer Division 8 to assemble at the Boston Navy Yard and prepare for deployment to European waters. Six destroyers departed Boston on April 24, 1917 and arrived at the British naval base at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland on May 4. A second group of destroyers left Boston on May 7 to join in escort duties and patrol for German U-boats. Thereafter, the port of Boston and its navy yard would become one of the principal points of departure for troops, arms, and supplies to Britain and France.

Photograph of a large supply ship sliding off the shipways into Boston Harbor.  Crowds are gathered on the pier to the right of the shipways, as both the supply ship and  USS Constitution to the right are dressed in flags.
U.S. Supply Ship Bridge launching, May 18, 1916BOSTS 10538

Though the Boston Navy Yard would build a number of support ships during the war, the Navy specifically assigned the yard the task of repairing warships and support vessels. Equally important, the yard oversaw the outfitting and commissioning of a steady stream of warships built by private shipbuilding concerns. These would include destroyers and submarines constructed at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation’s Fore River Shipyard and its Victory Destroyer Plant, both located in Quincy, Massachusetts.

In addition to readying and repairing warships, workers at the Boston Navy Yard also outfitted ships of the American Merchant Marine with armament provided by the federal government. Boston also converted, fitted out, and commissioned former cargo carrying merchantmen and passenger vessels that had been purchased or leased by the Navy. The smaller and swifter vessels were converted for use in anti-submarine warfare and coastal patrol, while larger vessels were converted for use in transporting troops and carrying cargo. Perhaps the most complicated conversion work at the yard involved five German passenger ships that had been seized in American ports by the United States government after the declaration of war. Prior to the vessel’s seizure, their crews had sabotaged the ship’s’ engines, necessitating extensive repairs before these vessels could be transformed into transports to carry troops and supplies from the United States to France.


  • Charlestown Navy Yard 1800-1842, Vols. 1 & 2: Ed Bearss, Boston National Historical Park, 1984.
  • Charlestown Navy Yard, NPS Handbook 152, US National Park Service, 1995.
  • Charlestown Navy Yard Historic Resource Study Vols. 1-3: Stephen P. Carlson, Boston National Historical Park, 2010.

East Boston Master Plan

The East Boston Master Plan provides a framework for new growth and development in the community’s commercial districts and waterfront area, while preserving and enhancing the quality of life in the community’s residential neighborhoods.

Many of the recommendations from the April 2000 plan have been implemented including but not limited to the creation of new open space.

Mixed-use development proposals have responded to the framework and the waterfront is dotted with many approved mixed-use developments that are awaiting financing and construction work for final implementation and completion.

The intensive one-year planning process which was completed in April 2000, involved widespread community participation. In addition to citizen involvement, the planning process included extensive coordination among city departments (DND, Parks, BTD, and BHA) and was recognized with an Honorable Mention by the Boston Management Consortium’s Neighborhood Pride Award.

The plan is organized around four focus areas: Reviving the East Boston Waterfront, Enhancing the Neighborhood’s Commercial Centers, Strengthening the Residential Neighborhoods, and Shoring up the Airport Edge. For each focus area, the plan provides recommendations regarding land use, open space and public environment, historic resources and heritage, and transportation and parking. The plan also provides development guidance and addresses regulatory issues for each focus area.

Issued in conjunction with an Implementation Strategy, the plan established a set of goals and objectives that reflect the community’s desire to maintain East Boston’s identity and culture, while looking into its future development.

The plan is available at the East Boston public libraries or by contacting the BPDA.

Documents All Documents »

Charlestown Navy Yard Boston National Historical Park, Massachusetts

Charlestown Navy Yard Boston, a National Historical Park, Massachusetts

Sail area, with studding sails (not shown), was more than 43,000 sq. ft.

Project Gutenberg’s Charlestown Navy Yard, by National Park Service

Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston National Historical Park, Massachusetts
Produced by the Division of Publications National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Washington, DC

Author: National Park Service
Title: Charlestown Navy Yard Boston National Historical Park, Massachusetts
Release Date: June 30, 2017 [EBook #55010]
Project Gutenberg’s Charlestown Navy Yard, by National Park Service

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at http://www.gutenberg.org

The Charlestown Navy Yard, a
Boston National Historical Park, Massachusetts National Park Handbook was produced by the Division of Publications National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Washington, DC in 2017.

The U.S. government established Charlestown Navy Yard as the newly-formed republic was meeting early challenges to its merchant shipping. In the decade after gaining independence, the young nation kept no standing navy. But continuing raids on U.S. commerce by Barbary pirates and French privateers in the 1790s spurred Congress to authorize the construction of new warships.

Realizing that existing private shipyards were inadequate for the increasingly ambitious shipbuilding program, the Secretary of the Navy established in 1800-1801 six federal yards to build, outfit, repair, and supply naval vessels. These facilities at Portsmouth, N.H.; Boston; New York; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; and Norfolk, Va., were the nucleus of the naval shipyard system. Except during the Civil War, they launched most of the Navy’s vessels until the advent of steel hulls in the 1880s, when private yards began building them in greater numbers.

As with the first six, later naval shipyards were sometimes created to fill an immediate military need.

The War of 1812, for instance, prompted the building of the two Great Lakes yards. The Mound City yard was established during the Civil War, strategically located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to build and repair Union gunboats. Although U.S. naval vessels are today built in private shipyards, four navy yards still actively serve the fleet.

Growth of the Yard

When Captain William Bainbridge arrived in Boston aboard U.S.S. (United States Ship) Constitution in February 1813, he had reason to be satisfied. While the U.S. Army faltered early in the War of 1812, a string of naval victories over British ships was boosting public confidence. Two months earlier, the big frigate commanded by Bainbridge had engaged H.M.S. (His Majesty’s Ship) Java off the coast of Brazil. Java was the faster ship, but Constitution had heavier guns. By skillful maneuvering. Constitution kept them trained on the British frigate, pounding Java with broadsides until its colors came down.

Crew and commander were met with parades in Boston, but Bainbridge had little time to enjoy the acclaim. He was immediately faced with a task that, if not as exciting as a sea battle, was nevertheless formidable. He had temporarily relinquished command of the Charlestown Navy Yard when he sailed on Constitution.

While he was gone, Navy Secretary Paul Hamilton charged the yard with building one of the nation’s first ships-of-the-line—the battleships of their day. As things now stood, that was an impossibility: Charlestown simply lacked the facilities for such an undertaking.

Bainbridge, who at 37 had already seen extensive naval action and been imprisoned by Barbary pirates, wrote soon after becoming commandant in 1812: “No period of my naval life has been more industrious or fatiguing.” He was shorthanded and hampered by bad weather, conditions that must have sorely tested the endurance of a man with his temperament: aggressive, 12volatile, not noted for his patience. When he took command of the Charlestown yard, Bainbridge pressed the Washington bureaucracy to authorize improvements to a facility that suffered, in his words, from “mismanagement and neglect.”

A Brief History of the Boston Navy Yard

A Brief History of the Boston Navy Yard

The Boston Navy Yard on a war footing. Photograph shows new planking of Pier 6BOSTS 8756-2263

Today part of the land formerly of this navy yard (about 30 acres or 120,000 square meters) is controlled by the Boston National Historical Park under the administration of the United States National Park Service.

Boston Navy Yard

Type   Shipyard
Historical Name of Location   Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

ww2dbaseThe Charlestown Navy Yard was originally established in 1801, and it launched the very first domestically built warship, USS Independence. By the turn of the century, expanded to two drydocks, the facility had been renamed Boston Navy Yard. Boston Navy Yard built several US and British destroyers, destroyer escorts, frigates, landing ships, and other small warships, and it also served as a major repair yard for damaged ships. After the war, she saw service modernizing WW2-era ships during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, but its relative importance diminished due to its location, far away from the conflict zones in Asia. Boston Navy Yard was closed in 1974. Today part of the land formerly of this navy yard (about 30 acres or 120,000 square meters) is controlled by the Boston National Historical Park under the administration of the United States National Park Service. Now known by its original name, Charlestown Navy Yard hosts the museum ships USS Constitution and Cassin Young, and it displays the bell of USS Boston.

Source: Wikipedia

At the turn of the 20th century, the Boston Navy Yard entered its second century of service by embarking on its first major expansion since the Civil War.

This growth was in line with the goals of President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration, which wanted the United States Navy to expand and modernize, heralding the emergence of America as a world power.

In Boston several new buildings and a second dry dock were built to meet the demands of the growing fleet that it served.

The Charlestown Navy Yard was originally established in 1801, and it launched the very first domestically built warship, USS Independence.

By the turn of the century, expanded to two drydocks, the facility had been renamed Boston Navy Yard.

Boston Navy Yard built several US and British destroyers, destroyer escorts, frigates, landing ships, and other small warships, and it also served as a major repair yard for damaged ships.

After the war, she saw service modernizing WW2-era ships during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, but its relative importance diminished due to its location, far away from the conflict zones in Asia. Boston Navy Yard was closed in 1974.

The Boston Navy Yard hosts the museum ships USS Constitution and Cassin Young, and it displays the bell of USS Boston.

By David Hannigan, Park Guide