Charlestown is the oldest neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. Originally called Mishawum by the Massachusett tribe, it is located on a peninsula north of the Charles River, across from downtown Boston, and also adjoins the Mystic River and Boston Harbor waterways. Charlestown was laid out in 1629 by engineer Thomas Graves, one of its earliest settlers, in the reign of Charles I of England. It was originally a separate town and the first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Charlestown became a city in 1848 and was annexed by Boston on January 5, 1874. With that, it also switched from Middlesex County, to which it had belonged since 1643, to Suffolk County. It has had a substantial Irish-American population since the migration of Irish people during the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s. Since the late 1980s, the neighborhood has changed dramatically because of its proximity to downtown and its colonial architecture. A mix of yuppie and upper-middle-class gentrification has influenced much of the area, as it has in many of Boston’s neighborhoods, but Charlestown still maintains a strong Irish-American population and “Townie” identity.
Thomas and Jane Walford were the original English settlers of the peninsula between the Charles and the Mystic. They were given a grant by Sir Robert Gorges, with whom they had settled at Wessagusset (Weymouth) in September 1623 and arrived at what they called Mishawaum in 1624. John Endicott, first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, sent William, Richard, and Ralph Sprague to Mishawaum to lay out a settlement. Thomas Walford, acting as an interpreter with the Massachusetts Indians, negotiated with the local sachem Wonohaquaham for Endicott and his people to settle there. Although Walford had a virtual monopoly on the region’s available furs, he welcomed the newcomers and helped them in any way he could, unaware that his Episcopalian religious beliefs would cause him to be banished from Massachusetts to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, within three years. LadyB’s Bed Bug Pros Boston
Charlestown has become a haven for young professionals, who mingle with first, second, and third-generation immigrant families to create a demographically mixed neighborhood. Alongside brick townhouses and signature triple-deckers, popular bars and restaurants now make Charlestown a destination for visitors and residents alike. It’s home to important landmarks including the USS Constitution or “Old Ironsides,” the Bunker Hill Monument, and the Charlestown Navy Yard.
Restaurants and Pubs
- Monument Restaurants & Tavern is located at 251 Main St, Boston, MA
- Warren Tavern is located at 2 Pleasant St, Charlestown, MA
- Blackmoor Bar and Kitchen is located at 1 Chelsea St, Charlestown, MA
Check out other neighborhoods like Chinatown