Charlestown Historical Society

Charlestown Historical Society The object of the organization is the gathering and recording of the history of Charlestown and of individuals and families associated with the town...
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The Charlestown Historical Society is located at 43 Monument Sq in the top floor of the BunkerHill Museum. The society promotes the history of Charlestown with programs and exhibits. A variety of programs and projects are available for all ages.

Mission: The object of the organization shall be the gathering and recording of the history of Charlestown and of individuals and families associated with the town; to collect and preserve historical artifacts and relics; and to found and maintain a museum where such collection shall be maintained and exhibited.

It’s President’s Day! Do you know how many U.S. Presidents were members of the Bunker Hill Monument Association? Do you ...
02/17/2020

It’s President’s Day! Do you know how many U.S. Presidents were members of the Bunker Hill Monument Association? Do you know how many Presidents have visited Bunker Hill?

02/15/2020
02/15/2020
Charlestown Preservation Society

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We are looking forward to CHS's event, and thank Sheila's parents for fighting back against the Urban Renewal plan that was slated to raze Charlestown. Timely article - the BPDA has announced an Urban Renewal meeting in Charlestown for Thurs. Feb 27th, 6:00 PM at the Bunker Hill Knights of Columbus, 545 Medford St. Join us at this very important meeting - our work is not done.

https://charlestownbridge.com/2020/02/13/historical-society-receives-treasure-trove-of-materials-from-fight-against-bra/

The Sweeney Archives on the front page of the Patriot Bridge today! Thank you Sheila Sweeney for your incredible donatio...
02/13/2020

The Sweeney Archives on the front page of the Patriot Bridge today! Thank you Sheila Sweeney for your incredible donation to preserving Charlestown’s history!

134 Days until the 2020 Bunker Hill Day Parade! Here is the BunkerHillDayParade in 1946 #Charlestown #BunkerHill
02/01/2020

134 Days until the 2020 Bunker Hill Day Parade!

Here is the BunkerHillDayParade in 1946

#Charlestown #BunkerHill

134 Days until the 2020 Bunker Hill Day Parade! Here is the BunkerHillDayParade in 1946 #Charlestown #BunkerHill
02/01/2020

134 Days until the 2020 Bunker Hill Day Parade! Here is the BunkerHillDayParade in 1946 #Charlestown #BunkerHill

Charlestown Historical Society Images of Charlestown
01/30/2020

Charlestown Historical Society Images of Charlestown

Navy Yard 1911

The Bunker Hill Housing Development has been an important part of Charlestown since 1941. So many Townies have shared st...
01/22/2020

The Bunker Hill Housing Development has been an important part of Charlestown since 1941. So many Townies have shared stories about growing up there and the sense of community and family that’s been a hallmark of the Development for literally generations.

As the Bunker Hill Housing Development begins a massive redevelopment project, the Charlestown Historical Society wants to make sure we preserve and protect this important part of our neighborhood with YOUR stories, memories and photographs.

Below is the oldest photo in the Charlestown Historical Society’s archives from Bunker Hill Housing Development’s opening in 1941. Do you have photographs from your experiences growing up in the Bunker Hill Housing Development?
Please share your stories and remembrances below.....and look for more information on our Bunker Hill Housing Development Oral History in partnership with StoryCorps (https://storycorps.org/about/) this year.
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The Charlestown Historical Society is overwhelmed with excitement about the forthcoming debut of the Marie and Jim Sween...
01/21/2020

The Charlestown Historical Society is overwhelmed with excitement about the forthcoming debut of the Marie and Jim Sweeney Archives, courtesy of their daughter Sheila Sweeney.

Many of you may remember Marie and Jim Sweeney’s efforts to thwart the BRA and Urban Renewal in the 1960’s through the Self-Help Organization-Charlestown (SHOC). Their efforts were instrumental in making sure the Town wasn’t decimated like the West End.

Almost sixty years later, Charlestown once again is faced with re-development efforts that will change the the fabric of our beloved neighborhood—the oldest in Boston—forever. It’s important that we look to our past and learn from those who have fought for our neighborhood decades before.

The documents that Sheila has saved are priceless—letters from President Kennedy, old Patriot newspapers and maps of Charlestown as it was in the 1960s. We thank her for her generosity and will provide more information on the upcoming series on Charlestown and Re-Development: A History, of which the Marie and Jim Sweeney Archives will be a part.

Thanks for sharing Tom Coots!
01/17/2020

Thanks for sharing Tom Coots!

Something’s burning. A really old Monument Ave Charlestown photo. Submitted by contributor Bob Stella.

Some say on a hot day you can still smell the molasses.....
01/16/2020
NorthEndWaterfront.com

Some say on a hot day you can still smell the molasses.....

101st Anniversary of the Great Molasses Flood in Boston’s North End

Truer words never spoken ⬇️#charlestown #townie #love #2020
01/07/2020

Truer words never spoken ⬇️
#charlestown #townie #love #2020

🍾🥂👏🏻👍🏻🙏🏻
01/01/2020

🍾🥂👏🏻👍🏻🙏🏻

Who remembers these guys? And who would like to see a 2020 CHS program featuring their history? Share your Bunker Hillbi...
12/29/2019

Who remembers these guys? And who would like to see a 2020 CHS program featuring their history? Share your Bunker Hillbillies story here ⬇️

Merry Christmas from the Charlestown Historical Society! This photograph is from G. Washington Warren’s “closing argumen...
12/25/2019

Merry Christmas from the Charlestown Historical Society! This photograph is from G. Washington Warren’s “closing argument” on behalf of the Bunker Hill Monument Association’s plea for a “new avenue to the Monument” which is now Monument Ave!

❤️🎁⛄️🎅🏻🌲🍾🏡
12/24/2019

❤️🎁⛄️🎅🏻🌲🍾🏡

What a Christmas Miracle! Charlestown—and many other towns—showed up in droves at our Historic Book Giveaway. We had a g...
12/22/2019

What a Christmas Miracle!

Charlestown—and many other towns—showed up in droves at our Historic Book Giveaway.

We had a great time meeting new friends interested in history and becoming new members of the @charlestownhistoricalsociety and hearing new stories about the history of our Town.

In our four days of book giveaways we met over 125 wonderful people and found history-loving homes for more than 150 old books.

Find out more at www.charlestownhistoricalsociety.org! Become a member today to be a part of our 2020 programs.

Great turn out at the first hour of our Historic Book Giveaway again today! Stop by today until noon and tomorrow from 3...
12/21/2019

Great turn out at the first hour of our Historic Book Giveaway again today! Stop by today until noon and tomorrow from 3-5!

Wow!
12/21/2019
Massachusetts Historical Society

Wow!

This small glass bottle contains tea leaves gathered across the harbor from Boston, on the shore of Dorchester Neck, on 17 December 1773, the morning after the Boston Tea Party.

A good read....
12/21/2019
Revolution250

A good read....

Deborah Sampson - a Massachusetts hero.

Another great day at the @charlestown_historical_society Holiday Book Giveaway! Here are our Charlestown neighbors Erica...
12/20/2019

Another great day at the @charlestown_historical_society Holiday Book Giveaway! Here are our Charlestown neighbors Erica and Chris from Medford Street who took armfuls of our old books home today! Thank you for taking good care of our books and giving them a good home! Come see us TOMORROW from 10 am to noon! #history #bunkerhill #bibliophiles #oldbookshop #charlestown

While archiving today we found a 2010 Girl Scouts Cookbook. Soon to be archived with other items from the second decade ...
12/20/2019

While archiving today we found a 2010 Girl Scouts Cookbook. Soon to be archived with other items from the second decade of the millennium! Yummy recipes in here....

Great first day of the @charlestown_historical_society Holiday Book Giveaway! Some of our neighbors joined us and took h...
12/19/2019

Great first day of the @charlestown_historical_society Holiday Book Giveaway!
Some of our neighbors joined us and took home a few good books to put under their tree! Swing by @bunkerhillmuseum on the 3rd floor again tomorrow from 3-5 pm, Saturday 10-12 and Sunday 3-5. 🌲🎅🏻🎁

Please stop by the #bunkerhillmuseum 3rd floor Thursday-Sunday (see specific times) to peruse our old books and take a f...
12/18/2019

Please stop by the #bunkerhillmuseum 3rd floor Thursday-Sunday (see specific times) to peruse our old books and take a few home to put under the tree for your favorite bibliophile on your list! Email [email protected] for more information! FREE!

12/17/2019
12/17/2019
12/17/2019
Don’t know what to get that hard to buy for #Townie on your Christmas list? Charlestown Historical Society was at the #C...
12/13/2019

Don’t know what to get that hard to buy for #Townie on your Christmas list? Charlestown Historical Society was at the #CharlestownStroll tonight. Go to www.charlestownhistoricalsociety.org to buy a membership today!

Jedidiah Morse was a pastor in Charlestown from 1789 to 1820. He was also Samuel Morse’s father. Here’s a copy of his se...
11/28/2019
A Sermon, preached at Charlestown, November 29, 1798, on the anniversary thanksgiving in Massachusetts | Digital Pitt

Jedidiah Morse was a pastor in Charlestown from 1789 to 1820. He was also Samuel Morse’s father. Here’s a copy of his sermon, preached in Charlestown, November 29, 1798, on the anniversary thanksgiving. #TownieTalent

https://digital.library.pitt.edu/islandora/object/pitt:31735054855139/viewer

by Jedidiah Morse, D.D., pastor of a church in Charlestown., "Published by request.", Signatures: [A]⁴ B-K⁴., Appendix: p. 30-79.

So many Thanksgiving memories in Charlestown. What’s your favorite #TownieThanksgiving memory or recipe? Share memories ...
11/27/2019

So many Thanksgiving memories in Charlestown. What’s your favorite #TownieThanksgiving memory or recipe? Share memories of Thanksgivings gone by with us here ⬇️⬇️ 🦃🍎🌽🏈❤️😴

Did you know that this beautiful woman was singularly responsible for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument AND for...
11/25/2019

Did you know that this beautiful woman was singularly responsible for the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument AND for Thanksgiving?! Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, the daughter of a Revolutionary War officer, was responsible for making Thanksgiving Day a national holiday. With the approach of the Civil War, Sarah believed a national day of thanksgiving would draw families and the nation closer together. She lobbied President Lincoln for his support, and enlisted her magazine readers to do the same. In 1863 President Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day. Let’s remember and be thankful for what she did for Charlestown and the country.

The New Yorker
11/23/2019
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

In the aftermath of President Kennedy’s death—he was killed on this day in 1963—New Yorker writers remembered his final days and his political legacy.

Charlestown has a history of kindness too. Should we consider doing this here too? Are you in?
11/20/2019
WBUR 90.9 FM

Charlestown has a history of kindness too. Should we consider doing this here too? Are you in?

ESSAY: On Wednesday, Nov. 20, Melrose will celebrate its fourth annual Random Acts of Kindness Day.

"In a world so divided, so angry and so righteous in our beliefs," writes Maribeth Darwin, "it’s nice to take a kindness break, to focus on the good that is out there, to look beyond our differences and toward our commonalities."

Did you take the survey?
11/16/2019
02129NeighborAlliance

Did you take the survey?

Results of our survey so far...

The TOP 5 MOST IMPORTANT things to consider when planning for Charlestown’s Future are:

Community Schools that meet the Community's Needs (69.4% of respondents)
The End of Gridlock on Our Roads (63.8%)
Preserving Charlestown’s Historic Buildings and Neighborhood (59.6%)
Businesses that serve the community IN the community (54.8%)
Open Space and Recreation, including Youth Sports facilities (54.5%)

Does this represent what you think is most important to study and solve for Charlestown's Future?

NO? Then take the survey, and make your voice heard!
YES? Then take the survey and help us show the City that Charlestown is UNITED and insist that our goals and needs are solved for within PLAN: Charlestown.

https://forms.gle/hN9z7oGgo6UvXxda9

There’s a Charlestown connection to the submarine that was found recently. An explorer discovered the wreck of the U.S.S...
11/13/2019
American Submarine Lost in WWII Located Off Okinawa

There’s a Charlestown connection to the submarine that was found recently.
An explorer discovered the wreck of the U.S.S. Grayback, a Navy submarine credited with sinking 14 enemy ships, off the Japanese island of Okinawa on June 5th. Dubbed one of the “most successful submarines of the war,” the Grayback sank during combat patrol with 80 American sailors still onboard.
One of them was from Charlestown. We will report more information on him as soon as we have it.

Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/american-submarine-lost-wwii-located-okinawa-180973536/#pWw4JwsgJdZd3lWO.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/american-submarine-lost-wwii-located-okinawa-180973536/

Explorers found the

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up it’s a great time to share family stories. There are so many wonderful stories o...
11/12/2019
The Secret Benefits of Retelling Family Stories

With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up it’s a great time to share family stories. There are so many wonderful stories of Charlestown’s history and we want to capture them. In 2020 the Charlestown Historical Society will continue our efforts to capture these stories through our oral history programs including a new podcast called Tales From The Town. By partnering with our local organizations, we will gather these stories to preserve and protect them. If you want to be a part of our program please contact us. And read this article on the vast benefits of retelling family stories.

https://www-wsj-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/the-secret-benefits-of-retelling-family-stories-11573468201

Telling family stories is a favorite pastime when relatives gather for the holidays. Children absorb more information from family stories than most adults think, teaching them about history and identity.

A great find today, on Veteran’s Day Eve—-60+ Charlestown men—the “Charlestown Cadets”—who served in the Spanish America...
11/10/2019

A great find today, on Veteran’s Day Eve—-60+ Charlestown men—the “Charlestown Cadets”—who served in the Spanish American War. The photos are from 1900.

Bill Durette grew up in the Bunker Hill projects in Charlestown, and when he was a kid he’d watch the parades go by and ...
11/09/2019
Veteran tells ‘their stories’ - The Boston Globe

Bill Durette grew up in the Bunker Hill projects in Charlestown, and when he was a kid he’d watch the parades go by and count the lines of men wearing ribbons and medals. It seemed like they went on for miles.

We are lucky to have Bill Durette and his dedication to the men and women of Charlestown who have served our country.
#veteransday #townies 🇺🇸❤️☘️

http://archive.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/11/12/veteran_tells_their_stories/

Bill Durette grew up in the Bunker Hill projects in Charlestown, and when he was a kid he’d watch the parades go by and count the lines of men wearing ribbons and medals. It seemed like they went on for miles.

The five Randell Brothers from Charlestown served in WW1–Harold, Leroy, Thomas, Frederick and James. #veteransday #towni...
11/09/2019

The five Randell Brothers from Charlestown served in WW1–Harold, Leroy, Thomas, Frederick and James. #veteransday #townies

11/09/2019
11/09/2019
We are thinking about a “JFK and Charlestown” exhibit later this month. Is that something you’d like to see?
11/08/2019

We are thinking about a “JFK and Charlestown” exhibit later this month. Is that something you’d like to see?

On this day November 8 in 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy is elected president in a close race, beating VP Nixon by approximately 118,550 votes. #OTD

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43 Monument Sq
Charlestown, MA
02129

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Comments

I wonder if there are any photos of the interior of the Thompson Square Theatre, the "Hippy"? I have a couple of exterior photos, but nothing inside.
I am trying to find photographs of the long gone Boston and Maine Railroad Potato House that was located between Austin and Mason Streets. Myemail to [email protected] bounced. I have checked with the B&M Historical Society. It does not have any ground views. Thank you. Jack Dziadul, Sanford, NC
Three buildings later and the marker still remains at 44 High Street.
Here is a list of some of the many watering holes that once dotted our square mile. Most were gone before my time. However I imbibed in the Horseshoe Tavern and the Front Page before it was purchased by the 99.
How do we join?
My dad, John Oliver Herman, was born at 60 Soley Street on July 20, 1920, "in the shadow of the Bunker Hill Monument," as he always said. He died in 1970, but I am looking forward to celebrating his centennial next year, so will be checking in to add to the fun.
Looking for ancestors and wanted to visit, but couldn't find out when you were open?
Hello, I wonder if you have family information on John Bennett (1632-1674) My husband Robert F. Bennett of Jamaica Plain is a direct descendant. We are looking for John's Scottish roots.
Hello! I'm looking for information about my grandfather, Leo Donahue, who worked as a civilian in the Charlestown Navy Yard sometime around 1944 or 1945 and was badly burned in a fire on a ship. I've already contacted the Navy Yard and I'm wondering if you can point me to additional resources. Thank you!
Please come if you are free Christmas Traditions in Boston Tuesday December 5, 2017 at 6:00 PM "Christmas Traditions in Boston" with Anthony Sammarco In 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony banned the celebration of Christmas, deeming it a period of seasonal excess without Biblical authority. It would not be until 1856 that Christmas Day became a state holiday. By the mid-nineteenth century a German immigrant named Charles Follen introduced the Christmas tree to Boston, and shortly thereafter Louis Prang introduced his colorful Christmas cards, the first in Boston. During the next century, Boston would see caroling and hand bell ringing on Beacon Hill, traditional New England displays on Boston Common and in the city’s many department stores. Christmas Traditions in Boston revisits the memories of the past and brings together the shared tradition of how Bostonians celebrated the holiday season. The book will be for sale at the talk. Referred to as the "Balzac of Boston History" by the Boston Globe, Anthony Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over seventy books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history of his native city. Where: BPL Commonwealth Salon Central Library in Copley Square 700 Boylston Street Boston MA 02116
Thought you might be interested in a DNA workshop on south shore. Bring your laptop and your DNA results and work alongside our guest speaker to better understand what the DNA is telling you. Or if you haven't done your DNA, come discover the possibilities and which DNA test you should take- Join us Sat Oct 21.