Charlestown, Massachusetts is a small town located between Boston and Rhode Island. The original population estimate for this town was fifty-two at the time of its creation. Today Charlestown stands at around one hundred and seventy. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the west, Rhode Island to the south, and Boston Harbor to the east.
Charlestown was originally called Mashpee by the early Massachusetts Indians. It later became known as Mashpee by the first colony in Boston. It was established as a permanent residential neighborhood in 18 48. In the early years it was a very busy town, but later this claim was no longer true. Today it has seen a slow but steady growth in its population.
A visit to the historic center of Charlestown will give an idea as to the early activities that were carried out in this area. Here you can view the stately manor house that stood for over one hundred years until it was destroyed during the American Revolution. Amongst this impressive structure are two fine inns known as the Hillsman and the Old House. The inns were built during the colonial period and served as summerhouses, lounges, inns, or tea houses. During the latter part of the century the cultivation of wheat and corn was undertaken on a large scale. These fields near the Hillsman Inn were the first crops to be planted by settlers moving to the area in the mid-seventeen hundreds.
The first colony to settle in the then present state of Massachusetts Charlestown was established by John Winthrop, an American soldier and later governor of New England. His settlement, which today is known as Buzzards Point, was founded upon the banks of the Mystic River. From here the colony expanded by following the natural course of the river and settling as it flowed through Charlestown and into Boston. This natural harbor was a place where ships from all the ports of call in America could dock and then unload their cargo.
When Boston was established as a city by charter in 1634 the site was chosen as the first city line between the west and east sides of the Common. Today, the city is split into two sides with the western side being known as South Boston and the eastern one as North Boston. As the colony expanded, towns along the river were developed and the line was sometimes followed by a line following the course of the Connecticut River to Springfield, Massachusetts. Charlestown and Revere Beach were two of the most prominent and important early communities. The most significant events to take place in Charlestown were the famed Boston Tea Party, the settlement of this town by Irish immigrants, and the famed Boston Massacre.
Today this historic neighborhood still stands as a vital part of the economic, cultural, and historical character of Massachusetts. Charlestown was named after English settlers who settled in the area during the mid-nineteenth century. Today this historic community is home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and heritage buildings. One of the more interesting sites to visit is the Old Town Hall, which features a beautiful bell tower that is reminiscent of years gone by. Other historic sites to see in this area include the historic Freedom Trail, the highest point in the state, the Thomas Becket House, where the last of the Boston Globe publishers lived, and the Charlestown Massacre Site, where this historic event occurred.
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