The First People lived in this region for thousands of years. Their descendants, the Massachusett, named what we now call Charlestown, Mishawum—"Great Springs." They gathered here and at other harbor locations seasonally, to farm and hunt for food.
The English purchased Mishawum from the principal sac'hem, the "Queen of the Massachusett." They renamed the peninsula and built homes around City Square. This part of Charlestown remained as farm land until 1801, when the federal government bought it to establish the Charlestown Navy Yard.
The Navy soon filled mudflats and marsh, making land for wharves and ship building. In the 1830s, seawalls were constructed along the outer edges of the mudflats. This marked the end of made land in this section of the Navy Yard; the seawall remains in place today, to your right.
The land, however, would undergo yet another transformation after the Navy Yard closed in 1974. In the decades since, housing has sprung up along the waterfront, where the Massachusett people once fished, harvested shellfish, and launched canoes.