Many businesses operated on this site, including a steam sawmill, a blacksmith and tin shop, several lumber yards and coal companies, and a carriage factory. They contributed to a thriving corridor of shipbuilding and related industries on this waterfront, which lasted into the 20th century.
These industrial uses date to the earliest days of East Boston development when the East Boston Timber Company was established in 1834 with an eye to encouraging shipbuilding. Timber was shipped from upstate New York, via the Erie Canal, and stored under water at a timber dock built here. The company went bankrupt six years later, but the large supply of inexpensive timber left behind did spur local shipbuilding. East Boston's first shipbuilder, Samuel Hall, purchased a portion of the property.
In later years, other lumber companies were among the businesses that occupied this site, including George McQuesten & Company. McQuesten dealt primarily in southern hard pine–used extensively in local construction –and likely contributed to a cluster of home building businesses across the street.