Small buildings housed the many businesses operating here, and stacks of lumber lined the wharves (Border Street between Central Square and Maverick Street).

Local Industries

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.


How did the Harborwalk come to exist? [expand]

How did Colonial laws help create today's Harborwalk? [expand]

Are there any physical reminders of East Boston's shipbuilding industry left today? [expand]



Banner image: O.H. Bailey & Co., 1879, map reproduction courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library

Coal ship image courtesy of Coal Age

Translation and recording thanks to the generosity of the Boston Marine Society

Our gratitude to the Perkins School for the Blind and David W. Cook for their partnership in creating the audio files.

About us

The Friends of the Boston Harborwalk is a group of volunteers, affiliated with Boston Harbor Now, dedicated to enhancing enjoyment of Boston's 43-mile Harborwalk. The Friends meet monthly to plan and coordinate our three main priorities.

1. Host monthly two-hour long tours connected to the Harborwalk or Boston Harbor;

2. Facilitate waterfront clean-up days to ensure that the full length of the Harborwalk is clean, safe, and inviting;

3. Create engaging interpretive signs to help people learn about and enjoy the rich stories connected to Boston's waterfront.

For more information and to join the Friends, contact Mike Manning, Chair, .