Boston in Suffolk County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Boston National Historical Park
— Charlestown Navy Yard —
On August 19, 1812, USS Constitution took on the British frigate HMS Guerriere. A half hour of intense combat maimed the British ship. According to legend, as the cannon balls of HMS Guerriere bounced harmlessly off the oak-planked sides of USS Constitution, a sailor exclaimed, “Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!” Ever since, USS Constitution has enjoyed the affectionate nickname, “Old Ironsides.”
Even after her fighting days were over, USS Constitution continued to represent her country. She cruised around the world in 1844-46, covering 52,000 miles in 852 days. Now berthed permanently in the Charlestown Navy Yard, she is the nation’s oldest commissioned warship.
Erected by Boston National Historical Park, National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
Marker series. This marker National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 42° 22.351′ N, 71° 3.44′ W. Marker is in Boston, Massachusetts, in Suffolk County. Marker can be reached from Constitution Road, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, near the USS Constitution. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Charlestown MA 02129, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Paul Revere’s Landing (a few steps from this marker); Paul Revere (a few steps from this marker); Gate One, Charlestown Navy Yard (within shouting distance of this marker); "A state of perfect chaos" (within shouting distance of this marker); Tudor Wharves (within shouting distance of this marker); Charlestown Navy Yard (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Bunker Hill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Commander Barry Carle (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boston.
More about this marker. The upper left of the marker contains a picture of the USS Constitution at sea, courtesy of the USS Constitution Museum. The upper right contains a picture of the Constitution in a battle with the Guerriere. The captions for the pictures are “(Left) Under sail. The campaign to restore ‘Old Ironsides’ in 1927 sold more than one million prints of this painting by Gordon Grant. (Above) Undefeated. USS Constitution captures HMS Guerriere.” The bottom left of the marker contains pictures of various men who served on USS Constitution. It has the caption “The battle years. Shifting nearly an acre of sailcloth was strenuous work, even when not under fire. The U.S. Navy relied on 450 men and boys, from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, to maneuver this 204-foot-long wooden fortress.” The bottom right features a recent photo of “The crew today. U.S. Navy personnel, in uniforms reminiscent of the War of 1812, tell the story of ‘Old Ironsides’ to a million visitors each year.”
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Also see . . . Original Six Frigates of the United States Navy. (Submitted on November 7, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Categories. • War of 1812 • Waterways & Vessels •
More. Search the internet for USS Constitution.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 26, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 2,386 times since then and 36 times this year. Last updated on February 1, 2014, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1. submitted on April 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 2. submitted on January 5, 2017, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 15, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 7, 8. submitted on July 3, 2013, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 9, 10. submitted on November 7, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 11, 12. submitted on January 5, 2017, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.