"A state of perfect chaos"
William Bainbridge 1812
This 1833 view of Boston from the west end of the Navy Yard shows a harbor full of busy activity. The steeple of the Old North Church is still a prominent landmark. [courtesy Library of Congress]
The Navy Yard in the War of 1812
When Captain William Bainbridge took command of the Navy Yard in April 1812, he founded little but a tract of marshy land and nine buildings in disrepair. Only 12 years old, the yard still had no deep water wharf for ships or adequate storage for supplies. A state-owned magazine miles away housed the Navy's gunpowder.
Bainbridge repeatedly tried to improve the Yard's facilities, but the Navy Department did not have the funds. In 1813, workers erected a new brick storehouse and blacksmith shop, and in 1814 and enormous shed or "shiphouse" covered the ship of the line under construction.
Despite these improvements, many years passed before the Yard assumed the character of the industrial complex seen today.
Erected by USS Constitution Museum- Boston National Historical Charleston Navy Yard- National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • War of 1812 • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1812.
Location. 42° 22.37′ N, 71° 3.449′ W. Marker is in Boston, Massachusetts, in Suffolk County. Marker is on 1st Ave. (Freedom Trail). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13 3rd St, 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. Gate One, Charlestown Navy Yard (a few steps from this marker); Charlestown Navy Yard (within shouting distance of this marker); USS Constitution (within shouting distance of this marker); Paul Revere’s Landing (within shouting distance of this marker); Paul Revere (within shouting distance of this marker); Tudor Wharves (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Bunker Hill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); This Cannon (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Boston.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 7, 2012, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. This page has been viewed 438 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 7, 2012, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.