Boston: Living History
Written by: Juliann Ramos
After I accepted my position as a Curatorial Assistant at Boston National Historical Park, I was filled with overwhelming excitement – not only have I never been to Boston, but I get to work for the National Parks Service while doing it! Having never had the opportunity or funds to explore the United States, I felt that this was an opportunity not only for me to grow as a person but to become more familiar with my own country’s history.
In my experience, when a history book mentions Boston, it relates to either the American Revolution or the Civil War. While these are significant moments in our history, I have learned at Boston National Historical Park that they do not encompass all of Boston’s history. Through my time here, I have learned about the importance of the Charlestown Navy Yard and its role as a key (and at times, sole) producer of rope and die-lock chains for the entirety of the United States Navy. Here, the focus lies upon the hardworking men and women at the naval yard, recognized for their labors and innovations in times of need and peace. Not only is the Charlestown Navy Yard one of the oldest, but it features a floating monument to history on its dry docks- the USS CASSIN YOUNG, a 175 Fletcher-class destroyer built to fight during World War II.
Having been provided housing in the old marine barracks, I feel a constant connection towards the yard and the very subject of my internship (and hold newfound respect for their ability to traverse those thin and narrow stairs!). Living in the barracks not only allows for quick access around the park, but it has introduced me to some spectacular fellow employees from various disciplines and backgrounds. With these relationships growing stronger every day, I am grateful to ACE and the NPS for granting me the opportunity to not only explore living history but to make lifelong connections and finally satisfy that craving for New England clam chowder!
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