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.


Juliann Ramos pictured in front of the Boston National Historical Park sign

Juliann Ramos pictured in front of the Boston National Historical Park sign. It reads “Boston National Historical Park, Charlestown Navy Yard, National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior” and features the NPS logo.


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.


USS CASSIN YOUNG docked at Pier 1

The USS CASSIN YOUNG docked at Pier 1. The hull number “793” is visible on the port side of the ship alongside its anchor.


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!


Marine Barracks (Bldg. 1) located within Boston National Historical Park

The Marine Barracks (Bldg. 1) located within Boston National Historical Park. Pictured are the historic signs of the building alongside the American and United States Marine Corps flags- the small sign on the left states what the building used to offer “BLDG.1: Enlisted Quarters, Guard Office, Personnel Office, Barber Shop, Tailor Shop, Enlisted Club Office,” while the sign in the middle states “Marine Barracks: U.S. Naval Base, Boston, Mass.”

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