19 Jul About My Site
It is always fascinating to scroll through the posts of the Everglades and the adventures that you all share. From my office my site can often feel dull and because theoretically it is not what anyone thinks of when they imagine a National Park. As a historical site, it is its’ industrialism and evolution of the city around it that makes it a unique destination for NPS fanatics. What I have learned is that although the western wonders are the highlights of NPS, the reality is that they are often the exception while many of our parks are located in the midsts of buzzling cities and towering skylines.The Boston National Historic Site (BNHS) is a partnership site that is used and operated both by NPS and its’ Boston partners such as the city of Boston, the Old South Meeting House, the Naval Detachment and others. It is made up from sites located along the freedom trail and include 30 acres that make up the Charlestown Navy Yard. But, BNHS is only one part of the National Parks of Boston which is made up of three coalitions. The Boston Harbor Islands, and the Boston African American National Historic Site are also part of the National Parks of Boston. Its expansiveness and convoluted partnership is what makes managing the sites and understanding their complexities a challenge. I frequent at the Charlestown Navy Yard where I both live and work. The Marine Barracks have doubled as both an office and a home for the past few weeks and I have gotten familiar with the peculiarities of the site and its contributing neighbors. The original navy yard expanded across 129.5 acres which includes many of the rehabilitated buildings along the strip that are currently neighboring the protected site. A shipyard is where warships are born and periodically return for maintenance and supplies. Meanwhile, during war the shipyard serves as a repair center for damaged ships. In 1974, NPS acquired the 30 acres that make up our site and thus began a new history for the site. The navy yard is home to the USS Constitution and the USS Cassin Young, two distinct ships yet representative of the types of vessels constructed at the site. My favorite part of the yard are its two dry docks where historically they would repair ships that were affected in battle. Dry dock 1 was built in 1827 succeeding the Gosport Naval Dry Dock opening by only seven days. During the tour of the USS Constitution a last Thursday I was able to go down into dry dock 1 and see its granite and concrete steps.Dry docks originated in Ptolemaic, Egypt and have been in use since 221 b.c.e. The dry dock at the navy yard shows how much engineering has advanced since then! The USS Constitution temporarily rests at dry dock 1 for the restoration of the copper sheets that surround its bottom. You can follow its restoration at https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/restoration/blog. Along the freedom trail are the landmarks that tell the story of the revolution. Within the confines of the brick marker along the street hidden stories of the civil rights movement and other suppressions rest quietly. It is through the markers that one can experience a living history of a changing fabric and ever-changing nation. Through the mortars and laid brick along Beacon Hill is the African Meeting house and the African American Museum where the stories of the free black community and their efforts to against slavery and segregation are exposed. Along the unmarked Black Heritage trail are the untold stories of John J. Smith and George Middleton. Beyond the shores of the North End and the Charlestown Navy Yard lays another piece of Boston National Parks, the Harbor Islands. Recently uncovered from the polluted harbor, the Boston Harbor Islands have become a destination for many of the Bostonians. While tourists occupy many of our historical sites the Harbor Islands offer an escape from the busy city life Bostonians know so well. It is within the confines of the islands that one begins to see the remnants of a NPS we all know and recognize. Open fields and wildlife inhabit the coasts of Boston so strategically hidden from the busy skyline. The great thing that Boston National Park has to offer is its diversity in experience. Anyone can find something interesting and worth attending at our sites. Whether you enjoy a good story along the busy landmarks or a visit to a destination like the harbor islands, there is truly something here for everyone.