March 22, 2011

Boston Getaway - Part 3 - The Freedom Trail

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Boston is such a great city.  Not only rich in American History but one of the "easiest" cities to get around in while your visiting.  During our visit this past November we took a peek into the past while riding one of the many "Hop On Hop Off" tours.  They're a bit expensive maybe at about $76.00 for two people, but the live narration from the bus driver was fantastic!  I'm sure you have to be lucky enough to get a good driver, and we enjoyed ours so much, we never got off of the bus until the tour was complete!

But I think what I love the most about Boston is that you can walk all over this historic city.  Which for me is the best.....I can stop and take pictures when ever I want!

We started at the Charlestown Navy Yard and here is where we begin with our walk along the "Freedom Trail" .  I will break this up into several posts because there is so much to share with you along this historic route.

Today's post will be about our first stop, The USS Constitution, or as it's lovingly referred to "Old Ironsides".

It was nicknamed this because cannonballs could not penetrate her tough oak sides.  Being one of the first of the original six frigates that made up the U.S. Navy, she was an A 44-gun frigate built at the Edmond Hartt Shipyard, Boston, MA, in 1797. Her dimensions are 53,34x13,26x6,0 (d) m [175'0x43'6"x16'7"] and with a displacement of 2000 tons, the ship carried a crew of more than 450. The ship served in the undeclared naval war with France (1798-1800) Was the Flagship in the Mediterranean squadron, in the Tripolitan War (1801-05). In the War of 1812 the Constitution won battles with the British frigates Guerriere and Java; the former battle took place about 1,200 km (750 mi) east of Boston on Aug. 19, 1812, and the latter off the coast of Brazil on Dec. 29, 1812. The Constitution made its last combat tour in 1814-15. The ship was scheduled to be scrapped in 1830, but Oliver Wendell Holmes's poem "Old Ironsides" inspired a public movement to save it.

September 16, 1830
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar;--
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread,
Or know the conquered knee;--
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

Oh, better that her shattered bulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!

 The USS Constitution was undefeated in battle and is still in service today as an icon of America's proud naval heritage and maitime traditions.  Restored in 1925, the Constitution is now The oldest commissioned vessel in the US Navy. Presently serving as a museum ship at the Charleston Navy Yard, was closed on this day.  So twice now, I have missed the opportunity to get a glimps of the inside of this magnificent vessel. 

One of the many historic buildings at the Charlestown Navy Yard, and my personal favorite, the Commandant's House (Quarters G).

Since 1805 the most elegant structure on the Waterfront has been the residence of the United States Navy commanders. “The house on the hill” overlooks the USS Constitution, Boston Harbor, and the city skyline.

Well, it's time to continue our walk along the Freedom Trail.  I hope you come back soon and read about our next stop!

Just a few more pictures if you would like to see them.  Click here "Where's Debbie" then on the album "Old Ironsides"


  1. Hi Debbie, I told George to be sure and check out your blog today since he has been on Old Ironsides... I have been 'through' Boston ---only around the airport, but have never toured there. I'd love to go back there sometime.

  2. Thanks for this post -- it brought back many happy memories. I was able to see and board Old Ironsides. It's absolutely fascinating. I would love to get to Boston when the ship makes it's annual turnaround cruise.

  3. It's nice to see such a marvellous ship saved from the breakers yard even in 1830. Nice post.


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