Shirley-Eustis House

33 Shirley Street, Roxbury

In late 1755, ships carrying French-speaking deportees, from what are now Canada’s Maritime Provinces, began arriving in Boston Harbor. Known as the Acadians, some 2,000 of them would resettle in Massachusetts. Their expulsion, Le Grand Dérangement (Great Upheaval), paved the way for the occupation of their lands by “New England Planters”—about 8,000 New Englanders heeding a British call to replace the Acadians. 

Although the treatment of the Acadian diaspora is much debated, responsibility for their expulsion and the expropriation of their lands is not in doubt. Massachusetts Colony Governor William Shirley, who spent at least part of each year living in his mansion on a 33-acre Roxbury estate, ordered their removal during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763). Although a civilian, Shirley also briefly served as commander of all British forces in North America.

Portrait of William Shirley, 1750. Source: Smithsonian Institution, public domain.

Prior to his governorship, Shirley’s title was that of the “Surveyor of the King’s Wood.” In this role he inventoried New England’s natural resources and engaged with frontier settlers whose antipathy toward the indigenous people and their French allies he shared. Shirley also served on a commission to determine boundaries between New England and New France (part of present-day Canada). As such, Shirley was very familiar with the region. 

Although Le Grand Dérangement was but one instance of ethnic cleansing related to the wars, it is especially interesting because Acadian interactions with the indigenous population was far less destructive than those of the English: living in relatively small settlements, the Acadians established stable relations with the Native people, intermarried, and often borrowed indigenous cultural practices. The mass deportation severed those relations. (In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II issued a formal apology to the Acadians for the “wrongs committed in the name of the English Crown.”)

Statue in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia commemorating the mass deportation of Acadians. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia.

The French and Indian Wars profoundly reconfigured relations between and among indigenous people, the British and French governments, and their respective colonial subjects, the settlers. Ultimate British victory in the wars proved expensive; the taxation associated with the war debt exacerbated tensions between the crown and its colonists. These created incentives for the latter to seek independence and to further plunder native lands notwithstanding the British Crown’s war-ending pledges to protect and “not molest” the indigenous people.

Built between 1746 and 1749 as Governor Shirley’s summer residence, the historic, three-story house is part of Shirley-Eustis Place. (The name reflects that it was also at one point the home of William Eustis, a Massachusetts governor, 1823-1825, and U.S. congressman.) The larger entity, now an official City of Boston Landmark, incorporates a carriage house and the grounds. It also includes an outbuilding (at 42-44 Shirley Street) that is now a private residence. 

Recent archeological research, ongoing at the time of publication of this entry, demonstrates that servants and enslaved Africans worked in the mansion and on the lands during Shirley’s ownership of the estate. It also suggests that some of the enslaved people may have lived in portions of the then-outbuilding, probably a barn. If true, it would make the building one of the last free-standing slave quarters (along with the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford) in the U.S. Northeast. None of this would have come as an embarrassment to Governor Shirley who went on to serve the British Crown as Governor of the Bahamas at the peak of its slave trading years.

Today the Shirley-Eustis House Association, founded in 1913, owns and operates the renovated and restored mansion and grounds. The landmark is open for tours from June through September.

Shirley-Eustis House, 2009. Photo by Tim Sackton. Creative Commons.

Getting there:

Commuter Rail to the Newmarket Station. 0.3 mile (5-minute) walk. MBTA buses also pass close by.

To learn more:

Boston Landmarks Commission, “Shirley-Eustis Place: Boston Landmarks Study Report,” July 2021.

William M. Fowler Jr., Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754-1763. New York: Walker Publishing Company, 2005.

Tiana Woodard, “Boston Sheds More Light on its Relationship to Slavery,” The Boston Globe, September 8, 2021.

The Rabbit Inn

265 ½ Dorchester Street, South Boston

A small bar directly across the street from the Old Colony Housing Project, the Rabbit Inn and its White clientele were victims of police brutality. That it took place when and where it did was related to the often violent protests in opposition to what was popularly known as busing or forced busing, a federal-court-ordered program launched in September 1974 to desegregate the Boston Public Schools.

Around 8pm on Saturday, October 5, 1974, about 14 members of the Boston Police Department’s Tactical Patrol Force (TPF)—allegedly in response to “officer in trouble” phone calls from the bar—entered the Rabbit Inn after removing their badges. Using their billy clubs, Boston’s elite police squad proceeded to destroy much of the interior and assault the bar’s patrons—as well as individuals who happened to be in front of the building, including a 17-year-old on his way to buy milk. The attack lasted approximately five minutes and resulted in at least 10 individuals going to the hospital for head injuries, and about $20,000 in damage to the tavern.

Former site of the Rabbit Inn, April 2016. The bar was located in the left side of the building. Photo by Joseph Nevins.

The attack appears to have been revenge for what transpired the previous evening: someone had thrown a rock through the windshield of a TPF vehicle parked outside the bar. When three TPF officers tried to arrest a suspect, 25-30 people ran out of the Rabbit Inn and assaulted them.

The Rabbit Inn incident resulted in a City Council hearing, and investigations by the Boston Police Department’s Internal Affairs division and the FBI. While twelve TPF members were charged and tried in court, it appears that none were convicted.

Most TPF members (almost all of whom were White) were strongly opposed to busing. However, as the police officers often on the front lines of law and order in anti-busing strongholds and almost exclusively White neighborhoods such as South Boston and Charlestown, they became very unpopular in these areas as they clashed with protestors. Many in these neighborhoods referred to them by nicknames such as “the goon squad” and “Garrity’s Gestapo”—the latter a reference to W. Arthur Garrity, the federal judge who mandated and designed the desegregation effort.

The site of the Rabbit Inn is now a private home, and the TPF was disbanded in 1978.

Getting there:

Red Line to Andrew Station.  The former site of the Rabbit Inn is about 0.4 miles away (approximately a 7-minute walk).

To learn more:

J. Anthony Lukas, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families, New York: Knopf, 1985.

David Rogers, “Conflicting Stories Told in South Boston bar incident,” The Boston Evening Globe, October 7, 1974: 3.

David Rogers and Bob Jordan, “Police brutal, City Council told,” The Boston Globe, Oct 8, 1974: 1+.

Jerry Taylor, “Civil Service lifts TPF suspensions in Rabbit Inn case,” The Boston Globe, July 8, 1976: 1+.

There are several school desegregation- and busing-related sites in A People’s Guide to Greater Boston. Among them are South Boston Heights Academy, Carson Beach, Charlestown High School football field, and the Christopher Gibson School.

Nearby site of interest:

St. Augustine Chapel (the oldest Catholic church building still standing in Boston), 181 Dorchester Street.

Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee

256 Hanover Street, North End

Armband worn at funeral procession for Sacco and Vanzetjti., Boston, August 28, 1927. Source: Boston Public Library, Rare Books Department, via Digital Commonwealth.

On August 23, 2007, about 60 activists—from organizations such as the Industrial Workers of the World and Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty—marched from Copley Square to the North End. Carrying huge effigies of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, they stopped at 256 Hanover Street, the former headquarters of the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee.

Pamphlet published by the Defense Committee. Source: Syracuse University Libraries.

The Committee was founded soon after the arrests of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1920. Headed by Aldino Felicano, editor of La Notizia, a socialist newspaper based in the North End, by then a largely Italian neighborhood, the Committee kicked into high gear following the pair’s conviction a little more than a year later. It was on the floor above the newspaper that the Committee eventually rented two rooms as its offices. Through publication and distribution of literature, the writing of articles for a wide variety of publications, fundraising, and the organizing of speaking tours, the Defense Committee played a central role in creating an international movement in support of Sacco and Vanzetti. And through its financing of a series of court appeals, the Committee helped to keep the pair alive for several years before their execution in 1927 at Charlestown State Prison.   

Entrance to 256 Hanover Street, 2014. Photo by Eleni Macrakis.

 The building at 256 Hanover Street still stands. A City of Boston marker commemorates it as the Committee’s former home. The 2007 march resulted in the formation of the Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration Society which now organizes annual events in honor of the pair and explains their significance in respect to contemporary struggles over immigration, political repression, xenophobia, and the death penalty.

Plaque outside of 256 Hanover Street.

Getting there:

Orange or Green Lines to Haymarket Station. (0.2 mile, about a 5-minute walk.)

To learn more:

Bruce Watson, Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgement of Mankind. New York: Viking, 2007.

Stephanie E. Yuhl, “Sculpted Radicals: The Problem of Sacco and Vanzetti in Boston’s Public Memory,” The Public Historian, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2010: 9-30.

The Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration Society’s website: http://saccoandvanzetti.org

See also the “Sacco and Vanzetti Tour” (which includes the site of the Defense Committee) within A People’s Guide to Greater Boston.

Related, nearby site:

Former site of Langone Funeral Home (where the wakes of Sacco and Vanzetti took place and over 100,000 came to pay their respects), 383 Hanover Street.

Crowd on Hanover Street joins funeral procession, August 28, 1927. Source: Boston Public Library, Rare Books Department, via Digital Commonwealth.

Boston Garden

150 Causeway Street, West End

The former home of the Bruins and the Celtics (Boston’s professional hockey and basketball teams, respectively), the Boston Garden hosted many non-sporting events over its years. Perhaps the most famous was a concert by James Brown on April 5, 1968—one day after the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Boston Garden, 1965, viewed from Canal Street. Note the then-elevated Green Line in front of the Garden. Source: Dirty Old Boston.

In the immediate aftermath of the killing, rioting and looting broke out in largely Black and working-class areas of Dorchester, Roxbury and the South End, particularly along Washington Street and Blue Hill Avenue. Given such developments and worries about further violence, the Garden management decided to cancel Brown’s concert.

On the morning of the concert, Councilman Thomas Atkins, Boston’s first and (at the time) only Black member of the City Council, called Mayor Kevin White, telling him that “Something terrible is about to happen.”

Warned of the pending cancellation by James Byrd (aka “The Early Byrd”), a very popular disc jockey on WILD radio, at the time Boston’s premier station for soul and R&B music, Atkins feared that it was too late to cancel the concert for ticket holders to find out. The result would have been thousands of teens outside the Garden’s locked doors at a volatile time.

Atkins persuaded White, who had never even heard of James Brown, to convince the Garden to hold the concert. The city councilor also convinced WGBH, the local public television station, to broadcast the event live.

James Brown was furious with the arrangement when he learned about the details upon arriving at Logan Airport. The music star had just recorded a television show in New York City under the obligation that he not do any more television on the East Coast until after the show had aired. Furthermore, the announcement of that evening’s broadcast on WGBH had led to many ticket holders requesting and receiving refunds.

Upon arriving at the Garden, Brown met Mayor White and demanded $60,000 to cover the lost revenue. White very reluctantly agreed. There is some dispute as to whether or not the City fulfilled its obligation. While White suggested that the City did so, Charles Bobbit, Brown’s personal manger, asserts that they received only $10,000.

City Councilor Thomas Atkins, Mayor Kevin White, and James Brown at the Boston Garden, April 5 , 1968. Source: The Boston Globe.

Although only about 2,000 individuals ended up attending the concert, it had a huge television audience, particularly in Boston’s Black neighborhoods. By all accounts, Brown put on a fantastic show and helped to defuse tensions in the city; despite MLK’s assassination the previous day, that night saw little violence throughout the city.

The rioting in Boston was small and low-level in comparison to what transpired in many other U.S. cities. Whereas Washington, D.C., for example saw 11 killed, 1,113 injured, $24 million in property damage in the days following MLK’s assassination, Boston experienced no deaths, 21 injuries, 30 arrests, and $50,000 in damage.

It is impossible to substantiate the popular claim that the James Brown concert “saved” Boston. No doubt, his concert played a significant role. It is also very likely that interventions, organizing and outreach by key community leaders and activists within Boston’s Black neighborhoods did so as well.

The Boston Garden first opened in 1928, it and closed its doors for the last time in 1995, two days before the replacement arena opened behind it. It was demolished in 1998.

Getting there:

Orange and Green lines to North Station. The replacement arena, called the TD Garden, sits above North Station.

To learn more:

Perry Eaton, “One of Boston’s best concerts ever helped soothe the city after MLK’s assassination, Boston.com, January 18, 2016.

Renée Graham, “After Martin Luther King’s death, James Brown calmed a tense Boston The Boston Globe, April 3, 2018.

David Leaf (director), The Night James Brown Saved Boston (documentary film), David Leaf Productions, 2008.

J. Anthony Lukas, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.

Open Vault, WGBH, “James Brown and Mayor Kevin White Address the Crowd at the Boston Garden,” April 5, 1968.

Manufactory House

Tremont Street at Hamilton Place, Downtown Boston

Located on the site of what is today Suffolk Law School, Manufactory House was a two-story brick building that served as a refuge for Boston’s most destitute residents—the sick, poor, and homeless. The Province of Massachusetts Bay had built it in 1754 to provide a place to weave textiles and employment for Bostonians.

In the aftermath of the French and Indian War and the Seven Years’ War (a much larger conflict involving the major European powers), the British sought to impose taxes on imports to the American colonies to help fill Britain’s coffers. Protests, boycotts, and often violent harassment of tax collectors and colonial officials led the British to send troops to occupy Boston, an epicenter of the anti-Royalist actions, to restore order. Arriving at Long Wharf at the beginning of October 1768, the unwelcome troops needed quarters in light of the coming winter and the governor determined that Manufactory House would be an appropriate location.

Depiction of Manufactory House from the 1930s. Source: Boston Landmarks Commission, City of Boston.

On October 19, the sheriff, lieutenant governor, and the chief justice arrived at Manufactory House to evict the tenants. (Although weaving still took place in the building’s basement, by this time Manufactory House was chiefly a housing site for Boston’s neediest.) The residents, having secured the building’s doors and windows, refused to vacate the premises. Eventually, a crowd hostile to the eviction formed outside, and British troops were called in. With a tense stand-off ensuing and the possibility of violence erupting, Governor Bernard ordered the withdrawal of the troops.

Although a relatively brief event, the stand-off at Manufactory House was highly significant as an act of resistance of Bostonians to armed British troops. Moreover, it illuminates the deep roots of anti-eviction and housing rights work of contemporary organizations such as City Life/Vida Urbana and the Boston Tenant Coalition.

Manufactory House became a British military hospital following the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. After independence, it briefly served (1791-1792) as the original home of the Massachusetts Historical Society and later housed the Massachusetts Bank. Razed around 1806, Manufactory House is memorialized with a small plaque on the Hamilton Street side of the Suffolk University Law School building.

Marker on the Hamilton Street side of Suffolk Law School.

Getting there:

Red or Green Line to Park Street Station. The site is diagonally across (looking leftward) from the steps of the Park Street Church on the corner of Tremont and Park Streets.

To learn more:

Richard Archer, As If an Enemy’s Country: The British Occupation of Boston and the Origins of Revolution, New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Nearby points of interest:

Orpheum Theater, 1 Hamilton Place. The Orpheum is the original home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and one of the oldest theaters in the United States. Built in 1852, it has long been one of Boston’s topic concert venues.

Red Sun Press

94 Green Street, Jamaica Plain

Printed by Red Sun Press, circa 1976. The Boston Committee for Medical Aid to El Salvador poster (undated) was also printed by Red Sun Press, probably during the 1980s.

Founded in 1973 by individuals active in the anti-war, civil rights, environmental, and women’s rights movements, Red Sun Press is a worker-owned and -run printing cooperative. It began with $350 and a small printing press in a basement in Cambridge. In the mid-1980s, it moved to Jamaica Plain. Red Sun is a socially- and environmentally-responsible business. It uses ecologically sustainable paper, recycles all its wastepaper and utilizes vegetable-based inks. The print shop’s profits are distributed fairly among its workers, all of whom are union members (United Auto Workers, Local 1596). A progressive “movement” press, Run Sun has designed and printed countless activist posters, calendars, and pamphlets over its more than 40 years of existence.

Red Sun Press, March 2017.

Getting there:

Orange Line to Green Street Station.  Upon exiting the station, go left on Green Street. Red Sun Press is on the right side of street, on the corner of Lamartine Street. (0.1 mile, about a two-minute walk.)

To learn more:

Red Sun Pres website: http://www.redsunpress.com/

Talia Whyte, “Social conscience is key for J.P. printer,” The Bay State Banner, September 30, 2009.

Rockledge (Home of William Lloyd Garrison)

125 Highland Street, Roxbury

William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-1879. Source: Library of Congress (public domain).

In 1864, William Lloyd Garrison, the famed abolitionist and publisher of the Boston-based, anti-slavery newspaper The Liberator, moved to the “Boston Highlands” of Roxbury with his family.

Rockledge was the name given to the half-acre estate. Due to the declining health and limited mobility of Garrison’s wife, Helen—an active abolitionist as well—it was thought best to move to what was then a relatively bucolic suburb. (The City of Boston did not annex Roxbury until 1868.) The Garrison family held onto the property until the deaths of both Helen (1876) and William (1879).

Rockledge, circa 1898. Source: Boston Public Library, Arts Department via Digital Commonwealth.

In an area today known as both Highland Park and Fort Hill, the original building, altered somewhat over the decades, and a later addition still stand. Beginning in 1904, Rockledge served as a nursing home, one run by the Episcopal Sisters of the Society of St. Margaret for low-income African-American women and children. Today, Rockledge, a National Historic Landmark, is part of Emmanuel College’s Notre Dame campus, where the 30 or so student residents dedicate themselves to community service and social justice.

Getting there:

Orange Line to Jackson Square Station. (0.6 mile, about a 14-minute walk.) The Emmanuel campus is accessed from Highland Avenue, a small street above and behind Rockledge.

Related site:

William Lloyd Garrison birthplace and family home, 3-5 School Street, Newburyport. (We explore this site in A People’s Guide to Greater Boston.)

Nearby:

Highland Park, former home of a Revolutionary War fort and the site of Fort Hill Tower, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It affords a beautiful view of much of Boston. 

To learn more:

Mayer, Henry. All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998.

National Park Service, National Registry of Historic Places nomination application, 1965.

Rocheleau, Matt. “Emmanuel College has lofty mission at quiet Roxbury site,” The Boston Globe, September 22, 2014.

Charles Street Jail (Suffolk County Jail)

215 Charles Street, West End

The Charles Street Jail opened in 1851 as a facility that housed arrestees awaiting trial within Suffolk County. The building employed a reform-minded style which allowed for natural light and ventilation within the structure to provide an adequate quality of life for inmates. Over its many decades of existence, the jail held not only those accused of common crimes, but also many arrested for political reasons—including numerous women who demonstrated support for the suffrage amendment by protesting President Woodrow Wilson’s visit to Boston in 1919. Its better-known prisoners included Malcolm Little (Malcolm X), Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, prisoners from two World War I German U-boats, and William R. Baird Jr., a birth control activist.

Suffragists protest President Woodrow Wilson outside of the Charles Street Jail, February 1919. Source: Historic New England.

In 1971, inmates sued the Suffolk County Sheriff and the Massachusetts Commissioner of Corrections for a violation of their constitutional rights due to the overcrowding in the jail. Federal Judge W. Arthur Garrity, best known for his desegregation decision (1974) in the Boston Public Schools, spent the night in the jail in 1973. His experience led him to declare the jail’s conditions unconstitutional and to order its closing. It wasn’t until 1990, however, that the jail closed and the prisoners were transferred to a new facility, the Suffolk County Jail, on Nashua Street.

What was the Charles Street Jail is now part of the Liberty Hotel, a luxury hotel owned by Massachusetts General Hospital and a site on the National Registry of Historic Places. The ironically named facility is centered around the jail’s circular rotunda surrounded by several levels of catwalks that used to connect the jail cells to one another; they now act as hallways between guestrooms, meeting rooms, and the hotel’s high-end restaurants and bars—ones with names such as Clink and the Alibi.

The Liberty Hotel Boston, former Charles Street Jail. Photo by Eleni Macrakis, August 2014.

Getting there:

Red Line to Charles/MGH Station. The site is across the street from the station.

To learn more:

Boniface, Russell. “Breaking Out of Jail.” The News of America’s Community of Architects. Volume 14, October 12, 2007.

“Liberty Hotel History.” The Liberty Hotel: A Luxury Collection Hotel, Boston.

Inmates of Suffolk County Jail v. J Kearney. 928 F 2d 33 (1991).

Walton, Krista. “Free at Last: A remarkable restoration transformed Boston’s notorious Charles Street Jail into the sparkling Liberty Hotel.” Preservation (September/October 2009).

The Charles Street AME Church

551 Warren Street, Roxbury

The Charles Street AME Church when housed at the Charles St. Meeting House, circa 1889. Source: Boston Public Library, Digital Commonwealth.

An historic African Methodist Episcopal congregation, the Charles Street AME Church began in 1818, when a group of formerly enslaved people began meeting in a house on Beacon Hill and established the First African Methodist Episcopal Society. Leading up to the Civil War, the church served as a major meeting place for abolitionists and a key organizing site in the Boston abolitionist community’s fight against the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law.

Over its first several decades of existence, the church was located in various buildings in Beacon Hill. In 1876, its growing congregation, due in significant degree to a doubling of Boston’s Black population following the Civil War, led the church to move to the Charles Street Meeting House (at 70 Charles Street, on the corner of Mount Vernon Street) and take on its current name.

However, by the 1890s, the African American community in Beacon Hill was declining as families moved to the South End and Roxbury due to an influx of European immigrants to Boston and growing competition in both housing and employment. In order to accommodate its congregation, the church eventually decided to leave Beacon Hill, the last African American institution to do so, and move to Roxbury. Retaining its name, Charles Street AME bought the former St. Ansgarius Church property on 551 Warren Street and has resided there since 1939.

The Charles Street AME Church on Warren Street, 2014. Photo by Eleni Macrakis.

Getting there:

MBTA buses pass on Warren Street very close to the church.

To learn more:

Charles Street AME Church. “About the Historic Charles Street A.M.E. Church.”

Hayden, Robert C. Faith, Culture and Leadership: A History of the Black Church in Boston. Boston: Boston Branch NAACP, 1983.

National Park Service. “Charles Street Meeting House.” March 9, 2021.

Fort Independence (Castle Island)

Castle Island, South Boston

Fort Independence, Castle Island, South Boston, 1884. Source: Boston Public Library, Digital Commonwealth, Creative Commons.

A huge explosion rocked South Boston in the early afternoon of December 6, 1898, shaking homes and breaking windows in the City Point area. In April of that year, the federal government had re-taken control of Castle Island (much of which is occupied by Fort Independence) from the Boston Park Department due to the Spanish-American War. This involved the U.S. military’s using of the island as a mine depot.

The imperial war had a geographically extensive and long-term impact—it was through the war that the United States colonized the Philippines, for example, Puerto Rico became a U.S. semi-colony, and Guantánamo a U.S. military base. However, the war as a whole was fairly brief: with the important exception of hostilities in the Philippines, which endured for over a decade, it only lasted three and a half months. So soon after deploying 256 mines to Castle Island, the Army began to decommission them. In the process of doing so, one of the mines exploded, killing four men.

The history of Castle Island and the series of forts (eight in number, the first one built in 1634) that have dominated it over time is a complicated one. One of the oldest fortified sites in what was Britain’s empire in North America, the 22-acre island is today a venue for recreation and relaxation. For much of its history, however, it played a significant role in militarily maintaining relationships of domination and subordination at home and abroad—from its use by British forces to control a rebellious population in colonial-era Boston to the deployment of troops from Fort Independence to enforce the return of at least one fugitive slave and the putting down of anti-draft riots during the Civil War in the North End. Perhaps the most famous solider ever stationed at Fort Independence was an 18-year-old named Edgar Allan Poe; in 1827, he spent five months on Castle Island.

Since 1892, Castle Island has been linked to South Boston proper—first by a wooden bridge and today a landfill. During the summer months, free tours of the fort take place on a regular basis during the day.


Fort Independence, on Castle Island, in the harbor approaches to Boston. Copyright (c) 2006 Chris Wood, Creative Commons.

Getting there:

Red Line to Andrew Station or Broadway Station. MBTA buses to Marine Park in the City Point neighborhood are available. Walk across Marine Park and around the lagoon to the fort.

To learn more:

Daniel Immerwahr, How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019.

William J. Reid, Castle Island and Fort Independence, Boston: Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1995.