Charlestown is a neighborhood in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1628.
Originally, Charlestown was a separate city and the first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; it was annexed by Boston in 1874. Charlestown is located northeast of Boston proper on a peninsula extending southeast between the Charles River and the Mystic River. Although Charlestown has had a substantial Irish American population since the migration of Irish during the Irish famine of the 1840's recently the neighborhood has become much more integrated and upscale, due to it's close proximity to downtown Boston and it's unique, historical architecture.
The geographic extent of Charlestown has changed dramatically from its colonial ancestor. Landfill operations have expanded much of Boston, lowering hills, and have expanded Charlestown, eliminating the narrow Charlestown Neck that connected the northwest end of the Charlestown Peninsula to the mainland. The original territory also included present-day Somerville, which was incorporated as a separate town in 1842. At the time, Charlestown proper was urbanizing, while Somerville was still largely rural.
Charlestown was the location from which Paul Revere began his famous "midnight ride" before the Battle of Lexington and Concord. A local restaurant still in operation, The Warren Tavern, claims to have been one of Revere's favorite taverns.
Today, Charlestown is home to more than 15,000 residents, and home to well known sites such as the Navy Yard, Bunker Hill Monument and the U.S.S. Constitution.
The Navy Yard, a national historic landmark, has been converted to residential and office space, and an increasing number of young professionals are joining the families who have lived in the area for years. These newcomers are discovering Charlestown's renovated rowhouses and its accessibility to downtown Boston and the North End. Many residents walk to work in downtown or simply down to the nearby waterfront, both of which are only five minutes away.