• Colonial Boston Map, Faneuil Hall and the Charlestown Navy Yard skyline


    National Historical Park Massachusetts

Development of ship building at the Charlestown Navy Yard

USS Independence

USS Independence

The first ship built by the Navy Yard, the USS Independence was the nation's first ship-of-the-line to enter service. Regarded as somewhat unsuccessful, largely because of the ill-advised modifications made by Capt. William Bainbridge during construction, the ship was taken into Dry Dock 1 and "razed" (cut down) to a large frigate in 1835-36. A much more successful ship thereafter, it was long a fixture at the Mare Island Navy Yard, serving as receving ship there from 1857 to 1912. Plans to converth the venerable ship into a floating restaurant at the Panama-Pacific Exposition fell through, and Independence was finally burned for scrap off Hunter's Point in San Francisco.

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