Last updated: November 29, 2021
Today known as Fort Washington Park, this location is home to the last remaining physical remnant of the many fortifications built around Boston by the Continental Army during the Revolution. During the Siege of Boston, the Continental Army was very fearful of attacks from the British, so shortly after Washington arrived in Cambridge in July of 1775, they began their mission of fortifying the area. Small earthwork fortifications, such as the one at the heart of Fort Washington Park, “were built to prevent the movement of British troops up the Charles River.”
Since historical preservation was not a priority for the fledgling United States government following the Revolution, all but one of the fortifications the army had built were either plowed over by farmers or built over by developers. The three-gun battery that is the centerpiece of Fort Washington Park survived thanks to a local family’s efforts to carefully preserve it. In 1858, the location was restored by the collaborative efforts of the City of Cambridge and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.