In 1794 Congress authorized the construction of 6 frigates to defend the maritime interests of the fledgling country. One of these was named the USS Constitution. Launched in 1797, she first put to sea in 1798. During the war of 1812, after cannon shot were seen glancing off of her sides, the ship earned the nickname "Old Ironsides". Due to continuing public support, the navy has refurbished the ship a number of times, and it is now the oldest continuously commissioned ship still serving in the world.
I had been through Boston for short periods on a number of business trips, but had never had the chance to tour the grand old ship, and Barbara had never been to Boston. So when we finally got into Boston proper on this trip, one of the top things on my list was to visit the USS Constitution. Normally only the top deck can be visited unless part of a guided tour, which visits the top 3 decks. But because of refurbishment going on, there were no tours and the public was allowed to wander all three top decks as they wished. There were a few navy personnel in early navy uniforms available to answer questions.
The USS Constitution floating at dock in Boston Harbor.
Some of the cannon aboard the ship.
Imagine spending several months sleeping like this.
This fellow was an actual physician who was enjoying spending his 2 weeks of active duty in the reserve as an 18th century doctor for the ship tours.
With major renovation work being done on the top deck, many of the cannon and much of the rigging had been taken off the ship.
We found this ship to be a direct link to our post revolutionary history, and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. This is a must do for those interested in early American history.