Boston Harbor, May 2014


ferry to the harbor islands  (sonya kovacic)

ferry to the harbor islands (sonya kovacic)

When the Puritans settled in Boston and Charlestown in 1630, they quickly realized they needed an easy way to get back and forth between the two settlements.  That same year, the Court of Assistants granted a charter to Edward Converse to operate a ferry across the Charles River. The charter also established the ferry's pricing, which would be 2 pence per passenger (or 1 apiece if the party was 2 or more), 1 penny per goat, 2 pence per swine, and 6 pence per horse or cow.

The "great ferry" ran successfully for over 100 years, but became obsolete after the construction of a bridge. The Charles River Bridge, completed in 1785, was the predecessor to today's Charlestown Bridge. If you've ever followed the Freedom Trail, you've walked across the Charlestown Bridge – and walked directly above Edward Converse's historic ferry route.

This month, the MBTA launched a new daily ferry service between Boston and Lynn. You can use it as an excuse to visit Dungeon Rock in Lynn Woods — a cave with a history involving ghosts,  an earthquake, and a pirate's buried treasure.