A look back at East Boston’s shipbuilding history


Historian Lyle Nyberg has a great blog post on the Shipyards of East Boston.

Mr. Nyberg wrote a paper covering the history of the industry. Download it in PDF form here.

One interesting item from the blog entry:

“McKay’s shipyard was in East Boston. One  source says it was in the southern part of East Boston, where the famous English passenger steamship company, the Cunard Line, later built its pier. Steven Cecil, “Skyscrapers of the Seas,” Architecture Boston website, posted March 1, 2018, https://www.architects.org/stories/skyscrapers-of-the-seas. I think this is in error.

An old map from 1868 tells a different story. It shows the McKay shipyard at the foot of  White Street, at Border Street, in the northern part of East Boston. This was just two blocks from McKay’s house.”

Mr. Nyberg proves that history, upon closer inspection, reveals itself.

Mr. Nyberg gave a Zoom presentation titled, “Shipyards and Suffragists of East Boston” hosted by the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library, and sponsored by the Friends of the East Boston Library and the East Boston Historical Society on December 3, 2020.

It’s available on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZmNJ1JoXSU. According to Mr. Nyberg over 40 individuals attended and 82 more viewed it as of 5/7/21.

McKay’s Shipyard, East Boston. about 1855. Southworth and Hawes, American, 19th century. Photograph, daguerreotype. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. http://www.mfa.org/collections