The U.S.S. Constitution Museum is the place to go for a “hands-on, minds-on” educational experience on the U.S.S. Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship. According the Museum, it “serves as the memory and educational voice of the U.S.S Constitution, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of “Old Ironsides” and the people associated with her.”
About the USS Constitution
The Constitution got its name Old Ironsides during the War of 1812 when it fought against the British Frigate HMS Guerriere. Cannonballs fired against the Constitution simply bounced off as though she were made of iron. Its strength and durability comprises three-layers of wood from across America, and, interestingly, the copper fastenings were made by American Revolution Patriot and master silversmith, Paul Revere. The Ship was put to sea in 1798, and in its day, was known as a super-frigate because it could out-gun and out-run any ship in its path. This extensively traveled warship made its way from the West Indies to Brazil to the West African coast, and was also engaged in the Barbary Wars. Once requiring a crew of 500, it is fully commissioned today with a crew of 70 and sets out six to eight times per year into Boston Harbor. Visitors can board the Ship and get a sense of a frigate ready to set out to sea.
About the USS Constitution Museum
The Museum itself was incorporated in 1972 and is considered a compliment to the naval vessel. In 1976, this private, non-profit museum opened its doors to the general public and, today, boasts 60,000 – 75,000 visitors per year. It offers an impressive display of collections and artifacts from the Constitution’s history with accompanying interpretive descriptors. The Museum offers educational programs, services, and a research library. And, with its ground-breaking exhibit, All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812, visitors experience something truly unique as they “step into the roles of actual sailors who served onboard “Old Ironsides” during the war of 1812, and experience the challenges, hardships, fear, monotony, and exhilaration of daily life in the confines of this isolated community.”
The U.S.S. Constitution Museum can be found near the U.S.S. Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard located at the end of the Boston Freedom Trail. Admission is free.
USS Constitution Museum
Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown, MA 02129