is a part of the city of Boston, Massachusetts located on a peninsula north of Boston proper. Charlestown was originally a separate town and the first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; it became a city in 1847 and was annexed by Boston on January 5, 1874. While it has had a substantial Irish American population since the migration of Irish during the Irish famine of the 1840s, since the late 1980s the neighborhood has changed dramatically because of its close proximity to downtown, and its colonial architecture.
Charlestown is located north of Boston proper on a peninsula extending southeastward between the Charles River and the Mystic River. The geographic extent of the neighborhood has changed dramatically from its colonial ancestor. Landfill operations have expanded much of Boston, lowering hills, and have expanded Charlestown, eliminating the narrow
to the mainland. The original territory also included present-day Somerville, which was incorporated as a separate town in 1842, and the northern part of Arlington. At the time, Charlestown proper was urbanizing, while Somerville was still largely rural.