Grass-Roots Citizens’ Group Seeks To Establish Charlestown Historic Battlefield District

Special to the Patriot-Bridge

With the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill quickly approaching in 2025, a group of about 45 Charlestown residents gathered at American Legion Post 26 last Tuesday (April 11) to show their support for creating a Charlestown Historic Battlefield District to extend beyond what currently exists at the Bunker Hill monument area, which is part of the National Historical Park that includes seven other sites that showcase Boston’s role in the American Revolution.

Local resident Johanna Hynes brought the residents up to date on some of the steps that need to be accomplished and some of the obstacles that stand in the way.

Hynes said that there are certain steps that must be taken, such as establishing a non-profit organization, obtaining a tax ID number,  and applying for grants for the project.  However, among the hurdles that need to be overcome is that Charlestown originally was a separate town until officials allowed its annexation by Boston in the 1840s, long after the actual battle was fought, and thus possibly removing the City of Boston’s right to legally designate an area.

Another impediment is that there seems to be little legislative support at this juncture. In addition, there must be a consensus regarding what sites should be recognized. “This is an uphill battle to make sure that this is not forgotten,” Hynes said.

After the meeting Hynes issued the following statement: “On Tuesday, April 11, a group of Charlestown residents gathered at the American Legion Post 26 to participate in a community discussion regarding an opportunity to support  a proposal for the formation of a Historic Battlefield District study committee. In attendance were officers of the Bunker Hill Monument Association, as well as members of various historical organizations including the Charlestown Neighborhood Council, Charlestown Historical Society, Charlestown Preservation Society, volunteers for the Bunker Hill Day parade committee, and of course, supporters of the American Legion Post 26.

“As it stands, the events/sites of June 17, 1775, also known as  the Battle for Bunker Hill, are not listed on any local, state, or national register. The purpose of this study process is to provide legal remedy for these significant historical veterans’ omissions.  Over 45 people attended the meeting and a motion was made from the floor to support the proposed process to study, document, and present findings for legislative remedy.  The motion was seconded, and followed with a request of those present in the room to either accept or deny the motion: the full motion was accepted without amendment.”

The group’s next meeting date will be in early June.

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