Chelsea, Massachusetts

Chelsea is a city in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, located directly across the Mystic River from Boston. It is the smallest city in Massachusetts in terms of land area but the 26th most densely populated incorporated entity in the country. The area was first called Winnisimmet, meaning “good spring nearby,” by the Native American Massachusett tribe that once lived there. It was settled in 1624 by Samuel Maverick, whose palisaded trading post is considered the first permanent settlement at Boston Harbor.

In 1775, the Battle of Chelsea Creek was fought there. That was the second battle of the Revolution, at which American forces made one of their first captures of a British ship. Part of General George Washington’s army was stationed there during the Siege of Boston. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Chelsea has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.4 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2) is water. Located on a peninsula in Boston Harbor, Chelsea is drained by Chelsea Creek and sits on the Mystic River just north of downtown Boston.

The landmark Bellingham Carey Mansion served as headquarters for George Washington’s men during the Battle of Chelsea Creek. Now a monument, the Mansion and everything in it are restored and available for touring. Notable residents of Chelsea, Massachusetts have included the noted author Horatio Alger and the renowned jazz musician Chick Corea.

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