This Memorial Day, the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing invites community members to dive into a wild moment in East Boston Revolutionary history, and enjoy a day of environmental stewardship with their friends and neighbors. Stop by the festivities or sign up to volunteer!
On May 30th, NOAH will host the second-annual Battle of Noddle Island Regatta & Re-enactment in East Boston. This free event is open to the public, and festivities will include bike tours, kayak lessons, historical and archaeological presentations, arts and crafts, and more. The event is a celebration of the history, the culture, and the natural resources of East Boston. Its aim is threefold: to mark the importance of the Battle of Chelsea Creek/Noddle Island to East Boston, to engage community members in waterfront programming and environmental stewardship, and to focus on equity in public access to the waterfront.
This event will be a ton of fun and has something for everyone - but before we get into the details, here’s a little background on the Battle of Chelsea Creek/Noddle Island. It’s a wild tale!
In 1775, at the height of the Revolutionary War, Colonial America was on the brink of Independence-- but Britain still controlled Boston Harbor. On May 27th of that year, Colonial soldiers came up with a scheme to outsmart the British by cutting their food supply lines. The British had been taking livestock from Noddle’s Island and Hog Island in East Boston (next to present-day Logan Airport) to eat. At low tide, the Colonials noticed, a land bridge connected the islands to the mainland. So when the tide went out, they rounded up the cattle, led them off the island, and burned everything else that remained that would be of use to the British.
Above: The location of Noddle Island (left) pictured next to present-day East Boston. Below: Colonial troops declare victory.
When the British troops saw the smoke from the Harbor, they sent 400 men and the HMS Diana to stop them. Then ensued the Battle of Noddle Island/Chelsea Creek. Being low tide, the HMS Diana ran aground and was boarded by Colonials, who stole the vessel’s mast. The Colonials won the battle, and in victory raised their early American flag on what had been the HMS Diana’s mast. (Talk about rubbing it in!)
Flash forward to 2016: It’s hard to picture the Revolutionary War playing out right on top of what is now I-90, East Boston Memorial Stadium, and the ticketing counter at Logan Airport. But Monday’s festivities will allow the community to look back in time while also learning about the future of East Boston’s waterfront (and having a lot of fun doing it!)
That’s all for the history lesson - here are the event details:
Friday, May 27: Pre-event historical presentation
Presentation: "Grounding the Narrative of the 1775 Battle of Chelsea Creek"
-Presenter: Victor Mastone, Director and Chief Archaeologist of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological
-154 Maverick Marketplace
-6:00 - 7:00 pm
Monday, May 30th: The 2nd Annual Battle of Noddle Island Reenactment and Regatta
- 1.6 mile water paddle from Lo Presti Park up the Chelsea Creek to Condor Street
- Registration is required. Fill out the online registration form if you would like to enter the lottery for a space in the NOAH kayaks at the Regatta. The lottery will be announced by Friday, May 27th on the Facebook event page.
- Lo Presti Park — 33 Sumner St, East Boston, MA 02128
- 10:00 am
- Revolutionary re-enactment
- Other activities include: a children's 'cattle drive over the hills', a community re-enactment, a Grand Union flag-raising, a cookout, tricorn hat-making, learn-to-kayak lessons, kite-making, face-painting, music and a bike tour.
- Condor Street Urban Wild — 255 Condor St, East Boston, MA 02128
- 12:00 pm
Option to bike with NOAH Youth on the Greenway to the festivities:
- Cyclists will meet at Constitution Beach at 10:00 am.
- You only need to register for the ride if you need to borrow a bike. If you need to borrow a bike, call NOAH at
(617) 567-5882 and ask for Kelly.
If you would like to VOLUNTEER at this event:
- Contact NOAH at (617) 567-5882 and ask for Magdalena
More information about this event here: