History of East Boston
East Boston, nicknamed Eastie, is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts with over 40,000 residents. The neighborhood was created by connecting several islands using land fill. It was annexed by Boston in 1836. It is separated from downtown Boston by Boston Harbor and bordered by Winthrop, Revere, and the Chelsea Creek.
In the 1830s, the largest problem keeping East Boston from thriving was transportation. The East Boston Company believed the neighborhood could not become a valuable asset until people had a way to reach the area from the Boston mainland. The steam railroad system was still in its infancy at this point, and the East Boston Company was approached by an inventor of a new type of rail system, the suspension railway. This system was one of the earliest suspended railroads to be built. Henry Sargent, the inventor, stated "that his invention would make the Island a center of attraction to many people." The Company allowed it to be built on its land and it was in use for nine days in 1834, then closed citing lack of ridership. In the mid-1830s, the Company made several investments to further East Boston's development. The Maverick and East Boston ferries began service from Lewis Wharf on the mainland to East Boston. A bridge to Chelsea was built, roads were laid out, and houses were built. Much of this activity was spurred by the formation of the East Boston Lumber Company. During this period, the Boston Sugar Refinery was also founded, which was the first manufacturing establishment in East Boston.
Since the mid-19th century, the community has served as a foothold for immigrants to the United States: Irish and Canadians came first, followed by Russian Jews and Italians, then Southeast Asians, and, most recently, a large influx from Central and South American countries. The Orient Heights section of East Boston was the first area in Massachusetts to which Italians immigrated in the 1860s and 1870s, and today the heart of the Italian community remains in East Boston. The population of East Boston, which was recorded as a mere thousand in 1837, exploded to a high of just over 64,000, according to the 1925 census. The sudden rise is attributed to the immigrants who came from Southern Italy.
From the 1990s into the early millennium, Latin American immigrants settled in East Boston, eventually composing more than fifty percent of the population in the 2010 neighborhood census. In recent years, East Boston has become home to a wave of young professionals seeking residence in Boston in newly renovated condominiums Originally, five islands made up the East Boston neighborhood. To connect to the mainland to the north, fill was mostly used. Logan International Airport is located in East Boston, connecting Boston to domestic and international locations.