Pictures from East Boston’s unique past

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Kids play on some rocks in East Boston.
Kids play on some rocks in East Boston. Griffin Museum of Photography via Digital Commonwealth

As with much of Boston, East Boston is largely landfill.

According to the Boston Landmarks Commission, the area that now makes up East Boston was once five separate islands that were connected over a period of 150 years.

The islands were privately owned and used for farming. Once some of them had been connected, in 1833, General William H. Sumner, who had owned one of the islands, formed what was called the East Boston Company to develop the area. Home and commercial development began shortly after.

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A look at East Boston through the years:

According to the City of Boston, East Boston became known for its shipbuilding and attracted many immigrants, who still characterize the neighborhood today. Many of the homes in the neighborhood are restored triple-deckers.

Logan Airport is also in East Boston, but it was originally a military airport. The Massachusetts Legislature took control in 1928 and shortly after made many improvements, expanded it and used it for commercial flights.