Town of Hull

Old Tree

Historians believe that the interesting history of Hull was determined by its unusual geography. The town is a long narrow peninsula projecting into Boston harbor, which the Plymouth Colony used to set up a trading post with local Indians in 1621. Star-shaped Fort Independence was built in Hull in 1776 to defend Boston Harbor, and General Benjamin Lincoln oversaw the evacuation of Boston from this site in 1778. French Admiral d' Estaing used the fort to defend the French fleet from British attack when the French were forced to land for repairs. The town was devastated by loss of manpower and income during the Revolution when its major businesses of fishing, shipbuilding and lightering were interrupted by the blockade of Boston. In 1825 a new industry was launched in Hull when Paul Warrick built the Sportsman Hotel on Nantasket Avenue, the very first hotel in the town (and also the very last, since it is the only one still standing). The magnificent beaches of the town, easy access to Boston and sea air brought hordes of visitors and by 1840 steamers were making three trips a day between Boston and Hull. Boardinghouses and elaborate hotels catered to visitors while Hull fishermen and farmers still pulled nets and farmed in its rural acreage. Claiming and salvaging wrecks was also a profitable sideline for residents, who established a lifesaving team which rescued thousands stranded on foundering vessels. Hull enjoyed an era of grand hotels and prestigious visitors but gamblers, pick-pockets and confidence men followed the tourists on the honky-tonk boardwalk until the town licensed the construction of Paragon Park, described by contemporaries as a "marvel of fantasy", to provide safe family fun for the guests of the town. When the amusement park closed in 1985, an entire era ended for the town and the millions of visitors who had used and enjoyed it for generations. But another era began as Hull acquired a suburban character with a growing number of professionals moving into town, drawn by the same beaches, proximity to Boston and sea air that drew people in the 19th century. (Seal supplied by community. Narrative based on information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission)
Fort Revere Park Hull Public Library
  Town of Hull