Members of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association have played important roles in the history of this area. Many of the original members are known to have earlier participated in the activities of the Sons of Liberty, and in the year of our founding many were concurrently playing key roles in the building of the USS Constitution, built in the shipyard of member Edmund Hartt.
A generation later, MCMA members and MCMA itself would be critical to the construction of the Bunker Hill Monument. Architect and superintendent Solomon Willard was a member, as was engineer and master builder Gridley Bryant, whose further involvement included designing and building the country's first commercial railroad (the Granite Railway) to transport the granite from a Quincy quarry to the Neponset River for shipment to Charlestown. Although the cornerstone for the monument was laid in 1825, construction was halted several times as funds ran out, and MCMA became actively involved in raising additional funds until the capstone was finally placed in 1842. In 1833 the Bunker Hill Monument Association actually assigned responsibility for both fund-raising and further construction to MCMA, and later showed its appreciation by naming MCMA's President to be First Vice-President of their organization in perpetuity.
In succeeding generations, MCMA members would be integral not only to the design and/or construction of other local "landmarks"(such as Trinity Church, the Custom House, and Symphony Hall), but also to the success of local industries ranging from from clocks and watches to pianos to the building of clipper ships.