See biographies by E. G. Taylor (1930) and E. Forbes (1942, repr. 1962); D. H. Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride (1994).
Revere is a city in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States. It borders Winthrop, East Boston and Chelsea to the south, Everett and Malden to the west, Saugus and Lynn to the north, Melrose to the northwest, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. It comprises 10.0 square miles, although 4.1 of those are open water and wetlands and not suitable for development. Of the 5.9 miles² of developed land, 70% is used for housing. Revere is located approximately 5 miles from downtown Boston. The population was 47,283 at the 2000 census.
Revere’s first inhabitants were Native Americans who belonged to the Pawtucket Tribe and were known as the Rumney Marsh Indians. The leader, or sachem, of the Pawtuckets was Nanepashemet of Lynn. In 1616, an epidemic, probably smallpox, swept the region, killing thousands in its wake. Nanepashemet retired to the Mystic River, in what is now Medford, but was found murdered in 1619 at his fort on the brow of Rock Hill overlooking the river.
Three sons succeeded him in his reign. One of them, Wonohaquaham, also called Sagamore John, had jurisdiction over the Indians at Winnisemmit (later Chelsea) and Rumney Marsh.
Often, the Indians, with their intimate knowledge of the vast yet unexplored wilderness, would help the settlers in their struggle to survive. During King Phillip's War, the local friendly Indians were placed on what is now Deer Island where many of them perished. Later, some of the Indians on the island were enlisted to help the colonists defeat the other warring tribes.
Rumney Marsh was originally divided and allotted to twenty-one of Boston's most prominent citizens. By 1639, the original 21 allotments had been consolidated into seven great farms. Farming was, and continued to be, the principal industry of Winnisemmet, and Rumney Marsh in particular.
On September 25, 1634, Rumney Marsh was annexed to Boston, which had received its name only four years earlier. Winnisemmet and Pullen Point (which was later to be known as Winthrop) were also annexed to Boston. The first County Road in North America stretched across Rumney Marsh from the Winnisemmet Ferry to Olde Salem in 1641.
In 1739, Rumney Marsh, Winnisemmet and Pullen Point were set off from Boston and established as the Town of Chelsea. The largest of the three settlements, Rumney Marsh (North Chelsea) was selected as the Town Centre.
The area played a role in the American Revolution in 1775 as the site of the first naval battle, at Rumney Marsh.
In 1852, Pullen Point was set off from North Chelsea and established as the Town of Winthrop. That same year, Chelsea became a city. In 1871, North Chelsea adopted the name of Paul Revere. The population was 1,197. The name of the Salem Turnpike, which had been completed in 1803, was changed to Broadway.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.0 square miles (26.0 km²), of which, 5.9 square miles (15.3 km²) of it is land and 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²) of it (40.98%) is water.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,067, and the median income for a family was $45,865. Males had a median income of $36,881 versus $31,300 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,698. About 11.9% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.4% of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.
From its inception, Revere Beach was "the people's beach," used mostly by the working class and the many immigrants who settled in the area.
When people reminisce about Revere Beach it is not the sand and surf they remember most, but the amusements. The Whip, the Ferris Wheel, Bluebeard's Palace, the Fun House, Hurley's Dodgems, the Pit, Himalaya, Hippodrome, Sandy's, the Mickey Mouse, the Virginia Reel and many more provided hours of enjoyment for residents and visitors alike. The biggest attraction was the Cyclone, among the largest roller coasters in the United States. Built in 1925, its cars traveled at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and its climb (and drop) reached 100 feet.
In addition to the sand, surf and amusements, there were two roller skating rinks, two bowling alleys, and numerous food stands. There were also the ballrooms, including the most famous, the Oceanview and the Beachview, each the site of many dance marathons which were popular in the 1930s.
The Beach began to deteriorate in the 1950s. By the early 1970s it had become a strip of honky tonk bars and abandoned buildings. The Great Blizzard of '78 proved to be the final death knell for the "old" Revere Beach, as many of the remaining businesses, amusements, pavilions, sidewalks, and much of the seawall were destroyed.
The Beach was the focus of a major revitalization effort by the Metropolitan District Commission and the City in the 1980s and was officially reopened in May 1992. It now boasts high rise housing units, a resanded beach, restored pavilions, and a renovated boulevard. Revere commemorated the centennial of the first opening of Revere Beach on the weekend of July 19, 1996.