By 1919 Chelsea’s population had reached the record level of 52,662, with foreign-born residents comprising 46 percent of the population.Fully transitioned from a suburb to an industrial city, the waterfront flourished, with shipbuilding, lumberyards, metalworks and paint companies lined Marginal Street.After flirting with bankruptcy in the 1990s, the once-struggling industrial city has reversed a prolonged decline and in recent years has enjoyed sustained economic growth.Thanks to its relative affordability and close proximity to Boston, Chelsea has added more than 1,200 homes since 2005, mostly loft-style apartments and condominiums suitable for small families or young professionals.The community remained part of Boston until it was set off and incorporated in 1739, when it was named after Chelsea, a neighborhood in London, England.In 1775, the Battle of Chelsea Creek was fought in the area, the second battle of the Revolution, at which American forces made one of their first captures of a British ship.
As the community prospered and grew, many wanted to seek new opportunities in the more affluent communities of Newton and Brookline.
As the century wore on, steam power began to overtake the age of the sail and industry in the town began to shift toward manufacturing.
Factories making rubber and elastic goods, boots and shoes, stoves, and adhesives began to appear along the banks of Boston Harbor.
Chelsea is a diverse, working-class community that contains a high level of industrial activity.
It is one of only three Massachusetts cities in which the majority of the population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, alongside Lawrence and Holyoke.