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Our History

Now spanning four generations, the McCarthy family has been serving the Charlestown community since 1888!! Now in our 124th Year in Charlestown.

History of McCarthy Brothers Liquors
McCarthy Brothers Liquors was established in 1888 by James and John McCarthy, who settled in Charlestown after emigrating from County Cork, Ireland. The two brothers bought out Corey and Goodwin Grocers, which sold dry goods on Moulton Street since 1857. The store still operates out of the original building, although is has been upgraded several times over the years, including a complete makeover in February of 1998. The McCarthy Brothers sold beer in open containers. (customers would come in with their pails and fill them up), and rectified whiskey in the cellar. When prohibition came in 1920, the store sold dry goods to their customers. On December 5, 1933, the ban on liquor was repealed, and James and John transferred the license to their nephew, Henry F. McCarthy, Sr., who was a General Contractor at the time. Henry Sr. took his two sons to work with him, Henry F. McCarthy, Jr., and Thomas J. McCarthy. Henry Sr. continued as President, and incorporated the business in 1938 before retiring in 1945.

Henry Jr. and Thomas ran the business together and then took over the small grocery store on the corner of Vine and Moulton Streets during the forties. It was at that time they separated the Liquor and Grocery departments, with Henry running the Liquor Store, and Tom running the Grocery store. Towards the end of the forties, Tom went into the funeral business, and left McCarthy Brothers. Henry Jr. continued to run the business through the next three decades.

During the sixties and seventies, children of Henry and Tom worked for the business at various times. Upon graduation from school, two of those children would join the firm on a permanent basis. Richard J., and Henry F. McCarthy, III, both sons of Henry F. McCarthy, Jr., who retired in 1983. They ran McCarthy Bros. together for the next 23 years. In 2006, Henry F. McCarthy, III left the business and Richard currently continues to run the business.

McCarthy Brothers is the oldest continuously operated family business in Charlestown, now in its fourth generation.

9 Moulton Street • Charlestown, MA • 617.242.4877 •

Actual 5 Cent "Script" Dated Jan 1,1863 and used at our store by Corey & Goodwin. It was Printed by Bufford's Lithographers, Boston