Boston Harbor Islands



Boston Harbor Islands


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The Boston Harbor Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The islands were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966, and are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Boston Harbor Island National Recreation Area. The islands were once home to numerous Native American settlements and factories, and are now home to a variety of recreational facilities.

Boston Harbor Islands


The islands first appear on European maps in the 1580s, when they were known as “Isles of Shoals.” They were most likely named for their resemblance to the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall in England. The islands became part of Boston Harbor in 1630 and served as a dumping ground for harbor garbage until 1928.

The earliest human inhabitants of the Boston Harbor Islands may have been members of a small group that settled on Deer Island around 500 B.C. By A.D. 1000, native Americans had established settlements on all six islands, which they used for fishing and hunting guanaco, a large South American ostrich. A small community on Little Brewster Island is believed to have been settled as early by the year 1000.

The islands served for centuries as an excellent repository for waste from Boston’s seaports, which made them attractive sites for industry well before permanent settlement occurred in 1630. Shipbuilding became a significant factor early on; ships were built within the city limits of Boston (west side) until 1830 when they moved into areas closer to where their cargoes would be unloaded onto larger roll-on/roll off ferries .

A notable feature of the islands was large, open-air vats (called “cook pots”) that were used by ship builders to boil pitch and tar into a thick black substance known as gall. The Gallows Pond – centered at Brockton Point at the west end of Great Brewster Island — lent its name for centuries to any town or person associated with it; however this use ended in 1868 when a terrific storm washed away much of what remained and most everybody who knew where it was drowned.


The islands are situated in the eastern edge of the North Atlantic Subtropical High. Summers are generally warm and humid with a chance of occasional showers, while winters can be quite cold in the north. Summers are warm with hot, humid and wet conditions in the lowlands most of the year. Winters on islands can get very cold due to their location far away from any additional moderating influences such as ocean currents (south), Cascade Mountain Range (west) or mainland North America (east).

On September 4, 2014 an infestation was identified in a few deer: Massachussetts The Massachusetts Endangered Species Council reported about half of 8 deer at Great Brewster Island State Reservation had been infected by one species called anthrax .


There is no single “culture” on the islands. They are a mix of farmers, fishermen, shipbuilders and other workers who have come over mainly from England, Ireland and Scotland in recent centuries. Each group has its own customs and traditions which are passed down through the generations.

Tourism is becoming increasingly important as people become more aware of the special charm of these remote islands that offer an unspoiled lifestyle away from urban nightlife , where the once rockbound coast and rugged terrain are giving way to expanses of pastel-colored beachfront homes and golf courses.


The islands are a part of the United States Virgin Islands. Local politicians once discussed creating a “Virgin Isles Authority”, but the idea was dropped. The locals, many of whom have deep and longstanding ties to St. John Island , keep in contact with each other through mail correspondence or phone conferences; one resident even has a wireless Internet antenna tower on Hop Sing Hill . St.

Thomas residents are susceptible to upset over island-centric politics due to their location being between Washington D.C.. and New York City, leaving them open for tourism while having no representation in either city’s municipal governments although they do maintain voting representatives in local Mayors’ councils as well as the US Virgin Islands Legislature on the Caribbean Island of St. Croix .

Government services

The islands are under the jurisdiction of the Virgin Islands Department of Justice. There is one major hospital on St. Croix, and small hospitals scattered throughout the other islands. Each island has its own police department, with officers from each department working together as a unified force on cases that affect more than one island community. The USVI operates its own court system with judges who are appointed by the President of the United States subject to confirmation by Congress .


The only higher education institution in either St Thomas or St John is Andersen School , located in Charlotte Amalie . There are no colleges and Universities on either island, but some universities have an affiliated college. There is a high school for each of the two islands; besides Andersen School , there are also BTSM Community High School in Charlotte Amalie (on St Thomas) and Montessori Christian Academy in Red Hook . Burger King College’s campus serves both communities as well.


Boston Harbor Islands is a 9-island park located in Boston, Massachusetts. It is managed by the Mayor of Boston through the Executive Office of Transportation and Infrastructure. The islands are accessible by public transportation, bicycle, or walking. The islands are a popular spot for kayaking, fishing, and sunbathing.


What Are The Main Attractions Of Boston Harbor Islands?

The main attractions of the islands are its natural beauty, wildlife, recreation opportunities, and historical importance. Some popular attractions include: Fenway Park, Long Wharf (now a museum), Wellington Arch (a symbol of Boston), Historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Quincy Market (where food isStreet Vendors). There are also several museums on the island including the Museum of Fine Arts and HMS Constitution Museum.

How Can I Get To Boston Harbor Islands?

The best way to get to BHI is by public transportation. There are five stations that have bus service: Park Street, Government Center (across from Faneuil Hall), Beacon Hill (near the North bridge), Aquarium stop of MBTA Blue Line, and Castle Island. There is also a ferry runs by Old Colony Lines in South Boston & Watertown very frequently

What Can I Do If I Get Lost?

There is an island map available at each BHI station and you should always know your way around so this won’t happen! Just ask someone for help! ~~*Pandas^~

What Should I Bring?

If you’re walking, there are maps available at the stops and at Wellington Arch; but if it’s raining it would be best to stay inside your witsheet! Bring only what you need (raincoat, umbrella under a poncho) and make sure that everything closes securely. It rains often so invest in jackets for layering or raincoats with an extra set of sleeves where buttons fasten around like skirts on wax dolls.

Where Can I Find Food?

There are plenty of places to get provisions on the island. Food stalls line the streets at Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Market, as well as in Wellington Arch. For something a little more casual, try catching a bite at one of the waterfront cafes or restaurants along Long Wharf.

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