Posted by: chiarraigrrl | May 26, 2012

A trip to Long Island…

…no, not that one! I’m an unofficial Bostonian now, and we don’t go further south than Providence (or so sayeth Ms. Jane Ruffino, and I believe her!). Just off North Quincy, in Boston Harbor, is another Long Island full of history and fascinating stories.

Long Island head 2
Long Island head
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go exploring around Long Island (MA) with the Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, and it was quite the entertaining afternoon. What always strikes me is how much the harbor islands were used for all of those things people didn’t particularly want in the city, both historically and up through the present day- everything from “chronic disease hospitals” to a home for troubled young women. Even today, 18 social services run from Long Island, including a homeless shelter (homeless individuals get a bus out in the evening and return to the city in the morning) and a very nice summer camp for at-risk youth.

Long Island Head Light
Long Island Head Light
To add to its picturesque harbor setting, it has one of the many lighthouses of Boston Harbor, Long Island Head Light, which dates back to 1819.

Part of Fort Strong fortifications leading to underground tunnel network
Part of Fort Strong fortifications leading to the underground tunnels on the island
And then of course there are the defense activities on the islands, which provided a great deal of the defense of Boston. This certainly held true on Long Island, which still has a number of fortifications from parts of Fort Strong over the years.

Of course, access to the island is limited (vehicles have to check in at the guardhouse on Moon Island before crossing the rickety bridge to the island, which all has a vaguely James Bond-esque feel to it), but the FBHI offers evening boat trips to Long Island on July 11th and August 22nd…

Beach on Long Island
view from the south side of Long Island

Fort Strong fortifications on Long Island
Fort Strong fortifications on Long Island

Fort Strong fortifications on Long Island 6
Fort Strong fortifications

Fort Strong fortifications on Long Island 7
Guard tower in Fort Strong

For more photos head on over to the set on flickr



  1. Lovely photos – every bit as pretty as what you described the other day. 🙂

    • thank you!! It was a delightful day, and trekking around the islands is great fun- I’m planning a trip to Spectacle Island next Saturday. Good times! 🙂

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