• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

Education Themes: American Revolution

  • The Boston Harbor Islands played an important strategic role during the Revolutionary War.
  • Used by farmers since 1634, Peddocks Island's proximity to the mainland ensured a prominent military role for the island. Said to be the site of a patriot infantrymen's raid on a Loyalist farm, Peddocks also saw over 600 patriot militiamen stationed on the island in 1776 to guard the harbor against the return of British troops.
  • Grape Island never hosted any military fortifications, though in 1775 it was a site of a skirmish over hay during the Revolutionary War. This skirmish is known as the Battle of Grape Island.
  • Boston Light, located on Little Brewster, was largely destroyed by the British when they evacuated Boston at the close of the Revolutionary War, but was rebuilt in 1783.

Did You Know?

Vintage Aerial View of Boston Light

Boston Light Station, part of Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, is visited every year by the Flying Santa, a long-time New England tradition started by William Wincapaw in 1929. The Flying Santa delivers food, toys, and other necessities to lighthouses across New England. More...