A minimalist view of an object that visitors to Boston have likely seen at least from the distance. More on this tomorrow.
Spectacle Island is very different from George’s Island, which we’d visited the previous week. There is no old fort or any historic ruins. All of the history has been covered up. That’s because for much of the 20th century the island served as a dump for the City of Boston. The dump closed in the late 1950s but the island remained a smelly mess for forty years. In the 1990s, the state began a massive tunneling project in downtown Boston. They decided to use the dirt and other fill from the project to cap the dump on the island. Today, the island is a beautiful park. There are large hills on either end and a visitors center with a small snack bar in the center. The hills offer amazing views of the harbor. There is a beach in which you can swim or look for pieces of sea glass. It was a wonderful place to pass a late summer day.
Two weeks ago, we sailed to one of the Boston Harbor Islands on a lovely sunny day. Last week, we set sail for another of the islands on a foggy, cloudy day. But there was still much beauty to the harbor. We did see the sun later in the day. Image of Spectacle Island to come tomorrow.
Yesterday, I wrote about taking the ferry out to George’s Island and visiting Fort Warren. We were able to enter certain parts of the fort that were deemed safe. These included rooms where cannons had been kept, the bakery, and the quarters for prisoners who were Confederate officers or political in nature. During the Civil War, the fort served as a prison for people who tried to evade the draft in the north and for Confederate soldiers from the south. For a period of time, the Vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, was held here. This is a collection of rooms. I chose them more for their aesthetic rather than historic value. There are two images of the powder magazine because I could not decide if I liked color or BW better.
Our harbor cruise brought us to George’s Island. It and the rest of the harbor islands are managed by both the state Department of Conservation and Recreation and the National Park Service. The jewel of the island (next to the views) is Fort Warren. It was built in 1850 and defended the harbor through four wars (Civil War, Spanish-American War, WWI and WWII). Part of it have been well maintained and can be viewed while others are off-limits due to safety concerns.