Tag Archives: harbor

Spectacle Island


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.

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Inside Fort Warren

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.

George’s Island

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.

Boston Inner Harbor Sunrise

I chose this image of Boston’s inner harbor for today’s post because the harbor will be anything but quiet today. A parade of tall ships is arriving for a five-day stay in Boston. The list of ships is long and they are expecting two million people to view the parade. As thrilling as that would be, we had already opted for a charity bicycle tour in another part of the city. With any luck, we may get down to Boston sometime this week to see some of the vessels.

Commercial Wharf

Comercial Wharf

Yesterday, I showed an image from Boston’s Christopher Columbus park. Turning around and walking 30 yds/m, I was at the water’s edge looking at Commercial Wharf. I’m not sure there is much commercial about Commercial Wharf anymore. These are now luxury condos and lofts for sale or rent. There are fewer boats in the water now and those in the water are getting buttoned up for winter.