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.
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.
The last of my lighthouse images (for now) this one will require a boat to get this close. According to the Portsmouth, NH website, it “flashes a brilliant white beam every 15 seconds and, in foggy weather, sounds a horn every 30 seconds.” However, we were there on a clear day and still heard the horn every 30 second. There is a catwalk between the house and the light. The guide told us that it keeps getting washed away by storms and needs to be rebuilt. I’m not sure why they rebuild it because the light has been automated since 1896.