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Boston Harbor Islands, A national park area Click to enlarge Click to enlarge

Middle Brewster Island Facts

This rugged Island, once home to a colony of fishermen, now is a haven for wildlife.
Managing Agency
Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR)
Agency Designation
Harbor Islands Reservation
Current Use
Park purposes.
Harbor Location
Outer Harbor

Longitude
Latitude

42° 20' 23.8" North  (Approximate center of island.)
70° 53' 22.1" West
From Long Wharf
9.33 miles
On-island Circulation
Unimproved trails.
VISITOR SERVICES & FACILITIES
Hours
Access discouraged.
Piers/Docks
No
Visitor Season
0
Boat slips
0
Visitor Staff
No
Moorings
0
Guided Tours
No
Park Boats
None
Lifeguards
No
Car Access
No
Toilets
flush - No
composting - No
Campsites
0 (capacity ea.: 0)
Picnic Areas
Cooking Grills
No
No
Group Campsites
0 (capacity ea: 0)
Refreshments
No
Camping Capacity
0
Drinking Water
No
Trails
No
Visitor Cautions
The rocky island, bounded by sharp cliffs and sunken crags, is difficult to access due to the lack of beaches and inlets. Birds are aggressive during nesting season; visitation is discouraged at that time.
GENERAL INFORMATION
Total Acreage
13.60  upland acres
Highest Elevation
52 ft.
Short History
Fishermen constructed huts on the island in the mid-1800s. A few affluent Bostonians chose Middle Brewster as a retreat during the Guilded Age of the late 1800s. Wartime use during the early 1900s ended recreational use of the island. The island is difficult to access and serves primarily as a nesting site for gulls and cormorants. Interesting vestiges of the summer homes remain including fireplaces, stone walls, and a stone arch that formerly supported a bell.
Vegetation
The island is sparsely covered with small trees, sumac, and grasses. Further research is needed to determine whether cultivated plants remain from occupation during the nineteenth century.
Wildlife
Overview survey in progress.
Geology
Composed of rocky outcrops, the island rises to an elevation of 52 feet. Between Middle and Outer Brewster the channel is known as the "Flying Place" because of the intense wave action during northeast storms.
Water Features
No constructed water features likely. A small freshwater marsh exists on the eastern side.
Views and Vistas
From the inner harbor, the island is obscured by Great Brewster and Calf Islands. On the island there are excellent views of the surrounding outer harbor islands, The Graves, and Hull, and partial views of the Boston skyline.
Other Structures
Ruins of stone arch and walls.
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