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

Langlee Island Facts

This island's main feature is a 40-foot cliff of pudding stone.
Managing Agency
Town of Higham
Agency Designation
Park lands.
Current Use
Park purposes.
Harbor Location
Hingham Bay

Longitude
Latitude

42° 15' 52.0" North  (Approximate center of island.)
70° 53' 15.4" West
From Long Wharf
11.8 miles
On-island Circulation
There are several informal footpaths that traverse the island to views on ledges. Much of the island is impenetrable due to poison ivy and brambles.
VISITOR SERVICES & FACILITIES
Hours
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
Potentially dangerous approach due to rocks.
GENERAL INFORMATION
Total Acreage
8
4.39  upland acres
3.46  intertidal acres
Highest Elevation
40 ft.
Short History
The island was used seasonally by Native American Indians. Colonists probably removed trees for firewood. Since this time the island has changed ownership several times but retains the name of John Langlee, who purchased the island in 1686. The island was later bought by John R. Brewer, passed to his children, and then given to the town of Hingham by a descendent.
Vegetation
In an 1893 account, The History of Hingham, author Bouve describes Langlee as “a beautiful spot. Steep ledges surround it, except for small intervals, where there are gravelly beaches, upon one of which stands a fine linden. Shrubs abound upon the uplands. It will be, in a few years, more beautiful than now, thanks to the enlightened taste of the gentleman who owns it. He has planted many small trees, which will eventually cover it with forest growth, as was originally the case when the country was settled, and restore it to the condition in which all the islands of Boston harbor should be. Had they been kept so for the past two centuries, the forces of erosion would not have succeeded in practically sweeping some of them from the face of the earth, and destroying the contour of all.” Over one hundred years later, the island contains several remarkable trees, including oak, maple, cedar, and birch. Most notable is an enormous oak in the center of the island that has become part of a camping area. The abundant shrubs described by Bouve in 1893 have likely been eliminated by these large shade trees. Groupings of huckleberry and viburnum appear to have self seeded and are mixed with greenbriar, dewberry, sumac, and poison ivy. Several grassy areas under large trees appear to be popular camping spots.
Wildlife
Overview survey in progress.
Geology
Masses of Roxbury Puddingstone conglomerate rise from the shoreline to a high point of 40 feet, creating a dramatic viewpoint and steep cliffs on the northern shore. Steep ledges surround most of the island several small sandy beaches and a tidal mudflat on the east side. The center of the island contains glacial till that supports tree and shrub cover.
Water Features
No constructed water features visible.
Views and Vistas
From the forty-foot cliff on the northern side of the island, one can see Boston, Peddock's, and Bumpkin. Views from other points on Langlee are of the surrounding islands and mainland areas including Ragged and Sarah Islands, World's End and Hingham Harbor.
Buildings
None.
Fortifications
None
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