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

Rainsford Island Facts

Foundations remain from varied past uses; a variety of wildflowers abound.
Managing Agency
City Of Boston
Agency Designation
None
Current Use
Park purposes.
Harbor Location
Quincy Bay

Longitude
Latitude

42° 18' 43.1" North  (Approximate center of island.)
70° 57' 15.3" West
From Long Wharf
6.33 miles
On-island Circulation
There are several unimproved trails on the island.
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
GENERAL INFORMATION
Total Acreage
21.60  upland acres
Highest Elevation
49 ft.
Short History
The island was used by Native American Indians. During the colonial period, the island was occupied, farmed and grazed. Institutional use of the island began in 1737 and extended with interruptions for nearly two hundred years until 1925. During this time the island served as a quarantine hospital, almshouse, veterans hospital, and boys reform school. During the nineteenth century, a resort house was also located on the island. Only foundations remain today. The island has never supported military facilities.
Vegetation
Meadow grasses, hardwoods, sumac groves.
Wildlife
Overview survey in progress.
Geology
The island is composed of two drumlins, reaching an elevation of 49 feet. The island bluffs are eroding on the north side but are partially protected by a dilapidated seawall on the northern and eastern sides. The shoreline is predominantly rocky with a sandy cove in the south side.
Water Features
Further study required.
Views and Vistas
Blue Hills, Hull, Gallops, George's, Hangman, Long, Moon, and Peddocks Islands, and Quincy.
Buildings
Building foundations.
Fortifications
None
Other Structures
Pier remains - east and west shores; granite seawall along northern and eastern shore - crumbling in sections; stonewall remnants.
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