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Rainsford Isl. Exploration - SNG - 11/16

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Additional (missing) Info: Launching from Morrisey Blvd boat ramp (by the Gas Tanks) in Dorchester Bay. Route will be to paddle on the north side of Thompson Island, hop over to Spectacle and then to the western end of Long Island, go under the Long Island bridge, and then head southeasterly to Rainsford. Coming back, will cross channel between Long and Moon Islands, paddle along north side of Moon, pass over the submerged sand bar (rising tide) between Squaw Rock/Squantum and the south side of Thompson and continue westerly back to the launch.

The north/south channel that runs between Thompson/Moon and Spectacle/Long Islands is a major one for boats going back and forth from Quincy/Hull to inner Boston Harbor. However, on a Sunday, the ferry traffic should be minimal.


Exploring Rainsford Island (Quincy Bay) this Sunday, November 16th. Launching at 9 AM sharp, with a total mileage of 10-12 miles, depending on whether we circumnavigate Rainsford. This a level III paddle. Windy conditions can make this trip more challenging. Drysuit, extra clothes and other a safety gear required. Know your self/assisted rescues and be prepared to take care of yourself. Email me if you’re interested, at dysmoy@aol.com

Rainsford Island is not a well known Boston Harbor Island since it is not “officially” open to the public and has no amenities. Local fisherman and boaters, however, make unofficial visits to this island with its two southerly facing coves/beaches. Below is a description for Rainsford from the city of Boston site:

Rainsford Island

Total land area: 11 acres

50-foot drumlin, natural coves facing south and southwest, separated by rock outcropping Pebbles and rock beach, shell deposits. In about 1636, Edward Rainsford was granted the island for farm use. In 1737, a quarantine hospital was moved to Rainsford Island from Spectacle Island and operated there until 1852. During this time, Rainsford Island was a popular summer resort.

In 1832 a small-pox hospital was built (a stone Greek-temple design), and many victims of infectious diseases were buried on the island in. In about 1852, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took possession of the island and established an almshouse. The state abandoned the site in about 1866, and the City converted the island into a poorhouse. Civil War Veterans lived there until 1882, when they were transferred to a Soldiers Home on the mainland. Beginning in 1882, female paupers were sent to Rainsford. Later it was a facility for boys: the Suffolk School for Boys. In 1920, the school was closed. Now only foundation holes remain visible.

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