• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

Island Facts: Button Island

This small island features a rock-strewn gravel beach and a large oak tree.


 
Short History
The island was likely used seasonally by Native Americans. Trees were likely removed for firewood by colonists. An 1893 account (The History of Hingham, "Ancient Landmarks") describes Button as "a little heap of rock and gravel, bearing no trees or shrubs and but little grass, is not worth visiting." The island now supports about twenty trees and a dense understory of brambles.
 

General Information
This island of Boston Harbor Islands national park area is managed by the Town of Hingham.

Agency Designation: Park lands
Current Use: Park purposes
Harbor Location: Hingham Bay
Acreage: 116 (upland acres: 0.61; intertidal acres: 115.89)
Highest elevation: 10 feet
Longitude: 42° 15' 52.00" North
Latitude:
70° 53' 15.4" West
Miles from Long Wharf: 12.5
 
Visitor Facilities & Services
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
Flush toilets:
No
Campsites:
0
Composting toilets:
No
Group campsites:
0
Picnic areas:
No
Camping capacity:
0
Refreshments:
No
Cooking grills:
No
Drinking water:
No
Walking trails:
No
 

Natural History Overview
Vegetation
An enormous oak tree is growing on the island, which must have been planted shortly after the island's unsympathetic description as a barren island in the 1893 History of Hingham, "Ancient Landmarks." Several smaller but mature oaks, linden cedars, and sumac cover the island. Shrub species include bayberry and dewberry. Grasses and sea lavender are abundant in the tidal zone.

Wildlife
Survey in progress.

Geology
The island rises 10 feet in elevation and is composed primarily of glacial till. The island is bounded by small rock outcrops, boulders, sand, and mudflats with salt grass.

Views and Vistas
Views from Button are of the surrounding islands and mainland areas including Ragged and Sarah Islands, Worlds End and Hingham Harbor.

 

Structures
Buildings:
None

Fortifications: None

Other Structures: None

Did You Know?

Airplane at Boston Logan Airport 1941

Boston Logan International Airport sits upon land that used to be four islands – Apple, Bird, Noodles and Governors Islands. Today, visitors travel past Boston’s Logan International Airport on their way to explore Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. More...