Island Facts: Rainsford Island
Foundations remain from varied past uses; a variety of wildflowers abound.
The island was used by Native Americans. 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.
Agency Designation: None
Visitor Facilities & Services
Natural History Overview
Meadow grasses, hardwoods, sumac groves.
Survey in progress.
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.
Further study required.
Views and Vistas
Blue Hills, Hull, Gallops, Georges, Hangman, Long, Moon, and Peddocks Islands, and Quincy.
Did You Know?
On September 1, 1905, Elliot Hadley lit the most powerful light in Massachusetts at the top of Graves Lighthouse, now in Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The first-order Fresnel lens aided in navigation and allowed for safe passage into Boston Harbor. More...