Island Facts: Sarah Island
This island's ledges, beaches and mudflats make the ideal nesting place for gulls.
The island was likely used seasonally by Native Americans. Colonists probably removed trees for firewood. The island was also known as "Sailor's or Sayles's" Island prior to its purchase by John Langlee in 1686. Later it was purchased by John R. Brewer, passed to his children, and then given to the town of Hingham by a descendent.
Agency Designation: Park lands
Visitor Facilities & Services
Natural History Overview
An 1893 account "The History of Hingham" describes the vegetation on the island as "clothed with sumacs and other shrubs." The island now supports many mature trees including maples, oak, linden, elm, cedar, hackberry, black cherry, buckthorn, and sumac. Several dead trees serve as popular roosting spots for birds, one large tree is favored by cormorants while another is occupied by white egrets. Seagulls occupy every other tree, shrub, and ledge. Shrubs species are typical of other islands.
Survey in progress.
The island is composed of large outcroppings and ledges of Roxbury Puddingstone as well as glacial till that rises to an elevation of 30 feet. On the southern side ledges drop into the water, while the north side contains sections of sand beach, boulders, and mudflats with salt grass.
Views and Vistas
Views from Sarah are of the surrounding islands and mainland areas including Langlee, Ragged and Button Islands, Worlds End and Hingham Harbor.
Island names have changed, depending on ownership and the customs of the times. What's in a Name? lists alternate names for park islands (and a few Harbor islands not within the park). Following are known names for Sarah Island:
Did You Know?
Boston Harbor Islands is one of 14 national park that has the word "islands" in the name. Other island parks include Channel Islands in California, Apostle Islands in Wisconsin, Governors Island in New York and Assateague Island in Maryland.