• 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: Sheep Island

Once 25 acres, this island has been eroded away to less than 2 acres by wind and water.


 
Short History
In the 1600s, the island covered more than 25 acres and was called "Round Island." The island was deeded to the town of Weymouth in 1636 and used for grazing sheep. In the 1800s, the island was used by recreational camping parties. A residence and hunting lodge were constructed then abandoned. The island has eroded to three acres.
 

General Information
This island of Boston Harbor Islands national park area is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).

Agency Designation: Harbor Islands Reservation
Current Use: Park purposes
Harbor Location: Hingham Bay
Acreage: 3.20 upland acres
Highest elevation: 10 feet
Longitude: 42° 16' 48.3" North
Latitude:
70° 55' 33.1" West
Miles from Long Wharf: 9.33
 
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 (capacity ea: 0
Composting toilets:
No
Group campsites:
0 (capacity ea: 0)
Picnic areas:
No
Camping capacity:
0
Refreshments:
No
Cooking grills:
No
Drinking water:
Yes
Walking trails:
No

On-island Circulation: Unimproved trails.

Visitor Cautions: Resident birds are very territorial during nesting: visitation is discouraged during this season.

 
Natural History Overview
Vegetation
Sumac; grasses.

Wildlife
Survey in progress.

Geology
Eroded glacial drumlin with rocky shore, elevation 10 feet.

Water Features
None.

Views and Vistas
Hough's Neck; Hull; Bumpkin, Grape, Nut, Peddocks, and Slate Islands.
 
Structures
Buildings
  • None
Fortifications
  • None
Other Structures
  • None
 
Alternate Names
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 is another known name for Sheep Island:
  • Round Island

Did You Know?

CCC Workers

The Civilian Conservation Corps planted ornamental trees and shrubbery throughout Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area during the 1930s. In particular, structures of Gallops Island are lined with privet hedges, mock orange, snowberry, forsythia and coniferous trees.