Boston Harbor "Shutter Island" Under Construction

Posted Feb 20th 2011 12:00 PMUpdated Feb 21st 2011 10:12 AM


boston harbor shutter island

Doc Searls, Flickr

Peddocks Island off Boston, best known in recent years as a setting for Martin Scorsese's 2010 movie "Shutter Island," is getting a $7.8 makeover to make it more visitor-friendly.

Peddocks is one of 34 islands in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. The islands got a publicity boost from the film, which featured actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a U.S. Marshal investigating a psychiatric facility located on a Boston Harbor island.

Many of the islands are accessible by ferry and open to tourists for activities ranging from camping to hiking to swimming to visiting historic buildings.

One of the largest islands in the park, with 184 acres, Peddocks Island has been a home to American Indians, militiamen, prisoners of war, farmers and summer vacationers. Fort Andrews was in service from the early 1900s through World War II. In 1776, 600 patriot militiamen were stationed on the island to guard the harbor against the return of British troops, according to the park service.

Today, there are more than two dozen structures around the fort, including guardhouses, prisoner-of-war barracks, stables, a gymnasium and a firehouse, but many are in sad, even dangerous, condition. The Boston Globe likens the area to a ghost town.

The Boston Harbor Island Alliance and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, working with the Massachusetts Historical Commission and other preservationists, came up with a plan to preserve parts of the area, reports the Boston Globe.

The project entails demolishing 11 buildings and stabilizing 11 others; a white clapboard chapel, two guardhouses, and a stable will be rehabilitated. Demolition is expected to begin March 1, the Globe reports.

Tom Powers of the Boston Harbor Island Alliance tells the newspaper the immediate goal is to preserve salvageable structures such as the quartermaster's building for future use, which he said could make an exceptional inn.

The campground, slated to open this summer, will have 10 individual sites and a large area for a group. Next year, six yurts, permanent tent-like structures, should be available, says the news outlet.

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Peddocks Demolition

Get on Track:DCR is spending millions to demo buildings it was charged 40 years to maintain. If DCR(formerly MDC) had not let those rot they would more valuable than a couple campsites. These buildings are property of the Commonwealth i.e. the citizenry. DCR has been wholly negligent. But as usual, no one is held accountable. Should not the state attorney prosecute for destruction of public property?
Somehow DCR wants the public to think demo 11 historic buildings a good thing. If anyone else disagrees please tell your state representative or the governor.

March 23 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about this? We refer to native Americans as "Americans." Then everyone else can be "qualified" Americans - African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans AND EUROPEAN Americans. Actually, since it was Europeans who came up with the word "American," perhaps we should allow original Americans to determine what we should be called. Or better yet, why not just drop all the crap about where someone's ancestors were born.

February 21 2011 at 12:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DP's comment

I agree dropping that would be better. Unfortunately, the US is too obsessed with people's ethnicities to just drop it

February 23 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just love the movie Shutter Island. I watch it over and over, trying to see if I can discover something deeper in this mystery. So I would like nothing more than to walk upon this island for real or go camping there and find out if it is as creepy as it looked in the movie.

February 21 2011 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pardon me for making a sort of off topic comment, but I just want to correct something that was said in the article that is really irritating. It's NATIVE American! Not American Indian! There is NOTHING Indian about being Native American! It's been known for quite a very long time now that Natives of the Americas are not Indians from India, yet this country STILL can't get it right!

Alright, enough said. I apologize for getting too far off topic, so don't come jumping down my throat about it. I'm done. Thanks.

February 21 2011 at 2:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to EYE eat TREEZ's comment

My great-grandmother was partly Native American, but I have no problem with the term American Indian, because the term native American refers any person who is born on American soil, as opposed to a naturalized citizen, for example. Maybe a more logical term would be "tribal American"? Anyway, I'm just glad people are thinking and talking about the history of this country and its native tribes, regardless of the names used to refer to them.

February 21 2011 at 6:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Eh, well my family and I DO have a problem with the term "Indian." And yes technically "native" simply refers to where a person was born, but "Native American" has always been used to refer to the indigenous people of the Americas (and not just the US). But I just made my earlier comment to vent. I know this wasn't what the article is discussing.

About the article, hopefully they can restore this place to how nice it used to be. The town I'm from has a few historical houses, buildings, monuments, areas, and etc. But they're not being taken care of. Lots of long-time residents who've been here for generations keep leaving due to how badly the town has declined. The town isn't really advertising its history (and doesn't even seem to care). New lower class residents keep moving in which is why many others keep leaving. The town hasn't really made any significant efforts to improve itself. I feel advertising its history a little more might help a tad bit more (but those of us who live there know that'll never happen).

February 23 2011 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In case you folks haven't heard, the administration has committed us to about 15 trillion dollars of unfunded commitments. Refurbishing some place to make 10 campgrounds means that Yellowstone will get short changed. Not only that, Mass. is in debt, too - so even if the state tries do make this project work, they will have to cut it from somewhere else. Y'all better start realizing that this country is so heavily in debt that unless the spending on fanciful projects stops, we all go down the tube.

February 21 2011 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i have been waiting forever to hear that it will be visitor friendly. i have always wanted to go there. i have been to george's island over near there and its beautiful and full of history. the whole area is wonderful and a great way to spend the day. if anyone loves touring forts there are plenty of them there.

February 21 2011 at 12:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

promo for a movie and propaganda for the island. Isn't AOL just wonderful.

February 20 2011 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to frankerin's comment

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