Thompson Island

Thompson Island

Thompson Island

Boston, MA

One of the Harbor Islands

Boston Harbor Islands National Park, encompasses an area that includes 34 islands surrounding the Greater Boston shoreline. These islands are rich in natural and cultural resources which make wonderful destinations for cruisers from around the world.

The 34 islands are managed by a unique, 13-member Partnership which includes the National Park Service and other public and private organizations. An advisory council provides a mechanism for public involvement.



Thompson Island History


In 1626 (four years before the Puritans arrived in Boston) David Thompson established a trading post to trade with the Neponset Indians on the island that now bears his name. Thompson was a Scot who had been superintending Sir Ferdinando Gorge's settlement in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. For the next two centuries, Thompson Island was also leased to several different families for farming.


The island became an educational institution in 1833, when a school for orphaned boys was built on the island. Featuring a farm, a woodshop and a print shop, it was the first vocational school in America, and also had the first school band!


What's There Now


Now the island is home to Thompson Island Outward Bound, a non-profit educational organization that puts people in fun but challenging situations in order to help them develop teamwork, compassion and self-confidence. Activities include sailing, climbing, leadership training and environmental exploration.


The island's services include: an independent middle school for students in 6-8th grades; summertime expeditions for kids ages 12-17; teambuilding programs for youth and adults; and special events service offering catered clambakes, company outings, parties and weddings.


Thompson Island is open to the public on Sundays from June to September. The island's natural features include a drumlin and a moraine; oak, tamarack, maple, and birch trees; open fields, wildflowers, and berry bushes; a pond; and 50 acres of salt marsh. It is home to many animals, including killdeer, herons and hermit crabs.


Submitted by Onshore Magazine