Naushon Island

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Naushon Island
Tarpaulin Cove light house.JPG
Tarpaulin Cove light house on Naushon Island
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Naushon Island
Location of Naushon Island within Massachusetts
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Naushon Island
Naushon Island (the United States)
Geography
Location Elizabeth Islands
Coordinates 41°29′47″N70°42′26″W / 41.4964979°N 70.7072523°W / 41.4964979; -70.7072523 Coordinates: 41°29′47″N70°42′26″W / 41.4964979°N 70.7072523°W / 41.4964979; -70.7072523 [1]
Total islands1
Area7.4 sq mi (19 km2)
Administration
United States
State Massachusetts
County Dukes County
Demographics
Population30 (2000)

Naushon Island is the largest of the Elizabeth Islands in southeastern Massachusetts. It is part of the town of Gosnold, Massachusetts, and is owned by the Forbes family. As of the 2000 census, the island had a permanent population of 30 people.

Contents

The island is seven miles (11 km) long and 7.4 square miles in land area (19.18 km²). It is separated from Cape Cod by a narrow strait and the smaller islands of Uncatena and Nonamesset, and is located four statute miles (6 km) northwest of Martha's Vineyard.

History

Naushon Island has been a Forbes family retreat for more than a century and a half, since its purchase by John Murray Forbes. Forbes was a businessman who began his career in his family's opium and tea trading business in China, and made much of his fortune by investing in the early development of railroads. Naushon Island was purchased by Forbes and a business associate, William W. Swain, in 1842, and Forbes purchased Swain's share soon after to become the sole owner. Upon his death in 1898, Forbes left Naushon in a trust administered by his 5 surviving children and it is now owned by Naushon Island Trust, Inc. Pasque Island and Nashawena Island, the next two islands in the Elizabeth Island chain, were purchased at different times by J. M. Forbes descendants and remain privately owned. There are approximately 35 houses on Naushon, most near the east end. [2]

Naushon Island was at one time the property of James Bowdoin III (1752–1811), son of Massachusetts' governor James Bowdoin II (1726–1790) and appointed by President Thomas Jefferson to serve as the U.S. plenipotentiary to Spain. James III owned a beautiful estate at "Nashaun Island," according to Thomas Bridgman who in 1856 published The Pilgrims of Massachusetts and Their Descendants. Bridgman also notes that Bowdoin was "among the very earliest as well as largest importers of the pure Merino stock and took great pains in improving his own flocks and inculcating the importance of doing so upon others". This interest may have led to the wool sample found among Thomas Jefferson's papers. Jefferson's note reads "Specimen of Mr. Bowdoin's wool, from American sheep raised on his Island of "Nanshaw". The note has been digitized and is available for viewing in the Library of Congress American Memories Collection , indexed as "Hackley and Bowdoin, no date, wool samples".

John Forbes Kerry, a former U.S. senator and the U.S. secretary of State from 2013 to 2017, is not a direct descendant of John Murray Forbes but of his uncle, but nonetheless has vacationed on Naushon periodically since his youth.

Topography

Naushon and the smaller islands that surround it, Uncatena, Nonamesset, Monohansett, Bull, Cedar, Bachelor, Veckatimest, Weepecket, and some smaller ones, are private property and closed to the public, with the exception of three beaches, Kettle Cove, West Beach, and Tarpaulin Cove, and Weepeckit Island, off the north shore of Naushon, in Buzzards Bay. Opening to the east northeast, Hadley Harbor, on the east end of Naushon, is relatively deep and is well protected from storms. At the mouth of Hadley Harbor, Bull Island is open to picnickers. Other bays include Inner Harbor, Lackeys Bay, Monsod Bay, and Northwest Gutter. On Naushon, there are no paved roads but many miles of trails through the mostly beech woods. A lighthouse sits above Tarpaulin Cove.

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Veckatimest Island

Veckatimest Island is one of the Elizabeth Islands, part of the town of Gosnold in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The island has a land area of 0.0675 km2 and was uninhabited as of the 2000 census.

<i>Monohansett</i> (steamboat)

Monohansett was a sidewheel steamer operating as a ferry serving the island of Martha's Vineyard during the late nineteenth century. She was named after Monohansett Island, a tiny 12-acre (4.9-hectare) island off Naushon Island.

Tarpaulin Cove Light Lighthouse

The Tarpaulin Cove Light is a historic lighthouse on Naushon Island, one of the Elizabeth Islands of southern Massachusetts. It is located in the town of Gosnold, Massachusetts. Built on the site of a light station first established privately in the 18th century, the current tower dates from 1891. A keeper's house built at the same time has not survived. The light is 78 feet (24 m) above Mean High Water, and its white light is visible for 9 nautical miles.

Samuel Appleton was a military and government leader in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay. He was a commander of the Massachusetts militia during King Philip's War who led troops during the Attack on Hatfield, Massachusetts and the Great Swamp Fight. He also held numerous positions in government and was an opponent of Governor Sir Edmund Andros.

Tarpaulin Cove is a bay in Dukes County, Massachusetts. It is located on Naushon Island 0.8 miles (1.3 km) east of Kettle Cove and northeast of Robinson's Hole in the Town of Gosnold.

Kettle Cove is a bay in Dukes County, Massachusetts. It is located on Naushon Island 0.8 miles (1.3 km) west of Tarpaulin Cove and northeast of Robinson's Hole in the Town of Gosnold.

Bull Island (Dukes County, Massachusetts)

Bull Island is one of the Elizabeth Islands between Nonamesset Island and Uncatena Island, it separates Hadley Harbor from Inner Harbor. Bull Island is located in Dukes County, Massachusetts in the Town of Gosnold.

Mount Cary is a mountain in Dukes County, Massachusetts. It is located on Naushon Island 0.8 miles (1.3 km) north of Tarpaulin Cove in the Town of Gosnold. Mount Surat is located northeast of Mount Cary.

References

  1. "Naushon Island". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved 2018-11-12.
  2. Howland, Alice Forbes. A Brief History of Naushon (PDF).