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Plum Island, Massachusetts is an island located off the northeast coast of Massachusetts, north of Cape Ann. It is a barrier island approximately 11 miles (18 km) in length. The island is named for the wild beach plum shrubs that grow on its dunes. The island is located in parts of four municipalities in Essex County. From north to south they are the city of Newburyport, and the Towns of Newbury, Rowley, and Ipswich.HistoryCaptain John SmithPlum Island appears as an unnamed island as early as Captain John Smith's map of New England. Various scholars have speculated on the nature of the earlier accounts of European explorers in the New World, with particular focus on the latter's surveys of the coastlines of Massachusetts, but Smith's account surely identifies Plum Island. He describes a harbor at Angoam (elsewhere Aggawom, the Anglicised native American name for the native village that preceded Ipswich, Massachusetts, and was destroyed by smallpox) as having "many sands" at its entrance. Before it was an island: "On the east is an Ile two or three leagues in length; the one halfe, plaine morish grasse fit for pasture, with many faire high groves of mulberrie trees gardens; and there is also Okes, Pines and other woods to make this place an excellent habitation, beeing a good and safe harbor." "Morish" is now "marsh" and the high gardens of "mulberrie" trees must be beach plum, which prefers the crowns of the dunes, although today can be seen on only a few. The map shows an imaginary English town (the insertion of Charles I of England) of the then future, South Hampton, about where Newbury is. The Hampton suggestions were later put to use, but further north.Explore the family-friendly attractions of Plum Island and add them to your vacation plans using our United States trip itinerary maker.
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