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Misery Islands, Salem

4.8
#36 of 82 in Nature in Massachusetts
Island Nature / Park
The Misery Islands are an 87acre nature reserve established in 1935 in Salem Sound close to the Salem Harbor in Salem, Massachusetts and is managed by the Trustees of Reservations. The islands are a part of the city of Salem, although they are much closer to the city of Beverly, in whose (water) territory they are enclaved.HistoryThe islands' name come from shipbuilder Robert Moulton who was stranded on the islands during a winter storm in the 1620s. Great Misery Island, in the past, has had numerous structures on it. In the early 1900s there was a private club that catered to socialites from Boston and surrounding areas. There was a casino, saltwater swimming area, 9-hole golf course (all par 3's) and lounge. After several years of business the club went bankrupt and was abandoned. The land was sold off to private owners, many of whom built cottages on the land. Many records show that upwards of 25 cottages were on the island at one time. From 1916 to 1917, the Massachusetts State Militia Aviation Camp was an encampment of the Massachusetts Naval Air Miliita on the island.In the late 1920s a fire burned the majority of the structures down. The fire was blamed on a brush fire, but many of the residents believed it may have been set by visitors from land, since the fire happened during the off-season when owners were not there and cottages had been closed for the season. During the 1940s a sea plane hangar was built on the west side of the island and was used for private charters, the hangar has since been removed but parts of the foundation can still be found along the beach. The island was purchased by a private nonprofit group during the late 1990s and is now used as a reservation. The island is now uninhabited and has no permanent residences.
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Reviews
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47 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A great day exploring Massachusetts History. Took the Sea Shuttle out of Salem, and it was great! Captain John and Tori took good care of our small group...John told many stories, which were so intere...  more »
  • The captain is friendly and informative and the mid-day visit to Greater Misery was absolutely worth it. Beautiful swimming and hiking spot.  more »
  • Captains Mike and John are very courteous and professional. Tori does her job with a winning smile. All are hardworking and try very hard to make sure the trip is a great experience. The boat is clean...  more »

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Where to stay in Salem

There are a number of accommodations within walking distance of downtown, enabling you to make the most of Salem’s nightlife and dining options. Those who want a room rich with character should look to the outskirts of the city. There you can find a number of charming bed and breakfasts, several of which are in restored century-old homes. A house or apartment rental is ideal if you're on vacation for a longer period of time.
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