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Misery Islands, Salem

Categories: Islands, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 30 reviews on the web
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. The 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. 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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  • I love Misery Island! We travel there by boat and my only complaint is the number of large boats rafting up together in the middle of Cocktail Cove. When the tide turns, they are bumping into other bo...  read more »
  • So we used the Sea Shuttle to get to this island. There was a pond, a site of an old hotel, casino, and where the water tower used to be. It was a lot of fun walking all around the island. It was cool...  read more »
  • We rode the Sea Shuttle with Capt. John and 1st mate Ben to Misery Island. They were great! Sound system on the boat can be difficult to hear so try to sit near a speaker if you can. If you get off th...  read more »
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