(Isles of Shoals is commonly misspelled: Iles of Shoals, Isle of
Shoals, Isles of Shores, Isles of Sholes, Islands of Shoals, Isles
The Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire and Maine are a group of small
islands that are located off the east coast of the United States
that borders both the states of NH and Maine.
the 1600ís, the Isles of Shoals were used by Native Americans as
fishing camps in the spring and summer. The Isles were named in 1614
by English explorer Captain John Smith.
Islands at The Isles of Shoals
are currently nine islands includes in the Isles of Shoals: Appledore Island, Star Island, Seavey Island, Malaga Island, Cedar
Island, Smuttynose Island, Lunging Island, White Island and Duck
Island. The NH Islands are Star, White, Seavery and Cedar and the
Maine islands are Appledore, Smuttynose, Malaga and Duck Islands.
is one hotel on Star Island where summer meetings are frequently
held. This is the only hotel currently on any of the islands.
Isles of Shoals Museum
The Celia Thaxter museum is located on Star Island. The museum was
named after Celia Thaxter who was a famous poet and author that
lived on Star Island, Smuttynose and Appledore, where her family
owned a hotel. More about her and her family later in the article.
The museum is a stone cottage that was built in 1960 and houses
beautiful collections of Celia Thaxterís poetry and manuscripts as
well as hand-painted china, items from the Appledore hotel, historic
photos and a library of sea articles. The museum is open to the
public free of charge in the summer through Labor Day.
Isles of Shoals Cruises
Isles of Shoals can be reached by the ferry named the Isles of
Shoals Steamship Company which leaves from the Market Street dock in
Portsmouth. The trip is narrated and takes about an hour each way.
There are several other private companies that also take tours of
the Isles but the Steamship Company tour is the only one allowed to
dock. The Isles of Shoals Steamship Company also offers a walking
tour of Star Island each morning and a 3 hour stopover in the summer
season. Since each island is privately owned, there is no public
Isles of Shoals Hotel
Oceanic Hotel is located on Star Island and first opened in 1873.
The hotel is currently used for conferences in the summer and those
attending the conferences can stay at the hotel overnight or they
can opt to stay at the several Victorian era overnight houses on the
Isles of Shoals Lighthouse
first lighthouse built on the Isles of Shoals was on White Island in
1821. Thomas Laighton became the keeper of the lighthouse in 1839.
He lived on the island with his wife and two children, Oscar and
Celia. The couple had a third child, Cedric who was born at
the lighthouse in 1841. Celia later became the famous poet and
author Celia Thaxter. In later years, the United States Coast
Guard took over the lighthouse. The lighthouse became completely
automated in 1986 and in 1993; the island became the property of the
State of NH.
Isles of Shoals Folklore
has been much folklore about ghosts, shipwrecks and buried treasure
on the islands. Are any of those legends true? There are clues that
there is buried treasure on at least one of the islands. There have
been a number of ships that have been shipwrecked on the Isles. On
some of the islands, you will find the graves of many of the people
who lived on the islands.
Island, also known as Hog Island, is the largest on the Isles of
Shoals. The island was originally used for farming. A church
was built on the island in 1640. Most of those who settled here
relocated to Star Island around 1700 to avoid paying taxes.
The artistsí salon was booming business on the island in the later
part of the 1800ís. The salon burned in 1914 and that pretty much
ended the leading artists, musicians and writers on the Isles.
Today, the island is home to the Shoals Marine Laboratory and has
been run by Cornell University and the University of NH since the
Island was annexed to the town of Rye in 1876. It is home to the
Oceanic Hotel which has close ties to the United Universalist
Association and the United Church of Christ. In 2008, personal
retreats were allowed so the public could stay on the island for up
to a week. Star Island was first used by fisherman in the 1600ís.
The first permanent settlers came to the island in 1677 when
Appledore Island started charging taxes to their residents.
boomed in 1715 when a mass migration occurred. The island became
scarce during the American Revolutionary War but populated again
when the Oceanic Hotel was built. The hotel industry didnít
last long because mountain resorts were becoming increasingly more
popular. Today, there are about 90 college students who live on and
care for the island in the summer and about nine staffers live on
the island year round. Besides the Oceanic hotel, the island is home
to other smaller hotels, a marine lab, a floating dock, 2 tennis
courts, 2 playgrounds, a day care, a gazebo and an old stone chapel.
Smuttynose Island was named after a fisherman discovered how the
seaweed looked like the nose of a sea animal. The island is best
known for its series of murders that occurred in 1873. Two
Norwegians women were strangled and one of the women was hit by a
hatchet. There was a 3rd woman involved who escaped and later
identified a fisherman named Louis Wagner as the murderer. He was
tried, convicted and hung to death. Smuttynose Island is also
connected to the Smuttynose Brewing Company in Portsmouth NH.
Island is connected to Smuttynose Island by a breakwater that was
built by Captain Samuel Haley in the late 1700ís. It was rebuilt in
the 1820ís. There are currently no houses or buildings on the
island. It is privately owned by the same family that owns
Island got its name from the cedar trees located on the island. The
island was discovered in the early 1600ís by explorer john Smith.
Today the island is occupied by lobstermen and their families. The
island is relatively small, only measuring one seventh of a mile in
Island is an island named Londonerís Island and was believed to be
the original base to be the original base of the London Company. The
island was first owned by Oscar Laighton (Celia Thaxterís brother).
Legend has it that there was shipwreck there with only one survivor.
That survivor was a pirate who is said to have buried treasure
Island is named for the migrating birds the island inhabits. Today
the island is used as a wildlife refuge. Earlier, the island was a
restricted zone used as bombing targets by the government.
Check out the
of the Isles of Shoals from Hampton Beach!
The Isles of Shoals is
often misspelled as Iles of Shoals, Isle
of Shoals, Isles of Shores, Isles of Sholes, Islands of Shoals,
Isles of Shoales
New Hampshire has a wide variety of things to do...
See More Things to do in New Hampshire!
Check out our Live NH Webcams!