Isles of Shoals
Isles of Shoals: Appledore, Cedar, Duck, Lunging, Malaga, Star, Seavey, Smuttynose and White Islands
Islands at The Isles of Shoals
Isles of Shoals Museum
Isles of Shoals Cruises
Isles of Shoals Hotel
Isles of Shoals Folklore
There 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. And we cannot forget to mention the Smuttynose murders which have become the topic of numerous books, and a movie called “The Weight of Water”
Isles of Shoals Lighthouse
The 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.
White and Seavey Islands
White Island and Seavey Island are only separated at high tide. White Island is home of the White Island Lighthouse, better known as the Isles of Shoals Light. We have a section of our site dedicated to White Island and the lighthouse with a lot of photos, history, and other interesting information. Check out the White Island Lighthouse page.
Seavey Island is currently only used by Cornell University to protect and study the nesting Tern population in the summer months. There are huts built there by biologists to use for observation of the Terns. The biologists stay at the keepers cottage on White Island and go to Seavey Island during low tide when Seavey is accessible by foot from White Island.
Star Island was annexed to the town of Rye in 1876. It is now owned by the United Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Star Island is home to the Oceanic Hotel. 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 1600’s. The first permanent settlers came to the island in 1677 when Appledore Island started charging taxes to their residents.
Housing 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 didn’t 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.
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