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Fun facts about Peddocks Island

Island hopping

 Alternate names: Peddock, Pedocks, Pethick’s, Pettocks, Pettucks, Puttock, Paddocks, Pettick’s, Petticks, Puttock Island

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 Highest elevation: 80 feet

 Size: 184 acres

 Total land area at low tide: 288 acres

 Vegetation: Norway maple, apple, beach plum, birch, meadow, oak, pine, poplar, sumac, wild rose, and poison ivy

A Peddocks timeline

2600 B.C. - 1600s: Peddocks Island was used by American Indians for fishing.

1634: European settlers began using Peddocks as pasture land.

1776: More than 600 Colonist militiamen were stationed on Peddocks to guard the harbor against the return of British troops.

1900: The island military post was named Fort Andrews, in honor of George Leonard Andrews, a foreign-language professor and Civil War general.

1909: The Boston Globe reported on the fishing village on the west side of the island on Aug. 22, 1909. The headline read: “Quaint Village on Peddocks Island. Its Inhabitants Are American and Portuguese Fishermen and Their Families. Primitive Domestic Conditions Are Conducive to Health and Happiness.”

1944-1945: Fort Andrews was an Italian prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.

1957: Private developers bought Peddocks Island in a government auction. Plans to build summer homes, a marina, and hotel never materialized.

1970: The Commonwealth acquired the property by eminent domain.

1971: Josephine Walsh, a Hough’s Neck resident, was digging for soil for her rose bushes on Peddocks when she uncovered a 4,600-year-old human skeleton. The bones were of a Native American man who lived sometime between 2900 and 2600 B.C.

2005: A utility tunnel was bored under Hull Gut to provide water, sewer, and electricity service.

2011: Twelve dilapidated fort buildings were demolished. The guardhouse was restored and transformed into a visitors’ center.

2013: Six new yurt campsites opened to the public. New signs were installed, and renovation work continues at the chapel.

SOURCES: Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; National Park Service

Emily Sweeney can be reached at esweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.
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