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Grape Island is a quiet place to enjoy nature. Kayakers, hikers, campers, and picnickers come for the winding trails, rocky beaches, and a wide variety of berries growing wild. The island is also known for the wildlife represented here: birds, deer, and foxes. During low tide, the island nearly doubles in size and a sandy spit attaches it to Weymouth on one side and Slate Island on the other.
Grape Island was owned by loyalist Elisha Leavitt, who provided the British with hay and provisions during the Revolutionary War. These actions branded Leavitt as a turncoat in the primarily Patriot area. The sight of British boats traveling to and from the island was cause for alarm in the neighboring town of Weymouth. Militiamen arrived at Grape Island to discover that the British were not preparing an attack but ferrying hay from Leavitt's farm. They waited until the tide was high enough, and then arrived on the island and burned down the farm along with 70 tons of hay. The British managed to sail away before the militiamen could reach them. As the story goes, an angry mob set out for Elisha Leavitt, but he managed to settle them down with cheese, crackers, cake and a barrel of rum.
Grape Island is accessible by a seasonal ferry as well as private boats and boat tours.
Cover photo by Devin Ford via Flickr