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Boston Harbor Islands


Adapted from information provided by the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center...

Native Americans first occupied Thompson Island as early as 10,000 years ago.  The island is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places, and is part of the Boston Harbor Island Archaeological District.

In 1626, four years before the Puritans arrived in Boston, a trader named David Thompson established an outpost on the island to trade with the Neponset indians.  Thompson served as the "Acting Governor" of New England from 1624 until his death in 1628 on Thompson Island.

In 1832 a group of citizens led by the Reverend Eleaser Wells purchased Thompson Island and founded the Boston Farm School.  Inspiration for school came from the Boston Asylum for Indigent Boys located in the North End.

In August 1833 construction of the school's main building began.  The building was designed by Boston's premier architect of the period, Charles Bulfinch.  The school thrived for several years and has the distinction of being the first vocational school in America.  The school also gave birth to the first school band in America.

Today the island is home to the Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center providing programs for school and community youth groups.