If you know me, you know that I have an extreme dislike of mosquitoes. Okay, no one really enjoys these insects, but I’d go so far as to say that I live in fear. As I’ve gotten older I seem to have developed an allergy to the whiny little suckers: What once were merely annoying bites now balloon into unbearably itchy purple spots the size of silver dollars. As a result, I freak out every time I hear the signature buzz—especially if it’s in my bedroom in the middle of the night.
So you can imagine my distress when Devin and I landed on Calf Island last weekend as part of a private trip with Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands. We’ve visited several other Harbor islands and never had the need for bug spray. Then again, most of those trips took place during sunny summer weather, not right after a fairly large rainstorm. In other words: mosquito heaven. Ready the Benadryl!
Despite the buggy atmosphere, Calf Island was pretty enjoyable. One of the more distant Harbor islands, it offers a great view of both Boston Light and Graves Light, as well as of the city skyline.
Like other less-traveled islands, it has a definite Lost vibe, particularly the overgrown, jungle-like interior.
Calf Island’s main attractions are the remains of a 1902 summer home belonging to Benjamin P. Cheney and his wife, silent movie actress Julia Arthur.
All that’s left of the house are pieces of the stone foundation and one of the brick chimneys, but it’s enough to imagine the layout of this stately home. I can only hope that summers on Calf Island were less buggy back then!
Like many of the Boston Harbor Islands, Calf Island is only accessible by private watercraft.