Winter Island

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Winter Island

Three major Salem landmarks are at Winter Island; Fort Pickering Lighthouse, Fort Pickering and the old Coast Guard Station. The beach for swimming is called "Waikiki Beach."

The name "Winter Island" was coined, because the west side of the island supported the winter mooring of the 17th century fishing fleet. The south and east sides facing deep water was used for boat-building, shipbuilding, maritime trade and coastal military defense.

The land on Winter Island used for the Coast Guard station was deeded to the U.S. Government on Jan. 24, 1865.

Salem's new Coast Guard station replaced the existing one at Ten Pound Island in Gloucester. The airplane hangar was built in late 1934, as well as a large ramp to pull aircraft from the water. The first commander was Capt. William F. Foley. The Coast Guard barracks, a 3 story building to house up to 50 men, was completed in 1935.

The Coast Guard station was given the deed in 1933 and closed in 1970.

The city took back the land in 1972 from the federal government. On July 18, 1972, the council passes orders to take the Coast Guard property back. On July 19, the council and mayor marched to Winter Island. See Salem News articles for more details.

Today, this attractive seaside area is used by boaters, swimmers and overnight camping or R.V. use.

See Also

  • Coast Guard station articles in Salem Evening News, July 19-27, 1972.
  • "Taking stock of Winter Island's treasures" Salem Gazette, Dec. 11, 2009, p. 4