Baker's Island

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Baker's Island Lying in Salem Harbor, four miles out from the Salem Willow's Pier and three miles from Marblehead. Baker's Island is half a mile long and a third of a mile wide and contains 55 acres. No information is known about how it got its name, but Baker's Island dates back to at least 1631 when the island was claimed by the newly organized Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its governor, John Winthrop.

In 1678 the town leased the island to John Turner and he built a summer home there. The island stayed in the Turner family until 1770, when it was sold to John Erving of Boston.

In 1877 a portion of the island was purchased by a homeopathic doctor from Salem named Nathan Morse. The doctor converted a farmhouse into a hotel called the Winne-Egan with 50 guest rooms. Guests could sail, fish, swim, play tennis and play 6 rounds of golf. The popular inn lasted until a fire on April 25th, 1906 burned it to the ground. Today, there are approximately 60 summer homes on this private island.

Baker's Island Lighthouses

The first lighthouse on Baker's Island was erected in 1791 by members of the Salem Marine Society. A second lighthouse (taller) was erected in 1878. The lights were affectionately called Ma and Pa Baker. The smaller lighthouse was razed in 1916. The remaining light was electrified in 1938 and is partially powered by solar energy. The light station, which is public property, includes the 1870 lighthouse-a national historic site-and several related buildings on about 10 acres. The light station was given in 2006 to the Essex National Heritage Commission to upkeep and is now open for limited tours. A deed transfer occurred in Aug. 27, 2014 to transfer the land from the U.S. Coast Guard to the Essex National Heritage Commission. Regular trips will be offered to the public starting in the summer of 2015 to visit the lighthouse on Baker's Island, through the Essex National Heritage Commission.

The Baker's Island Light Station was placed on the list of National Register of Historic Places in 1976.


See Also

  • Postcard courtesy of
  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Islands
  • Vertical File in Salem Collection - Lighthouses
  • A Baker's Island Chronicle 1964-1988 Baker's Island Association
  • Now, then, Baker's Island by DeWitt D. Wise.
  • Baker's Island Salem State Archives (photos)
  • Massachusetts Lighthouses B. Courtney Thompson, p. 26-7
  • "Fight brews over Baker's Island Light" Salem News, April 30, 2005. p.1
  • "Judge upholds transfer of light station" Salem News, Oct. 26, 2006, p. A1
  • "Region's resort history remembered" Salem News, July 16, 2007, p A9
  • "Island in the sun; serenity reigns on Salem's Baker's Island" Salem Evening News, June 5, 1990, p.11
  • "Baker's Island, a world apart" Salem Evening News, July 19, 1974, p.12
  • "Nice view if you can get it; legal battles continues on Baker's Island" Salem News, Mar. 27, 2009, p. 1
  • "Grant a boost for tours to island" Salem News, Jan. 18, 2011, p. 1
  • "Making the switch: Baker's Island light is transferred to Heritage group" Salem News, Aug. 28, 2014
  • "A glimpse at Baker's Island" Salem News, July 1, 2015, p. 1