Saturday, June 30, 2012
The island is supposedly named after an early inhabitant, a Native American. Wellfleet Conservation Trust explains the full story on its Box Turtle Wood and Marsh Conservation Area web page: “Offshore across Loagy Bay, lies Lieutenant Island, a name adopted from a 17th century resident, an American Indian named Lieutenant Anthony. According to Durand Echeverria’s A History of Billingsgate, Anthony claimed to be the sachem of the Punonakanits, a tribe historically located in Billingsgate, lands that are part of present day Wellfleet. Local lore has it that he was the last of the American Indians in this area, and had contact with an English Lieutenant. Observing the respect the lieutenant received, he named himself Lieutenant. When asked who owned the land, he said: ‘I own it, I am a Lieutenant.’”
Alice and husband Julian are retired but have been coming to Wellfleet, and, in particular, Lieutenant's Island, since the 1980s.
Access is via a private road, so I do not recommend anyone try to duplicate this itinerary unless invited by a resident. Check out the narrow bridge. Also, knowledge of the tides is crucial.
The sand path, bordering the marsh, was pockmarked with fiddler crab holes and strewn with dried salt hay. I admired a huge horseshoe crab shell, discarded by its owner, and marsh grass, to our left. Alice said the blue boxes are set up in the marsh to discourage green-headed flies. There were none out yet.
A mother left her three blond children on a ridge of clay, playing with shells.
Have you ever visited Lieutenant’s Island?
Posted by Alexandra Grabbe at 6:00 AM
Exploring Lieutenant's Island in Wellfleet