Beaver Island Preserved

Beaver Island Preserved

DRA map showing Beaver Island

Click to view a larger version.

A little gem in Johns Bay, Beaver Island, is now preserved thanks to a gift to DRA from the Ireland Family. Ten Ireland cousins – members of the third and fourth generations of their family to own the island – have donated it in memory of and with gratitude to their grandfather/great-grandfather, R. Livingston Ireland. The Ireland Family’s dedication to conservation in the area and partnership with DRA stretches back decades and includes the donation of several conservation easements along the shore (see map).

This one-acre rocky island in Johns Bay is part of a series of islands providing habitat for the nesting eagles on DRA’s Witch Island as well as an important resting place for birds throughout the spring, summer and fall. Adjacent to a well-used seal haul-out, the island is a haven for wildlife.

Although nearby Witch Island has better access, trails for exploring and rocks for picnicking, Beaver Island’s rocky shoreline is a great spot to stop and take in the expansive views of Johns Bay. Through your support of DRA, you are helping to make special places like these available for people and wildlife.

aerial photo of Beaver island

Aerial view of Beaver Island, looking west. Witch Island can be seen in the background. Photo by Tom Field.

A Little History…

Tom Ireland shared some history of his family’s connection with the Island, going back to 1911. That was the year his great-grandmother, Kate Hanna Ireland Harvey, came to visit her friend Annie Russell, who owned the house on Thurston’s Point now called “Fircroft.”

With Kate was her son, R. Livingston Ireland, and her daughter, Elizabeth “Pansy” Ireland (later Poe). “Aunt Pansy, my great aunt was a favorite of Ms. Russell’s,” Ireland recounted. “One day, Aunt Pansy swam out past Beaver Island, and Ms. Russell deeded the island to her in honor of the accomplishment.”

Beaver Island has been handed down within the Ireland family ever since, for four generations. Ireland recalls exploring the island as a child, and enjoying family gatherings at “Point Sardine Life Saving Station,” as his grandfather referred to it, several times a summer. Of their gift to DRA, Ireland stated, “My cousins and I wanted to be sure that Beaver remains unchanged and available for future generations.”

Beaver Island from the water

Beaver Island in profile

exploring Beaver Island

view from Beaver Island