Fishing and the Isles of Shoals
One of the first European visitors to the Isles of Shoals was Captain John Smith. Smith is most famous for his adventures in Jamestown, Virginia when he was saved from a death sentence by
Pocahontas, the daughter of
A fishing and trading outpost was established on Londoner's (currently Lunging) Island between 1615 and 1620.
The name Isles of Shoals probably originated from the large schools or "shoals" of fish that the early settlers found in the waters around the islands.
In 1778, New Hampshire ordered the people living in Gosport to the mainland. There was fear that during the Revolutionary War the independent islanders might aid the British. After the war, some residents returned to the islands, but the population never returned to its pre-war numbers. In 1870 the people remaining in Gosport were bought out by hotel interests and moved off the island.
In the 19th and early 20th century, grand hotels were built on Appledore, Smuttynose, and Star Island. Railroads allowed vacationers to escape the summer heat in Boston and other large cities and relax on the seacoast. Today, the Oceanic Hotel on Star Island is still standing and is used as a conference center.