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Boat Tours Provide Glimpse Of CT’s Private Thimble Islands

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Boat Tours Provide Glimpse Of CT’s Private Thimble Islands
Watch video at NY1 website

A few tour boats provide a rare glimpse at the Thimble Islands, the most exclusive and little-known islands in Connecticut. NY1’s Valarie D’Elia filed the following report.

Named for the once-abundant thimbleberry, Connecticut’s Thimble Islands in the Stony Creek section of Branford on Long Island Sound was discovered by Adrian Block, the same Dutch sailor Rhode Island’s Block island is named for.

Made up of mostly pink granite bedrock carved by glaciers, the Thimble Islands are comprised of 25 inhabited islands with 95 summer homes housing 100 families.

Nine of the islands have electrical power, but other amenities found on the toniest islands include decks, swimming pools and jacuzzis.

A one-time resident was Tom Thumb of P.T. Barnum fame, who lived on Cut In Two Island East with his reputed collection of valuable circus posters.

Another spot, Governor Island, has 14 homes and 25 varieties of trees.

While a few tour boats offer a quick glimpse of these private islands, Outer Island, used for ecological studies, accepts visitors.

At one point though, there were hotels. The largest one, the Thimble Island House, held clam bakes and lobster bakes every weekend for travelers coming by steamship from New Haven. Nowadays, the hotel is now a private home with only 11 bedrooms.

Many of these homes have sold for millions of dollars, but there is a gazebo on the market for $285,000.

The Thimble Islands are located at Exit 56 off I-95 at the town dock in Stony Creek. For more information, visit

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