Helping Hammers: Peddocks Island Chapel Restoration

This past summer, apprentices with the New England Carpenters Training Fund (NECTF) completed work on a unique project on Peddocks Island, one of the largest islands in Boston Harbor. Over a hundred apprentices traveled to the island over the course of a year for onsite hands-on training restoring the Peddocks Island Chapel.

Considered one of the most historic of the thirty-four Boston Harbor Islands, Peddocks has the longest shoreline of any of the islands and a very diverse landscape making it very attractive to visitors. With many of the island’s buildings in severe disrepair, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) implemented a plan to preserve the island’s history while keeping it safe for visitors. One of the most significant projects was the restoration of the most iconic feature of the island: the chapel located near the island’s main dock.

The scope of work needing to be done at the chapel was daunting, and the Boston Harbor Island Alliance reached out to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the NECTF asking for help with labor on the $1.8 million chapel restoration project.

The island experience offered a unique work opportunity for apprentices. While being taught general work conditions and site safety, apprentices also learned the logistics of planning to work in an isolated environment and how to adapt and adjust accordingly.

NERCC produced this documentary video of the work the apprentices completed at the chapel, including footage from various stages of the project and interviews with some of the people involved.

Peddocks Island is open to the public and accessible by private boat or by ferry. Visit Mass DCR or BostonHarborIslands.org to learn more.