Our first impression of Spectacle Island was the Visitor’s Center, which currently displays a rainbow of marbles, plates, and sea glass that have been found on the beach: red, orange, white, and many shades of blue and green. Just outside the Visitor’s Center, we found a few pieces of artwork that others created from glass pieces they found, including a tree and a giant soft drink cup.
At 2:30, Park Ranger Cass came over to briefly show us around the island and teach us about its history. From the 1920s to the 1950s, Spectacle Island was a dumping ground for the city’s trash. You can actually determine how old some of the sea glass is, especially if you find the broken pieces from old milk bottles that have the years printed on the bottom. These white pieces are some of the most common pieces that visitors find on the sand. The other common colors you’ll find are brown and green – the broken pieces of old beer bottles. However, you’ll rarely see a red, orange or purple piece of glass.
Other interesting artifacts you can find on the beach are pieces of porcelain from plates or cups. Scraps of metal are present, but rare because they oxidize and become brittle.