The World’s Smallest Inhabited Island

October 6, 2021

Just Room Enough Island in New York, the world's smallest inhabited island.

There is an island in the Thousand Islands chain in northern New York that is about the size of a tennis court. It has a house on it and occupants, earning it the title of the Smallest Inhabited Island in the World and is appropriately called Just Room Enough Island.

Just Room Enough Island is about 3,300 square feet in size or about one-thirteenth of an acre. It was once known as Hub Island, one of the 1,864 islands that make up the Thousand Islands region. 

The property was purchased in the 1950s by the wealthy Sizelands family and was meant to be a holiday retreat. They built the house on most of the available land, planted a tree, and left enough room for a tiny beach. But once word got out about the tiny island with a house on it, it became a tourist attraction and wasn’t available for much quiet time.

The rear of Just Enough Room Island, the smallest inhabited island in the world.
The rear of Just Enough Room Island

But Just Enough Room Island wasn’t always the tiniest inhabited island in the world. The title once belonged to Bishop Rock off the British Coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Bishop Rock is a small bit of land that had just enough room for a lighthouse to be built on it. Keepers inhabited the lighthouse until 1992 when the light became automated, and people were no longer needed.

Bishop Rock Lighthouse
Bishop Rock Lighthouse Richard Knights/Wikimedia

The Bishop Rock Lighthouse tower was first constructed in 1847, but it was swept away by a storm before the light was installed. Another attempt was made, and a stone tower was completed in 1858 that was ten floors tall. An area for the keepers’ families was constructed onshore, and a team of three people operated the lighthouse. In 1976, a helipad was constructed on the top of the tower so keepers wouldn’t have to get there by boat.

Sources: Telegraph UK, New York Post, Only In Your State, BBC, Britannica 

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Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites. I hope you learn many new things here that add to your knowledge.

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