It's one of the most unique places to live in Greater Boston.

Just six miles from downtown, Peddocks Island, with its rich natural beauty and historic ruins, feels like another world. A few families still own summer cottages here, but they can't be passed down. And there’s only one remaining year-round resident who grew up on the island.

Mike McDevitt has always called Peddocks home. His parents moved there in 1961 when his father, Eddie, became the island caretaker. Some people, he said, thought his parents were foolish to raise children in a place with no electricity, phone or running water. But McDevitt loved it.

“It was great,” he said. “We lived off the grid, we stayed out 'til dark, played on the beach with little boats. … It was a different world, it was absolutely enchanting.”

McDevitt, his brother and two sisters were the only children on Peddocks, except in the summertime when the few dozen summer cottages were filled.

“In the wintertime, it was just us,” recalled McDevitt.

Peddocks only draws a few thousand visitors each year, for hiking and camping, but a plan is underway to increase that number. The National Park Service, the State’s Department of Conservation and Recreation and Boston Harbor Now want more recreation, education and study on Peddocks, and are seeking public input on plans to add more amenities.

The island has already seen many uses in the past: as a Native American hunting ground, the site of a fort built to protect Boston, a village for Portuguese fishermen, and a military camp to train soldiers during World War One and World War Two.

That history — an old fort and shuttered brick barracks — provided the backdrop for the McDevitt children’s play.

But there was no school on Peddocks, so Eddie McDevitt took the children by skiff to school in Hull. To the untrained eye, crossing the Hull Gut may look like a quick trip, but cross currents can make it treacherous.

“As a child,” McDevitt said, “it was a little scary and intimidating, but it taught us to respect the water.”

“Sometimes, it was so rough Dad would put a canvas over us and sit us in the bottom of the boat, make sure that we were safe," McDevitt said. "And we’d get over there, and we’d get out of the canvas and it was all covered with ice, but we’d make it over to the school bus [that] would be waiting for us right there.”

After school, the McDevitt kids would collect wood for the stove and do their homework by kerosene light. On occasion, dinner was their mother's signature dish: “muskrat stew.”

McDevitt now owns a marine towing and transport company and co-owns Jo’s Nautical Bar in Hull with his girlfriend Stephanie Aprea. It’s still no ordinary commute.

“We have to break ice to come home sometimes. It’s not just shoveling the boat off, it’s breaking ice. It’s going through heavy, heavy seas. Sometimes I can’t even come home, it’s so rough,” McDevitt said.

But those rough seas wash up history. And McDevitt has grown up relishing what he finds along the long shoreline of Peddocks. In his backyard, he’s collected what he calls his “nautical garden," filled with, among other things, an intricately carved bronze doorknob and a shard of a plate with the insignia of the U.S. Army Medical corps.

McDevitt thinks any plans to attract more visitors should preserve the tranquility that makes Peddocks unique. And while he's glad more people will enjoy his special home, he cherishes the occasional isolation.

“Sometimes you have to hunker down for five days out here, which is actually a nice thing,” McDevitt said. “You find a nice book, get the stove going good. And it’s really peaceful. You don’t even know that the other world exists out there.”