Little Brewster Island is a small rocky island in Boston Massachusetts. It was named after William Brewster, a preacher , and teacher of the Plymouth Colony. It is famous for its lighthouse known as the Boston Light.
The Boston Light is a conical tower and was constructed by rubble stone with brick lining and a granite ledge foundation. It has a focal height of 102 feet (31m) with a range of 27 nautical miles – the original lighthouse stood at 75 feet. Its current lens is a second-order Fresnel lens with an intensity of up to 1.8 million candlepower which flashes white every ten seconds and has a fog signal that horns every 30 seconds. The lighthouse sits on 3.5 acres and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a national historic landmark of the United States. It is one of five lighthouses that have an active staff of the United States Coast Guard and is the oldest lighthouse that still works in the United States, second only to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey.
History of the Boston Light
The original lighthouse, which was built in 1716, was held by the British during the American Revolution. It was burnt twice by the Amer
ican forces before the British blew it up in 1776 as they withdrew. It was reconstructed in 1783 to the same height as the original but was raised in 1856.
It was first lit in September of 1716, and the tax of one penny per ton that was placed on all vessels moving in and out of the Boston harbor, (except coasters) was used in the maintenance of the light. After the first keeper George Worthylake and his family drowned while returning to the island, his successor, John Hayes was not allowed to host Mariners. Hayes suggested the placement of a ‘great gun’ that would answer to ‘Ships in a Fogg’ and was given one that same year.
The light was extinguished in World War 2 as a security measure but started operating again in July of 1945.
The Boston Light remains an important navigational mark to date; however, it has become used less because of the Graves Light which leads large vessels to the North Channel of the Boston Harbour. In 2014, it went through renovations but opened to visitors in 2015. To get a tour of the lighthouse, one needs to have booked an appointment. A ferry that runs in the morning and afternoon takes visitors to the island. Those who have been there see this lighthouse as a magnificent testimony to the beauty of historic structures.
Welcome to Maine, where lighthouses dot the landscape from county to county. If you are heading out this way, then you are going to need at least a basic knowledge of where the best lighthouses in the area relocated. There are some you can view from some distance, while others allow you the flexibility of actually walking in and taking it all in from the top of the world. Where you go is entirely up to you, but you need to be aware of any costs related to your excursion. Not to worry though, because it’s always worth the few dollars you might need to pay.
Here is a look-see of what to expect:
Monhegan Island Lighthouse
Monhegan Island Lighthousestands out from among its peers in a major way. It was built in the year 1824 and is just ten miles off Port Clyde in the coastal areas of the state. The lighthouse was initially 38 feet tall and stands on a hill 140 foot tall, and the latter is its most distinguishing feature. In 1850, the structure was demolished and replaced with a new one, which is made of granite and is 30 feet high. Today, a museum exists within the lighthouse, making it a major attraction for visitors in and out of state.
Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse
This Lighthouse is a one-of-a-kind structure in that it’s caisson-styled. Caisson-style lighthouses have their superstructures sitting atop a caisson, which is a retaining bit that does not allow for the passage of water. The lighthouse at Spring Point Ledge is the only one of its kind open to visitors across the United States. It was opened to the public 18 years year ago and as of today retains a high level of curiosity among outsiders and locals.
Cape Neddick Lighthouse
If you are heading out to York Beach, then you will only be a little over a hundred feet off this lighthouse. You won’t be able to get too close to this one because of the nature of the outcrop around it, but you can certainly grab a few pictures with it as the backdrop. Over Christmas, the tiny lighthouse is even more beautiful as the local government decorates the place with the finest set of lights.
Portland Head Light House
This one came off the pages of a painter’s canvas and is one of the most famous in the world. The lighthouse was made at the beginning of the year 1791, also making it one of the oldest in Maine. It stands 101 feet above the sea.
Before modern technologies like radar and other navigational systems allow sailors to negotiate the waters with ease, lighthouses stood, literally, as one of the main devices to help ocean travel. Situated along coastlines around the world, light keepers kept large flames alive to alert passing ships to dangerous areas like rocky shores or to guide cargo into ports. It is estimated now that only fifteen hundred lighthouses remain, though not all are operational. Many on the east coast of the United States, including those in the Outer Banks, have been preserved as national or state landmarks, and visitors are welcomed to climb their arduous circular stairs for a bird’s eye view.
For tourists with an interest in pharology, the study of lighthouses (derived from the island of Pharos in Greece, home of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria), the Outer Banks lighthouses will definitely keep you busy, and in shape! Here are just a few of the sights you can expect to enjoy when visiting the shores:
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – Perhaps the most famous lighthouse in the state, the Cape Hatteras station is also the tallest and one of the oldest in the nation. An easily recognizable black-striped obelisk, over two hundred and fifty stairs takes visitors to the top, which is the equivalent of twelve stories. The lighthouse is open to visitors normally from March through October, where all can learn the colorful history of this national treasure.
Currituck Beach Lighthouse – Standing tall in Corolla, one of the northernmost points in the Outer Banks, Currituck Beach Lighthouse is unique in that it is one of the few unpainted beacons in existence. Once illuminated by oil lamps, this light station has since been upgraded with the latest technology, and its light can be seen for nearly twenty nautical miles. Visitors are welcome to explore between Easter and Thanksgiving.
Ocracoke Lighthouse – While Hatteras boasts the oldest lighthouse on the shore, Ocracoke has the distinction of being home to the oldest operating station. Ocracoke Lighthouse is also the shortest freestanding one in the Outer Banks, standing at seventy-five feet. As it is still operational, the actual lighthouse is closed to visitors, though pharology enthusiasts are welcomed to tour the grounds.