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.