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Encyclopedia > Boston Light
Boston Light

Location: Offshore Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates
WGS-84 (GPS)
42°19′40.39″N, 70°53′24.26″W
Foundation: Granite Ledge
Construction: Masonry, Rubble Stone with brick lining
Year first lit: 1783 (current tower)
Year first constructed: 1716
Deactivated: 1776-1783 and during World War II.
Automated: 1998
Tower shape: Conical
Markings/Pattern: White with five steel bands and black trim
Height: 89 feet (102 feet above sea level)
Original lens: Tallow candles installed in 1716; later replaced with 12-sided second-order Fresnel lens.
Intensity: 1,800,000 candlepower
Range: 16 miles originally. Now 27 nm according to Lights list.
Characteristic: Flashing white every 10 seconds. Emergency light of reduced intensity when main light is extinguished. Two emergency lights may be visible from 336° to 001° and from 156° to 181°. HORN: 1 blast ev 30s (3s bl).
Boston Light on Little Brewster Island
Boston Light on Little Brewster Island

Boston Light also called Boston Harbor Light is a lighthouse located on Little Brewster Island in outer Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. The first lighthouse to be built on the site dates back to 1716, and was the first lighthouse to built in what is now the United States. The current lighthouse dates from 1783, is the second oldest working lighthouse in the US (after Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey), and is the only lighthouse to still be actively staffed by the United States Coast Guard. The structure was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1][2][3] Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (800x1029, 123 KB) Boston Light lighthouse on Little Brewster island. ... Nickname: City on a Hill, Beantown, The Hub of the Universe (The State House, according to Oliver Wendell Holmes, is the hub of the Solar System), Athens of America Location in Massachusetts Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas Menino (D) Area    - City 232. ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  Ranked 44th  - Total 10,555 sq mi (27,360 km²)  - Width 183 miles (295 km)  - Length 113 miles (182 km)  - % water 13. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... GPS satellite in orbit, image courtesy NASA The Global Positioning System, usually called GPS, is the only fully-functional satellite navigation system. ... Fresnel Lens displayed in a Paris museum A Fresnel lens is a type of lens invented by Augustin-Jean Fresnel. ... A light characteristic is a coded description displayed on a nautical chart under the chart symbol for a lighthouse, lightvessel or sea mark with a light on it, to indicate how that light is recognised visually and audibally. ... Flashing Light is a rhythmic light in which the total duration of the light in each period is clearly shorter than the total duration of the darkness and in which the flashes of light are all of equal duration. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3072x2048, 1994 KB) Frank van Mierlo 04:09, 18 June 2006 (UTC) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (3072x2048, 1994 KB) Frank van Mierlo 04:09, 18 June 2006 (UTC) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Peggys Point lighthouse in Nova Scotia, Canada An aid for navigation and pilotage at sea, a lighthouse is a tower building or framework sending out light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire. ... Little Brewster Island with Boston Light Little Brewster Island is a rocky outer island in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. ... Categories: Stub | Massachusetts geography | Boston ... Official language(s) English Capital Boston Largest city Boston Area  Ranked 44th  - Total 10,555 sq mi (27,360 km²)  - Width 183 miles (295 km)  - Length 113 miles (182 km)  - % water 13. ... // Events August 5 - In the Battle of Peterwardein 40. ... 1783 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Sandy Hook Lighthouse after renovations in 2000. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Trenton Largest city Newark Area  Ranked 47th  - Total 8,729 sq mi (22,608 km²)  - Width 70 miles (110 km)  - Length 150 miles (240 km)  - % water 14. ... Coast Guard Seal The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a branch of the United States armed forces involved in maritime law enforcement, mariner assistance, search and rescue, and national defense, among other duties of coast guards elsewhere. ... USS Constitution. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... The National Register of Historic Places is the USAs official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects worthy of preservation. ...


The first keeper of Boston Light was George Worthylake, who drowned, along with his wife and daughter, when returning to the island in 1718. During the American Revolution, the original lighthouse was held by British forces and was attacked and burnt on two occasions by American forces. As the British forces withdrew in 1776, they blew up the tower and completely destroyed it. The lighthouse was eventually reconstructed in 1783, to the same 75 foot height as the original tower. In 1859 it was raised to its present height of 89 feet and a new lantern room was added along with a 12-sided second order Fresnel lens.[3] George Worthylake (d. ... // Events The Funj warrior aristocracy deposes the reigning mek and places one of their own ranks on the throne of Sennar. ... The American Revolution was a political movement that ended British control of the south-eastern coastal area of North America, resulting in the formation of the United States of America in 1776 and sparking the American Revolutionary War. ... This article is about the year 1776. ... 1783 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... A foot (plural: feet) is any of several old units of distance or length, measuring around a quarter to a third of a meter. ... 1859 (MDCCCLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar). ... Fresnel Lens displayed in a Paris museum A Fresnel lens is a type of lens invented by Augustin-Jean Fresnel. ...


Boston light was automated in 1998, but is still staffed by a resident civilian keeper assisted by volunteer watchstanders from the Coast Guard Auxillary see [1]. It has a signature of a flashing white light every 10 seconds, and is visible from a distance of 16 miles. Whilst still an important navigation mark, its importance has been decreased by the presence of a lightship to the east, and the more powerful Graves Light to the northeast.[1][4] 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary established in 1939 as the United States Coast Guard Reserve, is a volunteer civilian service that assists the United States Coast Guard in carrying out its noncombatant and non-law enforcement missions. ... A mile is the name of a unit of length, usually used to measure distance, in a number of different systems, including English units, Imperial units, and United States customary units. ... Concept image of a solar sail spacecraft in the process of unfurling sails. ... The Graves Light is a lighthouse located on The Graves, the outermost island of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, and some 11 miles offshore of downtown Boston, Massachussets. ...


Guided tours of the island and light are available, by prior arrangement.[5]

Contents

Historical information from the Coast Guard web site

The first lighthouse established in America was on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor and was first lit September 14, 1716. A tonnage tax of 1 penny per ton on all vessels, except coasters, moving in or out of Boston Harbor, paid for maintaining the light.


The first keeper, George Worthylake, with a salary of £50 a year, also acted as pilot for vessels entering the harbor. In 1718 he and his wife and daughter, with two men, were drowned when the lighthouse boat capsized as they were returning to the island from Boston. Young Benjamin Franklin, then a printer in Boston, wrote a ballad about the incident entitled "Lighthouse Tragedy" and sold it on the streets of Boston.


The pay of Keeper John Hayes was raised to £70 in 1718 so that he would not be obliged to entertain mariners on the island for extra money which he found "prejudicial to himself as well as to the town of Boston." In 1719 he asked "That a great Gun may be placed on Said Island to answer Ships in a Fogg" and one was supplied that year on which the date 1700 was engraved. The gun is shown on a mezzo-tint engraving of Boston Light made by Burgess in 1729.


Hayes’ successor in 1734 was Robert Ball who petitioned the general court for preference in piloting vessels into the harbor. The court designated him as "established pilot" of the harbor for the next 3 years. In 1751 the lighthouse was badly damaged by fire so that only the walls remained.


In 1774 the British took over the island and in 1775 the harbor was blocked and the lighthouse became useless. On July 20, 1775, a small detachment of American troops under Major Voss visited the island and burned the wooden parts of the lighthouse. The British began to repair it under a marine guard, when General Washington dispatched Major Tupper with 300 men in whale-boats on July 31, 1775, who defeated the guard and destroyed the repair work done. They were intercepted on leaving by British small boats and attacked. A direct hit on one of the English boats by an American field piece on Nantasket Head, caused the British to retire to their boats with comparatively heavy losses. Only one American was killed. Major Tupper and his men were commended by General Washington.


When the British left Boston, March 17, 1776, a number of their ships remained in the harbor. On June 13, 1776, American soldiers landed on Long Island, Boston Harbor, and at Nantasket Hill and opened fire on this fleet who were soon at their mercy. Before sailing away, the British sent a boat ashore at Boston Light and left a time charge which blew up the lighthouse. The top of the old lighthouse was used to supply ladles for American cannon.


In 1783 the Massachusetts Legislature supplied £1,450 to erect a new lighthouse on the site of the old. This new lighthouse, which still stands, was 75 feet high with walls7 1/2 feet thick at the base, tapering to 2 feet 6 inches at the top. The octagonal lantern was 15 feet high and 8 feet in diameter. Thomas Knox was appointed keeper.


On June 10, 1790, the Boston Light was ceded to the new Federal Government. In 1811, Jonathan Bruce became keeper. He and his wife witnessed the thrilling encounter between the American ship Chesapeake and the British ship Shannon on June 1, 1813, when Captain Lawrence, of the Chesapeake muttered the immortal words "Don’t give up the ship," as he was being lowered, mortally wounded, through the companionway. Nine minutes later, however, his crew was forced to surrender.


While Captain Tobias Cook of Cohasset was keeper in 1844 a "Spanish" cigar factory was set up on the island, with young girls brought from Boston to work in it, in an effort to deceive Boston smokers that the cigars manufactured there were imported. This business was soon broken up, however, as a fraud.


In 1856, the height of the tower was raised to 98 feet and it was listed as a second-order station. On November 2, 1861, the square rigger Maritana, 991 tons, which had sailed from Liverpool 38 days earlier, with Captain Williams, ran into heavy seas in Massachusetts Bay and approached Boston in a blinding snow, driven by a howling southeaster. At 1 o’clock in the morning of Novemher 3, she sighted Boston Light and headed for it, but crashed on Shag Rocks soon after, with passengers and crew ordered into the weather chains after the crew had cut the masts away. The ship broke in two and Captain Williams was crushed to death, but seven persons floated to Shag Rocks atop the pilot house, while five others swam to the ledge, as fragments of the wreckage started coming ashore on both sides of Little Brewster Island. A dory from the pilot boat rescued the survivors from the rocks. When the Fanny Pike went ashore on Shag Rocks in 1882, Keeper Thomas Bates rowed out and took the crew safely off the ledge.


In 1893 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sent 20 or 30 students to live on the island, while experiments were made with various types of foghorns in an endeavor to find one that would penetrate the area known as the "Ghost Walk" 6 or 7 miles to the east.


On Christmas Day 1909 the five-masted schooner Davis Palmer, heavily loaded with coal, hit Finn’s ledge and went down with all hands.


When the U. S. S. Alacrity was wrecked on the ice-covered ledges off the island on February 3, 1918, Keeper Jennings and his assistants made four attempts to shoot a rope to the doomed ship but each time the rope parted. Jennings brought the lighthouse dory to the shore, and, assisted by two naval reservists, pushed it over the ice and into the surf. Twenty-four men were clinging to the wreck in perilous positions when he reached it after a dangerous trip. Flinging a line aboard, they began the rescue of the half-frozen sailors, four times running the gantlet of ice, rocks, and surf until all 24 men were saved. For this Jennings received a letter of commendation from Secretary Redfield.


During World War II the light was extinguished as a security measure, but was again placed in operation July 2, 1945. The station is equipped with a 1,800,000 candlepower light visible for 16 miles.


See also

This United States has hundreds of lighthouses as well as light towers, range lights, and pierhead lights. ...

References

  1. ^ a b New England Lighthouses - A Historic Guide: Boston Lighthouse. www.lighthouse.cc. Retrieved on June 18, 2006.
  2. ^ National Historic Landmark nomination for Boston Light. National Park Service. Retrieved on June 18, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Boston Light History (part 1). www.lighthouse.cc. Retrieved on August 5, 2006.
  4. ^ Boston Light History (part 2). www.lighthouse.cc. Retrieved on August 5, 2006.
  5. ^ Little Brewster Island Factsheet. Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. Retrieved on August 5, 2006.

June 18 is the 169th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (170th in leap years), with 196 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... June 18 is the 169th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (170th in leap years), with 196 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


Coordinates: 42°19′40.39″N, 70°53′24.26″W Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


 
 

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