Monthly Archives: February 2009

Borden Flats Lighthouse Preservation

bordens.jpg Michael Gabriel, a legal eagle practicing law in Carson City, Nevada, is excited about restoring Borden Flats Lighthouse after his sales agreement is completed next month. He hopes to renovate the gutted offshore Lighthouse sometime next year after he receives the required permits from the Massachusetts Historic Preservation Office for his renovation plans.

Ironically, the Coast Guard gutted many Lighthouses when they became automated or deactivated. Currently, Lighthouse owners are required to maintain and preserve the property in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties. Gabriel must also provide access to the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to operate and maintain the active Aid to Navigation and the NOAA antennae equipment.

Gabriel purchased Borden Flats Lighthouse after winning the online auction with a bid of $55,000 last year. Borden Flats Lighthouse is the third offshore Lighthouse that Gabriel has purchased over the past three years. In 2007, Michael Gabriel bought Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse, located in the Delaware River 12 miles off Bowers Beach for $200,000. He is currently renovating Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse. Gabriel also purchased Bloody Point Bar Lighthouse, located in the Chesapeake Bay offshore from the southern end of Kent Island, Maryland., for $100,000 in 2006.

Despite the renovation costs and the inconvenience of providing federal access, the 50-foot high white conical cast iron Tower is located close to shore (1,500-feet offshore in the mouth of the Taunton River, Massachusetts), has a 360 degree waterfront view, and includes no property tax. Gabriel has plans for bedrooms on the second and third floors, a living room and dining room area, and a lift platform to allow guests or visitors to be lifted from their boat to the lighthouse.

In closing, Gabriel also bid $75,000 on the Leaning Lighthouse at Sharp’s Island the day after his high bid for Borden Flats Light on September 22, 2008. The online auction for Sharp’s Island Lighthouse, a unusual 37-foot high brown cast-iron Lighthouse which tilts about 15 degrees, closed on Sep 23, 2008 when someone posted the winning bid of $80,000.

*Lighthouse Background:

In 1881, Borden Flats Light was built to replace a stone Daymark that marked a dangerous shoal and reef known as Borden Flats in the mouth of the Taunton River to protect the increased shipping traffic to one of the textile capitals in the nation.

Borden Flats was named after the Borden family, a prominent Fall River family who founded the city with Col. Church in 1803. Fall River is renowned as the home town of Lizzie Borden, who was acquitted of the notorious ax murders of her father, Andrew and stepmother, Abby Borden on August 4, 1892. The Victorian Greek Revival home of Lizzie Borden is currently a Bed & Breakfast with a Museum.

Borden Flats Light was automated in 1963. The Fourth-order Fresnel Lens was replaced by a modern 250 mm plastic lens in 1977 and the Fog Bell was replaced by a modern electronic fog horn in 1983.

The Lighthouse, located near the Braga Bridge (I-195) over the Taunton River, is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation. A distant view of Borden Flats Light can be seen from Battleship Cove, the home port of Battleship Massachusetts and The Marine Museum at Fall River.

In September 2006, the Lighthouse became available for adoption by any local group able to preserve the Borden Flats Light according to the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.

For more information about the Lighthouse, directions, and travel links, please click on the photo of this post.

*Map Location:
Google Map of Borden Flats Lighthouse.

Related Blog Post:
Borden Flats Lighthouse Online Auction

Related News Story:
Buyer has big plans for lighthouse

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