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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About Debbie Dolphin

Lighthouse author and photographer living in New England

Posted on February 18, 2009, in Preservation News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. This may be off topic but HULLLOOOO Debbie! I hadn’t heard from you in awhile and glad to see you’re still online. Send me an update sometime about you know what.



    • Debbie Dolphin

      Helloooo Blog Bloke!

      Hopefully, the old Blogging host nightmare officially ended on March 4, 2009 when GoDaddy confirmed my Domain was transferred!

      @ glad to see you’re still online: Thank you and hopefully, I can find the time in between writing posts for my comedy blog to write some new Lighthouse journalist posts here! 🙂



  2. very interesting blog, I wish I has his ambition to take on such a project! I love your blog and photos as well, if you don’t mind, I have faved it!

    • Hi Christyzee,

      Thank you, your compliments mean a lot to me. Thank for linking here and a link to your blog has been added to Blogs by Women.

      Blessings and may our Lighthouses illuminate your life…

  3. That is interesting I wonder if he plans to live in all of them or just the one on Bordon Flats?

    Does access to the military mean they can enter at any time, even if he is living there?

    • Hi Debo,

      A interesting question… as far as I know, his offshore Lighthouses will be used as his summer vacation homes. He may also invite his local extended family to live at the lighthouse full time.

      Although I have not seen the latest access regulation, it is my understanding that if there is an emergency like the light stops shining or the fog horn stops blasting then Michael will also enjoy the visit of uninvited guests from the federal government at any time.

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