Blog Archives

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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Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse Thanksgiving

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Recently, Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, approved the National Park Service’s recommendation to transfer ownership of Whaleback Lighthouse to the American Lighthouse Foundation, the key New England volunteer organization responsible for saving and preserving twenty Lighthouse Treasures.

The 50-foot high granite Lighthouse actively guards the entrance to the Piscataqua River and marks the approach to Portsmouth Harbor. Both the Beacon and Fog Signal will be maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The historic Lighthouse structure will be restored and preserved by the teamwork of the American Lighthouse Foundation and their local chapter, the Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.

We are thankful that another New England Treasure has been saved and this distinctive coastal icon will be preserved for everyone to visit someday in the near future.

*Lighthouse Background:
For historic, Lighthouse Cruises, and travel information about Whaleback Ledge Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.

*Map Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Whaleback Ledge Light

Related Past Posts:

Related News Source:
Whaleback Lighthouse Receives New Keepers, November 18, 2008

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Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse Available for Preservation

straitsmouth.jpgOn July 10th, the General Services Administration, acting as the federal realtors for the National Park Service and the Coast Guard, officially began the ownership transfer process of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse.

Currently, the Lighthouse is available to nonprofit organizations, local or state governments, or a federal agency able to maintain the historic Lighthouse treasure which is an active aid to navigation approaching Rockport Harbor.

Interested groups have two months to submit their Letters of Interest by the September 8th deadline. If the National Park Service is unable to determine who can best preserve and maintain the Lighthouse during the application process, the property may be auctioned to the public online.

According to the news report, Paul St. Germain, the president of the Thacher Island Association and director of the Sandy Bay Historical Society, claimed he was unaware that the Coast Guard wanted to excess the Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse. Ironically, Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse was listed on the NHLPA 2008 PROGRAM Notices of Availability which was issued last fall and Paul St. Germain is involved in the preservation and maintenance of Cape Ann Lights located on Thacher Island which is located nearby Straitsmouth Island.

*Lighthouse Background:

By 1820, the Granite Quarries expanded and surpassed Rockports’ fishing industry and a Lighthouse was needed to guide the sailing ships transporting the famous Rockport Granite. In 1835, a 19-foot high brick Lighthouse was built and exhibited a Fixed White light to guide mariners into Rockport Harbor.

The current 37-foot high White Cylindrical Brick Lighthouse was built in 1896 and currently exhibits a Flashing Green Light every 6-seconds illuminated by solar-powered 250mm optic 46-feet above sea level to a visible range of 6 nautical miles.

The Lighthouse was automated in 1967 and during the same year, Frederic Gibbs donated the island to the Massachusetts Audubon Society as a wildlife bird sanctuary. The 1878 1 1/2-story wood-frame Keeper’s house was abandoned and left to the birds, the elements, and vandals. The Keeper’s house is in a severe state of deterioration.

The new owners of Straitsmouth Island Light may need to comply with Audubon regulations in operating the Lighthouse on Audubon land.

For more information about the Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.

*Map Location:
Google Map of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse

Related News Source:
Straitsmouth beacon up for grabs

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Round Island Lighthouse Scout Preservation

roundmi.jpg Boy Scout Troop 323 of Freeland, Michigan is hosting a Open House at Round Island Lighthouse this Saturday, July 12. For the past 13 years, the Scouts have been cleaning and repairing the 112-year-old lighthouse.

Troop 323 is hosting a Open House to show the public what they have accomplished in the hope that more volunteers will step forward and help them with the restoration of the Lighthouse. In 2005, the Hiawatha National Forest received a a $100,000 grant to paint and restore Round Island Lighthouse. Boy Scout Troop 323 in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service needed to raise funds to match the grant.

Over the years, the Scouts have removed 6,000 pounds of debris and trash, fixed the privy, and repaired the neglected lighthouse.

*Lighthouse Background:

Round Island Lighthouse was First Lit on May 15, 1896 to mark the the dangerous shoals around the channel between Mackinac Island and Round Island in northern Lake Huron. The Lighthouse was illuminated by a Fourth-order Fresnel lens and exhibited a Fixed White Light with a Red Flash every 20-seconds.

In 1924, the Lighthouse was automated and the civilian Light-keepers were retired. After the automated Round Island Passage Light on Mackinac Island was built, Round Island Lighthouse was deactivated in 1947.

In 1958, the Lighthouse and Round Island became part of the Hiawatha National Forest. The Park Service gutted the interior and the neglected Lighthouse began to deteriorate. Vandals caused further destruction after a violent storm broke a lower corner of the Lighthouse away in 1972.

In 1995, Boy Scout Troup 323, under the guidance of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, began the long process of restoring the historic Lighthouse Treasure. Currently, Round Island Lighthouse is an active aid to navigation guiding mariners through the Straits of Mackinac. From May 1st to Oct 20th, Round Island Lighthouse exhibits a Flashing Red Light every 5-seconds illuminated by a 300mm Acrylic optic 71-feet above Lake level to a visible range of 14 nautical miles.

*Map Location:
Google Map of Round Island Lighthouse

Related News Source:
You’re invited to take part

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Sandy Neck Lighthouse Blazing Beacon

sandynight
(Photo credit: Steve Heaslip/
Cape Cod Times)

On October 20, Sandy Neck Lighthouse was reactivated as a Private Aid to Navigation. The solar powered Lighthouse was re-lighted in a festival followed by a fireworks display.

About 200 people were ferried out to the 6-mile long Sandy Neck peninsula by the Hyannis Whale Watch Cruises to celebrate the restored Lighthouse which was a dark headless tower for the past 75-years.

The Sandy Neck Lighthouse Restoration Committee raised over $65,000 in private donations to construct a new Lantern Room. They did not use government grants since the grants required the private Lighthouse to be open to the public. Since 1933, the six-room Queen Anne Victorian Keeper’s house and tower have been a private residence.

For more information about the Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.

blue_starMap Location:
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Sandy Neck Lighthouse.

Related Posts:
Sandy Neck Lighthouse 150th Celebration
Sandy Neck Lighthouse

Related News Story:
Sandy Neck Light glows after 75 years

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