Boston Light

Boston Light is a lighthouse located on Little Brewster Island in the outer Boston  Harbor.


The original lighthouse was built on this site in 1716 making it the first lighthouse to be built in what became the United States.

This first light house was held by the British during the American Revolution and subsequently burned down by the American forces, not once but twice. When the British withdrew in 1776 they blew up the tower completely destroying it.


In 1783 the new lighthouse was constructed with a 75 foot tower, the same as the original. In 1856 the tower was raised to its present height of 98 Ft. A new lantern room was added along with a 12 sided second order Fresnel Lens.

In 1998 Boston Light was automated but is still staffed by a resident Coast Guard Keeper. The current keeper is Sally Snowman who, along with volunteers from the Coast Guard Auxiliary act as interpretive tour guides for visitors.


The current light still uses the 2nd order Fresnel lens, one of only four left in use and the only one in Massachusetts. It flashes white every 10 seconds and is visible for 27 nautical miles.

To reach the safety of Boston Harbor, ships had to navigate the dangerous channel through numerous rocks, shoals and islands so Boston Light was an important navigational aid.

In more recent times the channel has been dredged  and larger vessels have shifted to the North Channel marked by Graves Light.

Boston Light is designated a National Historic Landmark and is the second oldest working lighthouse in the US today.

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