The Massachusetts Boston Harbor Lighthouse is commonly referred to as the Boston Light. This is the location of the first lighthouse to be constructed in what was to become the United States.
The original light was built on Brewster Island in 1716. This was replaced by the current structure in 1783. As a result, the Boston Light is the second oldest continually operated lighthouse in the country after the one located at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The only times that the lighthouse didn’t guide mariners to safety was during the American Revolution and World War II.
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The lighthouse uses one of only four second-order Fresnel lenses still in use. It can be seen for 27 nautical miles. The light was completely automated in 1998.
The Massachusetts Boston Harbor Lighthouse was the backdrop of several other historical events. Just off the island, in 1813, during the sea battle between the USS Chesapeake and the British warship Shannon, Captain Lawrence uttered his famous last words. “Don’t give up the ship.” In February 1918, lighthouse keeper Charles Jennings braved the frozen water to almost single handedly rescue 24 sailors from the shipwrecked USS Alacrity.
As of 1964, the lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark.