The original Boston Light dates back to 1716!
Nothing says nautical quite like a lighthouse. And Boston Light on Massachusetts' Little Brewster Island is an especially notable one. This historic light guards the entrance to Boston Harbor and is 303 years old and counting. Not only is it the first lighthouse built in the United States, but it is also the oldest!
This light is so old, it predates the two primary historic builders of lighthouses in the U.S., the United States Lighthouse Service and the United States Lighthouse Board. Considering the latter was formed in 1852, that's old!
Check out the video for a quick tour of this historic piece of navigation history that is also the only manned lighthouse still in existence today.
Oldest lighthouse in continuous use
Perhaps the coolest thing about Boston Light is the fact that it still has a lighthouse keeper staffed on site by the U.S. Coast Guard. While plenty of American lighthouses are still in working order, most have long since been automated by the federal government. In a way, that's a shame. An entire way of life was lost once these places didn't need a light keeper on staff 24/7 to keep things going.
We always thought those keeper's houses looked downright cozy! It would be awesome to be away from the hustle and bustle of busy coastal states like New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The only thing to do in your downtime would be to go fishing!
Today the National Park Service still offers tours to visitors who come to see the scenic New England views of the bay from the top of the 89-foot lighthouse tower and admire the beauty of the fresnel lens that prevented shipwrecks and helped sailors get home safely.
Oldest Lighthouse in America
The light station structure on the island right now isn't the original tower. If you're wondering what happened to the original, it was blown up by the British during the American Revolution. That was after they'd already burnt the tower twice, by the way.
The tower on site now dates back to 1783, after the Revolutionary War when it was rebuilt, which is still pretty old when it comes to U.S. lighthouse history!
While Boston Lighthouse is the oldest, it isn't the tallest lighthouse in America. That honor goes to Boon Island Light in Maine.
It's good to see the oldest lighthouse in America is being preserved for future generations to enjoy.