When we leave land and travel out to sea, it’s not uncommon to look back and see a lighthouse protecting the shore. These warning beacons line the coast of Massachusetts and warn ships of shallow depth, rocky shores, and act as navigation markers to offer them safe passage. Minot’s Ledge Light, located off the coast of Cohasset has protected boats from running aground since the mid-nineteenth century.
Between 1832 and 1841, 40 ships sustained significant and lethal collisions in the shallows of the harbor. To avoid future accidents, construction began on a lighthouse a mile off shore. In 1850, the first Minot’s Ledge lighthouse was built on a metal structure and protected the harbor for a year, until a storm destroyed it in 1851. A stone lighthouse was constructed and was lit in 1860. Its final cost was $300,000, making it, at the time, the most expensive lighthouse ever built. In 1987, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Not only do lighthouses protect our shores and the vessels at sea, but for generations it has been up to people, sometimes an entire family, to physically run them. Lighthouse keepers have the important job of making sure the warning device is always functioning, 24-hours a day. Do you know anyone who was or is a lighthouse keeper? We would love to learn about the experience. Contact us at Wicked Local Media Solutions or tweet us @WLMediaSolution.