Boston Light became the first lighthouse established in America when it was first lit on September 14, 1716. Situated on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, it was the last lighthouse to become automated in 1998.
In 1718 Benjamin Franklin, a young Boston printer at that time, wrote a ballad called “Lighthouse Tragedy.” The ballad was about Boston Light’s first keeper, George Worthylake, who drowned when the lighthouse boat carrying him, his wife and daughter and two other men, capsized in the harbor.
During the Revolutionary War, Boston Harbor was under British control and the lighthouse was not in use. American troops, by orders of General Washington, sought to destroy the lighthouse so the British could not use it to help navigate British ships into the harbor. On June 13, 1776, Boston Light was destroyed.
The Massachusetts Legislature approved funds to rebuild the Boston Light in 1783.
As a security measure during World War II, the lighthouse stayed unlit until July 2, 1945. Then, it was equipped with enough candlepower light that was visible for 16 miles.
Next to the Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey, Boston Light is the second oldest working lighthouse.
Boston Light is the only lighthouse that still employs an official keeper.