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MONTEREY LIFE

The Borden Flats Lighthouse

Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 12:00AM

We’re visiting the Borden Flats Lighthouse in Fall River, Massachusetts on this week’s Lighthouse Tour! The lighthouse was built in 1881 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in June of 1987. Do you know what style of architecture is represented in this lighthouse? Share your answers with us in our comments section or on Facebook, and keep reading today’s blog.

A lighthouse in Fall River, Massachusetts became a necessity during the mid-19th Century when a steamboat service to nearby New York City and Providence, Rhode Island became a regularly scheduled item. An extremely dangerous reef is located just off the Fall River shore and had been previously marked by a beacon until the construction of the lighthouse in 1881.

The town requested a lighthouse be built and the project was approved by government officials in June 1880. A sum of $25,000 dollars had been dedicated to the construction of the lighthouse. The lighthouse would guide mariners and their ships around the treacherous reef just off the coast. A 50-foot-tall, cast-iron light tower and a keeper’s house was constructed and began servicing the area on October 1, 1881. The lighthouse was built using a spark-plug lighthouse design. A spark-plug lighthouse is a tower on caisson design. Lighthouse engineers designed the lighthouse with a fourth-order Fresnel lens that could produce a light 47-feet above water.  They also fixed a gutter to the side of the lighthouse and collected water using a cistern. The water was used by the keeper and his family.

The lighthouse survived the hurricane of 1938, but was left with a tilt, which it still has to this day.

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