Lighthouse Profile: Minots Ledge Light

Waypoints: Minots Ledge Light
Minot’s Light, Photo courtesy New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide

Boaters on the South Shore of Massachusetts are no doubt familiar with stately Minots Ledge Lighthouse, which sold at auction for $222,000 in October 2014, beginning a new chapter in the history of this 159-year-old aid to navigation.

Minots Light, which warns mariners of a series of dangerous rocks and ledges off Cohasset and Scituate, is 114 feet tall and made of granite blocks stacked around a supporting steel framework anchored to the rock ledge base. It is named for prominent Bostonian George Minot, who owned a merchant ship that wrecked on the rocks in the 1700s.

The current light replaced a spindly metal-and-wood structure built in 1849. It stood for two years before being swept away in a violent nor’easter in 1851, killing the two keepers.

A lightship was stationed near the ledge for several years as construction of a replacement lighthouse began. The new and sturdier tower was completed in November 1860 after several years of work. The final cost of construction was around $300,000, making Minots one of the most expensive lighthouses ever built in the U.S.

Read more about Minots Ledge Lighthouse.


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