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Spectacle Island Range, MA  Lighthouse destroyed.   

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Spectacle Island Range Lighthouse

1892 – Boston is one of the most important commercial cities in the country. Its harbor is without sufficient aids to navigation. Among those most needed are range beacons on Spectacle Island to mark the center of the dredged channel from State Ledge toward the city and to mark the turning point into the channel for vessels coming up from Nix Mate. The front beacon should be on a pyramidal wooden tower 13 feet high, the base being 8 feet above mean high water. The rear range should be on a similar tower 16 feet high, its base being about 115 feet above mean high water. The station would need a dwelling for the light-keeper, a fuel house, a boathouse, and a boat slip, with an acre of land for a light-house site and a right of way from it to the nearest road. It is estimated that the range lights can be established for not exceeding $9,350, and it is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1893 — Spectacle Island, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.—The following recommendation, made in the last annual report, is renewed:
Boston is one of the most important commercial cities in the country. Its harbor is without sufficient aids to navigation. Among those most needed are range beacons on Spectacle Island to mark the center of the dredged channel from State Ledge toward the city and to mark the turning point into the channel for vessels coming up from Nix Mate. The front beacon should be on a pyramidal wooden tower 13 feet high, the base being 8 feet above mean high water. The rear range should be on a similar tower 16 feet high, its base being about 115 feet above mean high water. The station would need a dwelling for the light-keeper, a fuel house, a boathouse, and a boat slip, with an acre of land for a light-house site and a right of way from it to the nearest road. It is estimated that the range lights can be established for not exceeding $9,350, and it is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1894 — Spectacle Island, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.—The following recommendation, made in the last two annual reports, is renewed:
Boston is one of the most important commercial cities in the country. Its harbor is without sufficient aids to navigation. Among those most needed are range beacons on Spectacle Island to mark the center of the dredged channel from State Ledge toward the city, and to mark the turning point into the channel for vessels coming up from Nix Mate. The front beacon should be on a pyramidal wooden tower 13 feet high, the base being 8 feet above mean high water. The rear range should be on a similar tower 16 feet high, its base being about 35 feet above mean high water. The station would need a dwelling for the light-keeper, a fuel house, a boathouse, and a boat slip, with an acre of land for a light-house site and a right of way from it to the nearest road. It is estimated that the range lights can be established for not exceeding $9,350, and it is recommended that an appropriation of this amount be made therefor.

1895 — Spectacle Island range lights, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.—An appropriation of $9,350 was made by the act approved March 2, 1895, for establishing range lights on this island. The proper measures are being taken for carrying this appropriation into effect.

1896 – Spectacle Island range lights, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.—The work of acquiring title to the necessary land through the courts was nearly completed. It is intended to complete the station this season.

1897 – Spectacle Island range lights, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts— The buildings were erected under contract and the lights were established on May 20,1897.

1902 – Spectacle Island, south side of President Roads, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.—A retaining wall of stone and timber was built at the boathouse. Minor repairs were made.

1903 – Broad Sound Channel inner range, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.—The act of June 28, 1902, authorized the establishment of two range lights on Spectacle Island, at the mouth of Boston Harbor, Massachusetts, and appropriated $13,000 therefor. The station was built in the spring of 1903 and the lights were exhibited for the first time on April 10, 1903. The station consists of two wooden towers, 337 feet apart, and a keeper's frame dwelling and fuel house. Both lights are of the fourth order and illuminate about 45° of the horizon. The front light is 53 feet above the water, flashing white every 5 seconds; the rear light is fixed and is 70 feet above the water. [Note: this added a second set of range lights to Spectacle Island. The original range, Spectacle Island Range, served from 1897 to 1913, while the new range, Broad Sound Channel Range, served from 1913 to about 1955.]

1904 – Spectacle Island range, Spectacle Island, Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.—Both towers were moved about 15 feet in a southerly direction parallel with their former position, and provided with masonry foundations and lightning rods. The color of the towers was changed from white to lower third white, middle third red, and upper third white.

1912 – The Boston Globe, September 20, A misunderstood notice recently issued by the Lighthouse Department relative to the abolition of the Spectacle island range lights resulted in a strong protest from shipping interests here. The notice read as follows: “South Boston range lights and Spectacle Island range lights to be permanently discontinued about Nov 15, 1912.” This led to the belief that the entire system of ranges was to be abolished, when, as a matter of fact, the notice referred only to the range lights inward from Spectacle Island. The removal of these lights and the substitution of a chain of gas buoys to mark the channel received the hearty indorsement of ship owners and navigators. What they did object to was the removal of the range lights from Spectacle to the bay. The lighthouse officials have not intention of disturbing these ranges. As a matter of fact it is intended to improve them just as soon as the plans have matured.

1913 – The 1897 Spectacle Island Range was discontinued on July 15, 1913.

Keepers:

  • Head: Winfield L. Creed (1897 – 1913).
  • Assistant: Oscar C.G. Bohm (1903 – 1904), Edwin Tarr (1904 – 1906), Fred W. Tibbetts (1906 – at least 1912), Horace I. Hamilton (at least 1913).

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