U.S. Coast Guard renovations, 1985.
Located at the mouth of the Taunton River, Borden Flats Lighthouse has protected the waters of Mt. Hope Bay and Fall River, Massachusetts for well over a century.
During the early days of the Industrial Revolution, Fall River became known as the world leader in textile productions. The city grew to employ nearly 30,000 textile factory workers and became destination for large ships from Boston and New York. Due to a large under water reef at the entrance to the Taunton River, a non-lighted day marker was placed atop the obstacle, only to prove obsolete for night commerce. Congress appropriated funds for the construction of a cast iron, "spark plug" style lighthouse.
On October, 1 1881, Borden Flats Light became active with a fixed red light from a 5th order Fresnel Lens. The lens was later upgraded to a 4th Order Fresnel Lens.
The U.S. Lighthouse Service (USLHS) held keepers at the lighthouse from 1881 until the U.S. Coast Guard assumed control in 1939. At that point, the USLHS Keepers were replaced by full time Coast Guard officers/keepers.
The Light became powered by electricity in 1957 and later, in an effort to save costs, the lighthouse was fully automated and therefore unstaffed in 1963. The Fresnel lens was soon replaced by an Amerace FA-251 acrylic optic with a white flash every 2.5 seconds. Around 1996, the optic was upgraded to a Vega Rotating Beacon VRB-25. In 2017, our last rotating beacon was sadly replaced with a single VLB-44 LED optic.
After over a century of maritime service, the lighthouse had been deemed surplus by the U.S. Coast Guard and was offered for sale through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA) to "eligible entities defined as federal agencies, state and local agencies, non-profit corporations, educational agencies, or community development organizations, for education, park, recreation, cultural, or historic preservation purposes." No entities applied, so it was sold into private ownership in August, 2010.
New owner, Nick Korstad of Portland, Oregon, packed his car, drove cross country and immediately went to work devoting over 7 years rehabilitating this historic gem and masterfully restored her to the elegance you see today. The cities of Somerset and Fall River, MA, the nation's lighthouse community as well as local residents will forever be indebted to the dedication, sweat & toil and most importantly the passion Nick and his family have provided, so we the public can forever enjoy this truly unique part of our maritime history.
In May 2018, Nick decided his work here was complete, and moved on to his newest lighthouse passion, taking ownership of Big Bay Lighthouse in Michigan, high on the the cliffs overlooking Lake Superior. Borden Flats Lighthouse has proudly taken on new ownership by local resident Kevin Ferias. Your new Lighthouse Keeper vows to continue the legacy Nick and his family have created- devoting himself to the continual preservation of this historic landmark, always offering her beauty, solace and hospitality to the public through its Lighthouse Keepers Overnight Program.
Become a part of history, and come
"STAY the LIGHT!"
Our Borden Flats Light Overnight Keepers Program launches from Borden Light Marina, 1 Ferry Street Fall River, MA 02721
Borden Flats Circa 1901
Today, the lighthouse is constantly undergoing preservation which is solely funded by the generosity of our honorary Keepers who "stay the light" as apart of our Light Keepers Overnight Program.
After 55 years, the lighthouse once again, has full-time "Keepers!"
The exterior of the station has undergone a long awaited facelift.
By popular demand, the local boating community wanted to see a change in the lighthouse to help make it more visible against the Braga Bridge supports, the city lights of Fall River and the towers of the Brayton Point power plant.
This historic landmark now proudly displays a red lantern roof and red painted sectional band. The white on the tower was increased to a brighter white. Over all, the lighthouse is highly visible and can even be seen from the Mt. Hope Bridge!