"Stay the Light!"
Photo courtesy of Frank Grace Photography
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 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 steam liners from destination such as Boston and New York.
Due to a large under water reef at the entrance to the Taunton River, a non-lighted day marker was places atop the obstacle, only to prove obsolete for night commerce. Congress appropriated funds for the construction of the cast iron, "spark plug" style lighthouse. On October, 1 1881 the lighthouse 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 until the U.S. Coast Guard assumed control in 1939. At that point, the USLHS was eliminated and station became staffed by three full time Coast Guard officers.
In an effort to save costs, the lighthouse was fully automated and de-staffed 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 and in 2017 replaced with a single tier VLB-44 LED optic.
The lighthouse was 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, immediately went to work devoting over 8 years rehabilitating this historic gem and masterfully restored her to the elegance you see today. The cities of Somerset and Fall River, MA, as well as the nation's lighthouse community and local residents will be forever 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.
As of May 2018, Borden Flats Lighthouse has taken on new ownership by local resident Kevin Ferias, your new Lighthouse Keeper, and vows to continue the legacy Nick and his family have created- devoting himself to the continual preservation of this historic landmark, always offering her solace, beauty and hospitality to the public through its Lighthouse Keepers Overnight Program. Become a part of history, and come...
"STAY the LIGHT!"
Borden Flats Circa 1939.
Today, the lighthouse is constantly undergoing rehabilitation.
After 55 years, the lighthouse once again, has a caretaker.
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!