Located at the northern end of Mt. Hope Bay, Somerset, Massachusetts, Borden Flats Lighthouse, circa 1881, still shines brightly in all her glory, and is available for overnight stays to experience the role of an historic Lighthouse Keeper, through our Light Keepers Overnight Educational Program.
Our Light Keepers Program offers the public the ability to take part in a one-of-a-kind overnight experience, living the role of a 19th century Lighthouse Keeper. Our Lighthouse is comfortably equipped with touches of modern day such as solar electricity and an updated kitchen and bathroom, but the rest of the lighthouse experience remains true to the history of lighthouses past. As an honorary Light Keeper, you're welcomed to relax and unwind, or when needed, assist with upkeep, and leave your lasting touch on this historic treasure.
With your role as an honorary Lighthouse Keeper, you will have the ability to become a living part of history in one of America's only offshore "sparkplug" lighthouses that is fully restored and available to the public for a truly unique overnight experience.
Your Keeper stay serves as your contribution to the ongoing preservation of this historic landmark, which is proudly listed on the National Registry of Historic Places by the National Park Service.
As a friendly reminder, the Lighthouse is privately owned and operated, and is not like a typical hotel or B&B operation, so please plan your stay with this in mind.
We truly hope you enjoy and treat her as if she were your own piece of priceless history.
We look forward to seeing you!
Our Borden Flats Light Keepers Overnight Educational Program launches from
Borden Light Marina, 1 Ferry Street Fall River, MA
Borden Flats Light has been featured in several tourism magazines, books and local & national television programs!
Borden Flats Circa 1901
HISTORY- Borden Flats Lighthouse has protected the waters of Mt. Hope Bay near Somerset 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 ports, delivering the raw materials and then returning with finished textiles.
With the large amount of shipping traffic during the mid-1800's, some ran aground due to a large under water reef at the entrance to the Taunton River. As a warning to mariners, a non-lighted day marker was placed atop the reef, only to prove obsolete for night commerce. In 1880, Congress appropriated $25,000 in funding for the construction of a cast iron, "spark plug" style lighthouse to mark the reef, or "flats."
On October 1, 1881, the new Borden Flats Light became active with a fixed red beacon from a 5th order Fresnel Lens. The lens was later upgraded to a 4th Order Fresnel Lens.
The U.S. Lighthouse Service (USLHS) hired keepers for the lighthouse from 1881 until the U.S. Coast Guard assumed control in 1939. At that time, the USLHS Keepers were replaced by full time Coast Guard officers serving as Light 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 of Keepers 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 130 years of maritime service, the lighthouse had been deemed surplus by the U.S. Coast Guard and was offered up 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 put up for auction and sold into private ownership in August, 2010.
Thankfully, James Nick Korstad of Portland, Oregon, purchased the Light; then drove cross-country and immediately went to work devoting over 7 years on the rehabilitation of this historic gem, masterfully restoring her to the elegance you see today. As a result of his tireless and passionate effort,
Nick was awarded the US Lighthouse Society's Light Keeper of the Year Award in 2018. Incredibly well deserved!
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, toil and most importantly the passion Nick and his family have devoted so we the public can forever enjoy this truly unique part of our maritime history.
Most honorably, in 2018, Nick decided his work here was complete, and moved on to his newest lighthouse venture, taking ownership of Big Bay Lighthouse in Michigan, perched on the the cliffs overlooking Lake Superior.(www.bigbaylighthouse.com)
In May, 2018, Borden Flats Lighthouse proudly took on new ownership by local resident, and lighthouse lover Kevin M. Ferias, from nearby Warren, RI.
As the new Lighthouse Keeper, Kevin vows to continue the legacy Nick and his family have created by devoting himself to the continual preservation of this historic landmark, always offering her beauty, solace and hospitality to the public through its hugely successful Lighthouse Keepers Overnight Educational Program.
The lighthouse is constantly undergoing preservation which is solely funded by the generosity of our guest Keepers who "Stay the Light" as a part of our Light Keepers Overnight Educational Program. After 56 years, the lighthouse once again, has full-time Light Keepers!
This historic landmark proudly displays a red lantern roof and red painted sectional band. Over all, the lighthouse is highly visible and can even be seen from the Mt. Hope Bridge, and as it has since it's completion in 1881, still serves proudly as a U.S. Coast Guard Aid to Navigation for mariners who sail our beautiful Mount Hope Bay.
Come and experience the life of a 19th Century
Light Keeper and "STAY the LIGHT!"