Ned Point Light
Ned Point Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1837
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1838
Year Automated: 1923
Tower Height: ft.
Original Optic: 5th Order, Fresnel
Existing Keepers Quarters? No
Ned Point Lighthouse
(8 photos, 217KB total download)
Last Visited: November, 2001
The historic beacon sits on the rocky shore of Ned's Point in Mattapoisett, warding mariners off of dangerous shoals and into safe harbors. With the same dependability it has maintained for the last 160 years, the humble Ned's Point Lighthouse stands oblivious to admirers planning to honor it with a birthday celebration next weekend.
The Ned's Point Lighthouse is one of the smallest remaining working lighthouses on Buzzards Bay.
Over the years, many events changed its surroundings, yet the lighthouse continued to maintain its recognizable white cone tower and black-topped lantern room.
Visitors from all over the world who appreciate the historical significance of this lighthouse make pilgrimages to Mattapoisett's Veterans Memorial Park at the end of Ned's Point Road.
The light was built in 1837 by Leonard Hammond, who used rubble from the beach to construct the 35-foot stone tower topped by a cast-iron lantern room. The 32 triangular, spiral granite stairs, each stone sitting one on top of another and smaller than the one before it, were hand cut in Mattapoisett. The cost of construction: $450.
No longer is there a stove in the small workspace on the ground level of the lighthouse. It was used during the winter to heat the whale oil illuminating the lamp. But the small shack used as an oil house still stands several yards away.
Clayton Hagy, the keeper of the lighthouse for the past five years, has a wealth of information on its history. Early lighthouse keepers used to haul buckets of whale oil from the storage house to the lighthouse. During the winter months, the cold, congealed oil was heated to a liquid on the stove and was carried up the spiraling granite steps to the lantern room.
In 1888, the original beehive lantern room was replaced by the octagonal-shaped one there today. The lighthouse keeper's house, destroyed by a hurricane at that time, was rebuilt alongside the lighthouse. A few of the stones from the foundation are still visible in the grass near the rear base of the tower.
In 1923, Ned's Point Lighthouse became fully automated and the unneeded keeper's house was moved by barge to Wing's Neck in Bourne, where it remains today as a private home.
South Coast Today
Nearest Address: 54 Ned's Point Rd, Mattapoisett, MA
- From New Bedford take Interstate 195 north to exit 19.
- At the end of the ramp go right onto North St.
- Take North St. 1.3 miles to the end and take a left onto Water St.
- In 0.2 miles Water St. becomes Beacon St. Stay straight on Beacon St.
- In 0.3 miles bear right onto Ned Point Road.
- Take Ned Point Road 0.7 miles to the end at Ned Point and the lighthouse.
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