Butler Flats Light, outer harbor, New Bedford, Massachusetts
Sparkplug style lighthouse
BUTLER FLATS LIGHT
NEW BEDFORD CHANNEL/ACUSHNET RIVER
Station Established: 1804
Year Current/Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1898
Automated? YES 1978
Foundation Materials: CAST IRON/CONCRETE CAISSON
Construction Materials: BRICK
Tower Shape: CONICAL ON CYLINDRICAL BASE
Markings/Pattern: WHITE TOWER/BLACK BASE & LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FIFTH ORDER, FRESNEL
Characteristic: Rotating white light every 5 seconds with a 1.2 second flash. Station is painted with a black caisson and a white conical tower.
* The station was completed on 30 April 1898. It was designed and built by F. Hopkinton Smith, a "famous writer-architect-builder."
* A 1968 "Compilation of Unit History" written by the OIC, BM1 A/N Ronald E. Glass, had a chronological listing of the former Coast Guard OICs, though he did not list their dates of service: "1. Eidson, Fred B., EN1; 2. Nowby, Charles M. BM1; 3. Buotte, Robert A., BM1; 4. Lehl, Richard E., BM1; 5. Grandeau, Patrick A., BM1; 6. Perkins, Daniel L., EN3 A/N; 7. Glass, Ronald E., BM1 A/N."
* A local campaign was begun to save the lighthouse when the Coast Guard determined that the light was no longer required for safe passage into New Bedford, as the recently built hurricane barrier was more effective since it was 1/3 mile closer to the harbor. A small dyke light was installed there.
* On 22 August 1975, one of the station's two crewmen, SN Henry Sieg, rescued three persons from a capsized 13-foot sailboat. He used the station's 16-foot boat.
* The station was unmanned and fully automated by April, 1978, and automatic signals and a speed call 7843 encoder/decoder were installed. The fog signal was moved to the hurricane barrier. A private, non-profit group that had organized a successful New Bedford marine campaign for the Bicentennial (the Coast Guard Commemorative Exhibit) expressed interest in maintaining the light.
* On 13 July 1978 the Coast Guard discontinued the light (OPERATION ORDER 6-78).
* A Revocable License and Standard Department of Transportation Title VI Assurance was given to the city of New Bedford to operate the light as a private aid to navigation.