Duxbury Pier Light (Bug Light), Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts
Built in 1871.
DUXBURY LIGHT ("BUG LIGHT")
Location: DUXBURY BAY, NEAR DUXBURY, MASSACHUSETTS
Station Established: 1871
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1871
Foundation Materials: CAISSON
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: CONICAL “SPARK PLUG”
Markings/Pattern: WHITE WITH RED BASE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER FRESNEL LENS
* Built in 1871 the Duxbury Pier Light was the first offshore cast iron Caisson lighthouse in the United States. It is also known as “Bug Light” or simply “The Bug”.
* The light has no outside decks when it was first built. The shape resembled a coffee pot.
* Since the light was directly in the water, 100 tons of stones were place around the base to protect the structure. Another 175 tons were added in 1896.
* The light was automated in the 1960’s. It fell victim to vandals and the elements. The Coast Guard planned to demolish the structure. A group of local citizen’s rallied to save the light and created “Project Bug Light”. The Coast Guard began to make repairs to the structure. In the 1990’s the Bug Light project began to fall apart. The Coast Guard again made plans to replace the light. It was saved again by a strong preservation effort.
* The light is still an active aid to navigation and is not open to the public.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.