Graves Light Station

Aug. 27, 2019

Graves Light Station, Boston Harbor, Plymouth County, Massachusetts


Station Established: 1905
First Lit: Sept. 1 1905
Operational: Yes
Automated: Yes- 1976- Converted to Solar Power in 2001
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Material: Granite
Construction Material: Granite Block
Tower Shape: Conical 
Markings: Natural with Black Lantern
Relationship to Other Structures: Separate 
Original Lens: First Order Frensel Lens
Tower Height: 113 feet
Range: – 24 miles
Original Optic: First Order Fresnel lens 
Present Optic: VRB 25- Solar Power 2001
Characteristics: 2 White Flashes every 12 Seconds
First Keeper: Elliot C. Hadley
Current Use: Active aide to Navigation
Fog Signal: Originally Daboll fog trumpet now automated-2 blasts every 2 
National Register Status 

Historical Information: 

* Some think Graves Ledge received its rather ominous name because of tragedies. But not so. It was named for Thomas Graves a prominent, an early Colonial Massachusetts sea trader. 
* John Winthrop- The first governor of Massachusetts named a group of hazardous ledges The Graves for Rear Admiral Thomas Graves in 1653. 
* In 1842 IWP Lewis, Civil Engineer to The US Lighthouse Survey was surprised that there was no lighthouse on The Graves. 
* Later an iron bell buoy was placed rear of the ledges in 1854. 
* In 1907 Congress appropriated $188,000 for a tower on Northeast Grave Rock. The tower’s location was changed to The Graves in 1903 
* Tje style of Graves Light is very similar to Maine’s Ram Ledge Light. They were built around the same time. 
* In early 1948 the Coast Guard took over the operation of the Lighthouse. 
* The original lens is in The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. 

Researched and written by Linda Herman, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.