Built in 1838
The lighthouse stands inside Veterans Memorial Park on the eastern side of the entrance to the harbor at Mattapoisett.
|Latitude: 41° 39' 03" N
||Longitude: 70° 47' 44" W|
Mattapoisett become a busy shipbuilding area between the mid-1700s into the 1800s. One of the ships built was the infamous Acushnet, the ship that Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, sailed on and later deserted.
As shipping traffic increased, Ned's Point Lighthouse, named after the original land owner, Edwin "Ned" Dexter, was constructed in 1837.
Image Courtesy US Coast Guard
The contractor who constructed the original lighthouse, and who also had to spread his time running a salt works station and a tavern, was unable to keep to the schedule given him. Upon a visit from the inspector, his work crew quickly placed planks over barrels where a finished floor should have been. The inspector stepped and slipped on one of the loose boards onto the foundation below He was unhurt, but quite angry at the contractor. The deplorable completed construction of the lighthouse was the main complaint of many keepers afterwards.
In 1923, when the light was automated, the Keeper’s house was loaded onto a barge bound for Wing’s Neck, Mass. As the barge towed the dwelling to its new location, the last Keeper, Russell Eastman, remained inside and enjoyed a last cooked breakfast.
The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1952, but the residents of Mattapoisett built a park surrounding the lighthouse as they received ownership of the land, petitioned to have it relit, and the Coast guard granted their efforts in 1961.
Places to Visit Nearby:
Mattapoisett lies in a rural coastal community with plenty of parks to enjoy. Ned’s Point Lighthouse sits in a small park, called Veterans Memorial Park, for picnicking and enjoying the harbor. The light station is open to the public on Thursday mornings in July and August, whereas the park grounds are open to the public daily.
For those of us who still long for homemade food from an old-fashioned “Stainless Steel” or “Silver” diner direct from the 1950s, visit the Mattapoisett Diner. They also have murals on the inside of local attractions.
Visitors will find various beaches around the area and there are plenty of golf courses all around Plymouth County to explore. Beaches include Mattapoisett Beach, Ned's Point Beach in Veteran's Memorial Park by the lighthouse, Goodspeed Island Beach, and Aucoot Beach.
Other nearby parks include Shipyard Park with a beautifully built gazebo, a snack shack during the summers, and a view of the Mattapoisett Harbor. Mattapoisett Landing is a nice place to launch your kayak or to head out on a paddleboard.
- From US Route I-195, take Exit 19 and follow North Street south in to Mattapoisett.
- When it ends, turn left onto Water Street, which will turn into Beacon Street as it bears to the right.
- Beacon Street will become Ned's Point Road, which ends after a half mile at Veterans Memorial Park, where you will find the lighthouse
- From Route 6 North, in the center of Mattapoisett, turn right at the first traffic signal onto Main Street.
- Follow Main Street, to Water Street, to Beacon Street,
- Then bear right onto Ned’s Point Road, continue to Veterans Memorial Park.
- From Route 6 South, Look for “Entering Mattapoisett” sign, continue for about 1 and a half miles.
- Stay on Marion Road, which will curve to the right as Country Road, then back to Marion Road for another half mile.
- Turn left onto Ned’s Point Road, then continue to Veterans Memorial Park.
My book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses of lower New England, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours you can explore. I'll be happy to sign it for you.