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Borden Flats Lighthouse

Fall River, Massachusetts
Built in 1881


Location:

In the middle of the mouth of the Taunton River in the city of Fall River, just south of I-195's Braga Bridge.

Latitude: 41° 42' 16" N
Longitude: 71° 10' 28" W

 

Historic Stories:

The lighthouse was built to guide whaling and shipping traffic into the Taunton River. It was used in warning of the shallow waters surrounding its location.

Borden Flats Lighthouse was named after the Borden family, who were prominent residents of Fall River over generations. The most infamous member was Lizzie Borden, who was charged and acquitted of axing her parents to death in 1893.

With it’s somewhat remote location, mariners would wave and sound the fog bell as they passed by the light as a gesture of saying hello, and the keeper would reply with the same. On September, in 1897, Keeper Herman Georgie was struck by an acute case of appendicitis. His wife rang the fog bell and waved her arms to flag down passing boats for nearly two days while the keeper laid in agony before mariners realized that she was not waving in friendship, but trying to get help.

John H. Paul was keeper from 1912 to 1927. A month after he began his tenure at the beacon, on August 3, 1912, he was credited with saving two men who had overturned their boat near the lighthouse. 

During the hurricane of 1938, which hit the New England coastline with a historical ferocity, Keeper Joseph Covo was one of the lucky ones who survived the experience in the tower.

The high winds from the storm left the lighthouse intact, but with a distinctive 5 degree tilt.
The government built a wider base around the lighthouse to protect it from future storms.

bordan flats lighthouse

Image of Borden Flats light before restoration with red stripe.

Borden Flats lighthouse has been investigated and is considered haunted by Captain John Paul, as visitors and personnel have heard someone whistling, and sounds of classical music have been coming from the lantern room. There have also been documented investigations where a young boy and girl, probably siblings, have been heard giggling, there have been thumping sounds in the upper floor, and the sounds of people coming into the lighthouse have been heard by workers at the light over the years, only to find no one was there.

Stay Overnight at Borden Flats Light

For a wonderful unique experience, visitors can stay overnight in this "sparkplug" style offshore lighthouse from April to October as part of the honorary Light Keepers Overnight Program. Transportation to and from the light station is provided by boat from the Borden Light Marina. Guest "keepers" need to be physically enough agile to climb from the boat a vertical steel rung ladder, where, depending on the tide, the climb could be only 3-4 rungs or up to 7-8 (at low tide.). If you can climb a ladder at home, you can do this. The lighthouse is comfortably equipped with solar electricity and a updated kitchen and bathroom, but visitors will find much of the rest of structure remains true to the history of lighthouses past. It has been fully reconstructed with most amenities, has indoor propane heat and flat-screen TV, and linens are provided. Two guests or "keepers" are allowed per night and need to bring their own food that can be cooked on the outdoor gas grill or indoor microwave. There are four floors to investigate and sleeping quarters is located on the fourth level floor, or "Watchroom". Check out the website at bordenflats.com. Check in to arrive early at the marina is before 5 PM, as the boat leaves at 5 PM, and checkout from the lighthouse is promptly at noon.

Contact the Keeper/Owner Kevin Ferias, at kmf777@yahoo.com, to schedule your stay.

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

Along with plenty of shopping outlet malls and stores, Fall River contains an interesting array of museums to visit, including Battleship Cove, the world’s largest naval ship exhibit with at least five ships visitors can tour aboard.

Battleship Cove in Fall River These vessels include the mighty battleship USS Massachusetts, the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., and PT boats used in the South Pacific during World War II.

The Marine Museum at Fall River, part of Batlleship Cove is also nearby to Borden Flats Lighthouse and features an exhibit honoring the Titanic. Nearly across the street, visitors will find the Old Colony and Fall River Railroad Museum. Visitors can also get a distant view of Borden Flats Lighthouse from the area. To enjoy walking along the shores of the Taunton River, the Fall River Heritage State Park is a history-oriented, public recreation area that covers 14 acres along the river.

Visitors can explore the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast/ Museum to grab a glimpse of one of the most controversial events of the day, or learn more including Fall River’s rich heritage from the Fall River Historical Society.

 

 

 

Directions:

Alternate Directions:

 

Contact Info:
Borden FLats Lighthouse
Keven M. Ferias
Light Keeper/Owner
kmf777@yahoo.com


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, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours you can explore. You'll find information for lighthouses you can stay overnight, and there are also stories of haunted lighthouses in lower New England as well.

Look inside!

book of lighthouses in southern new england

 

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