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Deer Island Lighthouse

Deer Island lighthouse

Winthrop, Massachusetts
Built in 1832


South of Deer Island, which now houses a water treatment plant, the nation's second largest, and is part of the Boston Harbor Islands park.

Latitude: 42° 20' 24" N
Longitude: 70° 57' 17" W


Historic Stories:

The lighthouse was built in 1832, then rebuilt in 1890 as a four level cast iron super structure that included the living quarters.

early Deer Island caisson construction

Deer Island Caisson Construction
Image Courtesy US Coast Guard

In 1913, one of the Assistant Keepers, Joseph McCabe had a piano delivered to the lighthouse to keep his family amused. Three years later in 1916, upon returning from setting up his wedding invitations with his fiancé, he found his boat frozen from ice that surrounded the island and proceeded to walk across the ice towards the lighthouse. He slipped and fell into the freezing waters and drowned.

During the days of prohibition, the keepers were illegally brewing malt liquor at the lighthouse. Upon an unannounced inspection, one of the assistant keepers, holding a crock of their new batch tried to hide from the inspector. As he fell over a cable, the crocked smashed into pieces and the assistant was fired on the spot.

By 1982 the lighthouse was so badly deteriorated that it was decided to completely replace the lighthouse with a white fiberglass tower, which was the first of its type in the country. From complaints of the locals that the tower blended in too much with the background, the current brown fiberglass tower was used to replace the white tower.

tugboat passes by deer Island lighthouse



Places to Visit Nearby:

Deer Island itself features over 5 miles of landscaped trails for bikers and joggers alike, with plenty of views of Boston harbor and the airport.

Views of the lighthouse can be seen from a distance from Deer Island from one of its trails.

Tours from boat cruises listed below all pass by the lighthouse.


Contact Info:
349 Lincoln Street
Hingham MA 02043
Phone: (781) 740 4290



Local Harbor Tours For Visitors

Boat cruises below offer many types of cruises. None provide tours specifically to the lighthouse, but may pass by as part specific cruises, charters, and other types of excursions.

Boston Harbor Cruises
One Long Wharf
Boston, Mass. 02110
(617) 223-8666
(877) 733-925


Massachusetts Bay Lines
Harbor Cruises along Boston’s Historic Waterfront
60 Rowes Wharf
Boston, Massachusetts, 02110
(617) 542-8000
Fax (617) 951-0700


My 300-page 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.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions in southern New England




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