News · Preservation · Society Members

Graves Lighthouse Restoration

Dave Waller installs refurbished skylight. Photo courtesy Dave Waller

Two readers sent me the recent Boston Globe article on the preservation of The Graves Lighthouse, located nine miles offshore at the mouth of Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. The incredible restoration of this 113-foot tower is the vision of lifetime U.S. Lighthouse Society member Dave Waller, who purchased the property at public auction in 2013.

Installation of first-order lens panels into positions that will not interfere with the modern solar-powered optic. The panels are from various Chance Bros. lenses that were primarily used in Australia. Photo courtesy Dave Waller
Chance Bros. lens panels from various Australian lighthouses were installed into positions that will not interfere with the modern solar-powered optic. (Click on photo to see full story.) Photo courtesy Dave Waller

The U.S. Coast Guard maintains the modern optic as an active aid to navigation. The light’s original first-order lens manufactured by Barbier, Bernard and Turenne, Paris, is now part of the undisplayed collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Mike Sylvester cleans and points the granite tower. Photo courtesy of Dave Waller

The 1905 tower is constructed of granite quarried from Cape Ann, Massachusetts. The interior is lined with brick.

Newly made authentic oak windows and mahogany handrails along with modern 24-volt electric lights brighten up the stairwells. Photo courtesy Dave Waller
Nelson Metal Fabricators install a replacement copper smokestack based on the original 1903 plans. Photo courtesy of Dave Waller

Dangerous ledges and the lack of a dock make this lighthouse inaccessible to the general public; however, an extensive website was created to keep the public informed of the project.

Photos submitted by Dave Waller, January 3, 2017

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to


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