The Nantucket South Shoals extend many miles south of Nantucket Island, which is south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The shoals were a great hazard to shipping, with more than 500 shipwrecks in the area. The first lightship was stationed at the Nantucket New South Shoals in June of 1854. The name eventually changed from “Nantucket New South Shoals” to just “Nantucket Shoals” lightship station (1896-1983).
The LV-112, built in Wilmington, Delaware, went on station in 1936. It was the largest lightship ever built in the United States. The LV-112 was removed from the Nantucket South Shoals in 1975. From 1975 to 1983, Nantucket WLV-612 and WLV-613 replaced LV-112 and alternated until Nantucket Shoals lightship station was discontinued in 1983.
After its active days, ownership of the LV-112 changed several times. In 2009, the nonprofit United States Lightship Museum, or USLM, became the new steward. In recent months the LV-112 has been in drydock in Chelsea, Massachusetts, undergoing restoration work.
Bob Mannino is the president of the United States Lightship Museum. For most of his life, Bob has been involved in historic preservation and related educational programs, maritime and non-maritime, as an avocation. A retired marketing communications and public relations professional, Bob began his historic research and preservation endeavors by chronicling New England’s historic shipwrecks and other historic maritime events.
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Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org