Congress appropriated $4,000 for a lighthouse near the mouth of the Bass River on Cape Cod in 1850. Oxen hauled building materials across the local marshes, and the Bass River Light went into service on April 30, 1855. The government deemed the lighthouse unnecessary after the advent of the Cape Cod Canal and a new automatic light was established on the Bass River west jetty at the entrance to the river. The light was extinguished in 1914 and the property was soon sold at auction.
In 1938, the property was bought by State Senator Everett Stone and his wife, Gladys. The Stones began to have overnight guests, and their hospitality became so popular that they soon opened it to the public as the Lighthouse Inn. Bob and Mary Stone managed the Inn for many years.
In 1989 the Stone family had their lighthouse relighted as a seasonal aid to navigation, with a 300-millimeter optic providing a white light that flashes every six seconds.
Members of the Stone family remain involved with the inn’s operation today. Bob and Mary’s son Greg is president, and his wife, Patricia, is the general manager.
Ralph Krugler is the historian for the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society in Florida. He’s spent several years researching the history of the light station and he’s put together an extensive book on the subject.
Volume one is now available, and he also has a new children’s book called Let’s Visit the Lighthouse.
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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