The town of Scituate, on Boston’s South Shore, developed a significant fishing industry by the late eighteenth century and local citizens petitioned the town’s selectmen for a lighthouse in 1807. A stone tower was built at Cedar Point, and Scituate Lighthouse went into service in April 1812. When the second lighthouse at Minot’s Ledge — offshore from Scituate — was lighted on November 15, 1860, Scituate Light went dark on the same night, seemingly forever.
The lighthouse property was sold to the Town of Scituate in 1917, and in 1968 custody of the site was awarded to the Scituate Historical Society. The Society had the lighthouse relighted as a private aid to navigation in 1994.
The grounds around the lighthouse are open all year, and the lighthouse is sometimes opened for special open houses.
The interview in this episode was recorded at the Scituate Maritime and Irish Mossing Museum, and it includes three people. David Ball is the former president of the Scituate Historical Society and the author of a book on Cedar Point and the lighthouse. Bob Chessia is a Scituate resident and the new president of the historical society. And Bob Gallagher has been the resident caretaker, or modern-day keeper, of Scituate Light since 2009. He’s also a high school history teacher.
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