The city of Fall River, Massachusetts, situated where the Taunton River flows into Mount Hope Bay, was famed as the “Textile Capital of the World” in the nineteenth century. A lighthouse was established on Borden Flats at the mouth of the Taunton River in 1881. It took the form of a cast-iron tower on a caisson base, with a fixed red light 47 feet above mean high water. The structure was battered in the hurricane of September 21, 1938, and a new, much wider cylindrical caisson was added around the old one to provide more protection.
In 2006, it was announced that the lighthouse would be sold at auction to the general public. The initial sale couldn’t be finalized, so another auction was held in 2010. The winner was Nick Korstad of Portland, Oregon, who bought the property for more than $56,000 with the intention of fixing it up and opening it to the public. In 2011, he gave the lighthouse a new color scheme with a red band and a red lantern roof. Nick did much restoration of the lighthouse inside and out, and he made it available for public tours and overnight stays. In May 2018, he sold the property to a new owner, Kevin Ferias, who has continued opening it for overnight stays. Nick now owns the Big Bay Point Lighthouse B&B on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, while Kevin just finished another season at Borden Flats. This is part one of two parts.
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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