Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 206 – Tara and Brian Flanagan, Bakers Island, MA

Bakers Island Light Station is off the coast of Salem, Massachusetts, a few miles north of Boston. The station was established in 1798 and the lighthouse tower that stands today was built in 1820. The 10-acre site is owned by the Essex National Heritage Commission, also known as Essex Heritage, a non-profit organization that manages and oversees the unique heritage resources of the Essex National Heritage Area. During the summer season, Essex Heritage offers public tours to the light station by boat, as well as overnight stays with a campground and accommodations in the historic assistant keepers’ house. Each year, volunteer caretakers stay on the island throughout the summer. Volunteers Tara and Brian Flanagan have spent the past five summers living and working at the light station, logging more than 1,500 hours worked each season.

Bakers Island Light Station, Massachusetts. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Brian and Tara have sailed more than 10,000 miles visiting the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, and the Gulf Coast of Florida, as well as transiting the Intracoastal Waterway six times. In 2017, they had the opportunity to be seasonal caretakers at the historic light station on Seguin Island, off the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine. They started at Bakers Island Light Station in 2018 and recently finished their fifth and final season there. They are now the winter caretakers for the residential portion of Bakers Island.

Brian and Tara Flanagan in the lantern room at Bakers Island Lighthouse. (Courtesy of Brian and Tara Flanagan)

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