Boston Light with Fog Bell, photo by Logan Lyttle
Because of its importance to the harbor, the lighthouse became contested property between the British and the colonists during the Revolutionary War As a result, the tower was blown up by the British as they left the area.
In 1780, Massachusetts Governor John Hancock requested funding for a replacement, and the new tower was built, then lit in 1783.
By 1989, every lighthouse in America had been automated except Boston Light. Preservationists convinced the state to maintain the lighthouse property as a living museum of lighthouse history. Even though the light was eventually automated in 1998, the Coast Guard Stipulation Act of 1989 required that the light be operated and manned by the Coast Guard on a permanent basis.
Boston Light Station still has many of its original buildings – the keeper’s house, oil house, fog signal house, and cistern building, as well as the tower itself, and has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Little Brewster Island is now part of the Boston Islands National Recreation Area and has national park rangers on duty during the summer months.