The town of Mattapoisett wants to acquire Ned's Point Lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard, but gaining control of the federally owned structure could be complicated.

The problem has been brewing for years.

Ned's Point Lighthouse sits on town-owned land, but it is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 63. The issue is that the Coast Guard doesn't have the immediate necessary funding to properly maintain the structure, causing enough concern from locals that a grassroots restoration effort called The Friends of Ned's Point Lighthouse was launched in 2019.

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According to the Friends of Ned's Point Lighthouse, the 185-year-old historical structure is in dire need of repairs, including a de-leading of the painted surfaces in the lamp room. The Coast Guard doesn't foresee the resources becoming available to make the necessary fixes on any lighthouses in the nation for a number of years.

"We can't let it just crumble to the earth and be nothing," Mattapoisett Select Board member Jodi Bauer said.

This is what the lighthouse and the guard's home looked like 21 years after the lighthouse opened in 1838.

Courtesy of the US Coast Guard
Courtesy of the US Coast Guard

Here's a follow-up photo featuring the lighthouse's updated look in the early 1900s.

Courtesy of the US Coast Guard
Courtesy of the US Coast Guard

While the lighthouse is simply not a top priority for the federal government, it certainly is a priority to the people of Mattapoisett. The lighthouse is as much a part of the culture of the town as Salty the Seahorse and the Mattapoisett Inn.

"It's unfortunate because the Coast Guard isn't going to spend any money on it. So we either let it fall into disrepair, or the town takes it and we leverage community preservation and grants, which are available because it's a historic structure," Mattapoisett Select Board Member Jordan Collyer said.  "The only way to preserve it is to take it under our own control and just deal with it."

Town Administrator Michael Lorenco said he was going to follow up with the Coast Guard to get the ball rolling on the potential purchase.

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