Ned’s Point Lighthouse reopens for tours after two years

Oct 5, 2021

MATTAPOISETT — After a long deleading and restoration effort, the Ned’s Point Lighthouse has reopened for tours.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 63 discovered there was lead in the lamp room of the lighthouse in 2019, closing the lighthouse to educational tours — a popular pastime for tourists and locals alike.

When the lighthouse closed, the auxiliary flotilla didn’t know how broad the lead problem was.

“We were concerned that it could be on the outside, too,” assistant lighthouse keeper Sal Giglia said. “We were fortunate to have it just in the lamp room.”

Giglia said the lead in the lighthouse was completely removed, rather than masked — an easier and cheaper option.

But, Giglia said, it had been “so long” since any work had been done to the light room, and it was time for a restoration.

After painting the light room walls, refurbishing the floors, repainting the cupola and adding new doors, the Auxiliary Flotilla 63 will begin scheduled tours on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting Oct. 9. Additional special events are planned for the weekends of Halloween and Christmas.

On Oct. 5, two tourists from Texas were the first to receive a tour of the lighthouse following the restoration.

“It was exciting,” Kathy Hardy said, adding she and her husband Mike “didn’t expect to go up” inside the lighthouse when they stopped in Mattapoisett on a lighthouse tour.

The auxiliary flotilla hoped to have the restoration completed to start tours on Fourth of July weekend, but were tied up, awaiting Coast Guard approval.

Assistant Lighthouse Keeper Joe Dawicki credited the restoration to the work of the Friends of Ned’s Point Lighthouse, who raised funds for the led removal project.

“If it wasn’t for the friends, this wouldn’t be happening,” Dawicki said.

The continued restoration is expected to include paint for the outside of the lighthouse, a refurbished catwalk, and some structural work. So far, the Friends of Ned’s Pont Lighthouse have raised around $20,000 for the full restoration — enough to delead the lighthouse and repaint and finish its light room, but far short of the group’s $290,000 goal for full restoration. 

“It’s a park — It’s accessible and that’s the beauty of it,” Giglia said. “I’ve known a lot about lighthouses, but this one is quite special because of the access.”

Starting Saturday, locals and tourists looking to tour an operating lighthouse — and maybe even see the Coast Guard turn on the light from inside — can look over Buzzards Bay from Ned’s Point.

“It’s such a joy — a lot of work and effort went in,” Dawicki said. “Now to see the reward is outstanding.”