Vandals strike Ned’s Point Lighthouse, prompt calls for increased security

May 23, 2022

MATTAPOISETT — Recent vandalism at the iconic Ned’s Point Lighthouse has prompted calls for better security at the location.

“When is the Town of Mattapoisett going to do something about surveillance?’’ asked Sal Giglia, United States Coast Guard flotilla staff officer and lighthouse keeper for the structure. 

The vandalism apparently occurred sometime Saturday, May 21 or Sunday, May 22, Gaglia said. 

Graffiti was painted on railings at the catwalk of the lighthouse, Gaglia said. Stored seasonal decorations were destroyed, he noted, as were pamphlets and other information provided to lighthouse visitors. American flags were also taken, he said.

Most troubling to Gaglia: The light room, where the beacons are located, was accessed. 

Those beacons are not mere decorations, he said. They shine, Gaglia pointed out, to guide mariners.

The Ned’s Point structure remains an active lighthouse with deep roots. President John Quincy Adams commissioned the lighthouse in 1838, Prior to that, seafaring vessels often bypassed Mattapoisett Harbor without lights to guide them, Gaglia said.

“There’s a lot of history attached to this that shouldn’t be messed with,’’ he said.

Gaglia, who leads tours of the structure,  described Neds Point Lighthouse as “the Sistine Chapel of the Southcoast. It’s one of the most photographed lighthouses in the area because people can access it.’’ 

Vandalism is not unheard of at the lighthouse, but Gaglia said this is the first time that individuals have gained access to the light room.

The lighthouse holds special significance to many people, Gaglia said. Weddings have been held there, Gaglia recalled, and people have fished and picnicked near the site. 

For many, it’s a “sanctuary,’’ he said.

“It’s something that belongs to everybody here,’’ he said. 

Mattapoisett Police are currently investigating, Police Chief Jason King said Monday. No further details are being released at this time, King said.

Neds Point Park, where the lighthouse is located, is also the site of the Little Free Diverse Library, which was formally reopened last week after being damaged by vandals late last year.