Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2016

Lighthouse Exhibits at Former Life Saving Station

By Debra Baldwin

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Hull Life Saving Museum.
Photo by: Debra Baldwin

If you are planning on visiting Massachusetts any time soon, there are two great reasons to go to Hull. One is because it has a great shoreline view of Boston Lighthouse, which is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year. The second reason is to pay a visit to the Hull Lifesaving Museum and see what is being exhibited by way of lighthouse history and artifacts.

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The lens from the Plymouth Lighthouse on display ...
Photo by: Debra Baldwin

For the past several months, the main exhibit at the Museum has been about Boston Light’s 300th anniversary. The exhibit features Norwood family photos, which coincides beautifully with the recent release of the Acadia Images of America publication Boston Light by Sally R. Snowman and James G. Thomson; as many of the framed wall images in the exhibit are the ones published in the book.

There are United States Lighthouse Service artifacts that were used on Boston Light, specially commissioned artwork done for the anniversary, and some written memories of time spent at the light by the keeper families who lived there as well as excerpts from accounts of survivors of shipwrecks at the Light.

On display also is a very nice model of Graves Lighthouse that was built by Don Perkins, and a painting depicting the 1909 wreck of the Davis Palmer that happened near the lighthouse. In another adjacent room, there is the 4th order Fresnel lens from the Plymouth’s Lighthouse, which is also known as the Gurnet Lighthouse, and a traveling library case from the days of the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Although some of these exhibits were scheduled to be changed out in October, others will remain as part of the permanent collection. But there will always be lighthouse related artifacts and exhibits to be seen there.

Perhaps the biggest draw is the building itself. It was the Point Allerton Lifesaving Station, built in 1889 and remaining active through 1969. The wood interior and room layout have remained basically unchanged, so when you step through the door, you are stepping back in time which is a fitting setting to display United States Lighthouse Service and United States Life Saving Service artifacts and photos.

When you are done at the Museum, a quick drive through the Hull Cemetery to the top of the hill behind the Museum affords a spectacular view of Boston Light as well as Graves Light further on. From this direction, you can see all the buildings on the station as well as the Coast Guard boat that it docked at the end of the island, ready for action.

What a pleasant way to spend the day and share in the feeling of the lighthouse past of Boston Light, the Hull Lifesaving station at Point Allerton, and other lights of Boston Harbor!

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 2016 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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