Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2020

Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 awarded ‘Save America’s Treasures’ grant


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Marine Surveyor Charles Deroko is standing next ...

The Nantucket Lightship LV-112, a historic floating lighthouse museum berthed in its homeport of Boston, has been awarded a Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant from the National Park Service, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment of the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 will receive a $487,500 from SAT to restore internal structural components, critical to maintaining the integrity of the ship’s hull and ability to remain open to the general public for decades to come. The lightship also received a $575,000 Community Preservation Act grant from the City of Boston in 2019 that will be used as matching funds with the SAT grant.

“Through these competitive matching grants, the National Park Service and our federal, state, tribal, local government, and nonprofit partners are helping communities preserve some of our nation’s most important historic places and collections,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. “By doing so, we are saving these sites and stories for future generations.”

Since 2009, Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 has been owned and operated by the United States Lightship Museum (USLM), an all-volunteer nonprofit organization based in East Boston, Massachusetts. It formerly was operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, which stationed lightships and their crews in U.S. waters where it was impractical to build lighthouses.

Stationed 100 miles from the mainland, the Nantucket Shoals Lightship Station was the most remote offshore lightship station and also the most treacherous lightship station in the world. From 1936 to 1975 Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 guided thou­sands of transoceanic ships to safe waters. It was the first beacon and U.S. landmark seen by vessels entering the United States from Europe, earning it the nickname “The Statue of Liberty of the Sea.”

Today, the 150-foot ship, the largest U.S. lightship ever built, is a National Historic Landmark and National Treasure; open to schoolchildren and visitors from around the world. “We are incredibly honored to receive this prestigious grant from the National Park Service,” said USLM President Robert M. Mannino, Jr. “It will help us with our preservation efforts and restore the ship back to its former glory.”

Congress appropriates funding for the Save America’s Treasures grants from the Historic Preservation Fund, which uses revenue from federal oil leases to provide a range of preservation assistance without expending tax dollars. The program requires applicants to match the grant money dollar-for-dollar with funds from non-federal sources.

The federal Save America’s Treasures program, established in 1998, is managed by the National Park Service in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, with the objective of preserving nationally significant historic properties and museum collections for future generations of Americans.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2020 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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