A Local Lighthouse Is Up for Auction

New Bedford's Butler Flats Lighthouse could be yours.


Butler Flats Lighthouse via cmh2315fl on Flickr/Creative Commons

For adventurous house hunters looking for an out-of-the-box address, the Butler Flats Lighthouse, located in New Bedford at the mouth of the Acushnet River, is up for auction.

The lighthouse is a tower of brick and cast iron, constructed in 1898 with a cylindrical foundation filled with concrete and stone.  It has four levels with two watch decks and 15-foot ceilings. Today’s interior photos show rusty passageways and staircases in need of repair.

On the list of the National Register of Historic Places, Butler Flats has a storied past. For years, it was run by there generations of the Baker family, one of the most notable New England light keeper dynasties, according to the American Lighthouse Foundation. Visitors’ signatures in the register include former President Grover Cleveland.

Decommissioned by the US Coast Guard in the 1970s, Butler Flats is no longer an active federal aid to navigation. It’s still an active lighthouse on the Massachusetts coast, currently operated by the city of New Bedford.

In 2013, an initial attempt to auction off the lighthouse failed when needed repairs were discovered. Now back on the auction block, the lighthouse has just three bids, the highest of which is $30,000. Bids can be placed at gsaauctions.govaccepted through Tuesday, November 17, at 10 a.m.