The barn at the Deane Winthrop House was filled to capacity for the monthly meeting of the Winthrop Improvement and Historical Association on Tuesday, April 1st. The dinner from Cimino’s Catering was roast beef and the guest speaker was a perfect ending to the night.
We were fortunate to have Sally Snowman who is the only lighthouse keeper left on duty in the country and, to make it even more special, she’s a woman lighthouse keeper! She and her husband, Jay live on Little Brewster Island in outer Boston Harbor and she is responsible for the upkeep of the lighthouse and the island.
She gives tours in the summer to a host of visitors. She gave us a tremendous presentation (with some help from Jay) and provided some very interesting tidbits about the history of Boston Light. The current tower was first lit in 183 and, as such, is the second oldest in the country. It was deactivated from 1776 – 1783 and also during World War II.
It is equipped with a 1,800,000 candlepower light which, flashing white every 10 seconds, shines through the only second-order “Fresnel lens” Fresnel lens still in use in Massachusetts (of only four total), and is visible from a distance of 27 nautical miles.
Following the presentation, Sally and Jay stayed and answered many questions from the members. At the risk of sounding clichéd, it was truly an illuminating night. Many thanks to Sally and to all who attended. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 6.