Feeling Adventurous? The U.S. Government Is Giving Away Lighthouses

For centuries, lighthouses and their keepers helped ships avoid catastrophe, but today, thanks to GPS, they’re all but obsolete. Now you can live in one of these treasured structures and enjoy being a hermit with a waterfront view. That’s because the U.S. government is giving away some lighthouses and selling others. Lighthouses in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, and Pennsylvania are among those being auctioned off by the GSA, which aims to put the structures in the hands of private entities that can preserve them. The 6 lighthouses that are being given away include: 

  1. 1. Lynde Point Lighthouse in Old Saybrook, Conn. 
  2. 2. Little Mark Island and Monument in Harpswell, Maine 
  3. 3. Nobska Lighthouse in Falmouth, Mass. 
  4. 4. Erie Harbor North Pier Lighthouse in Erie, Penn. 
  5. 5. Plymouth/Gurnet Lighthouse in Plymouth, Mass.(pictured above) 
  6. 6. Warwick Neck Light in Warwick, Rhode Island 

To qualify for a lighthouse at no cost, the private entity must be a federal, state, or local government agency or a nonprofit or educational organization. The recipient must be able to provide for the cost of maintenance and open the lighthouse to the public for educational or recreational purposes. For individuals who simply want to own a lighthouse, the GSA is offering 4 lighthouses for sale: 

  1. 1. Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield, Conn. 
  2. 2. Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light in Chassell, Mich. 
  3. 3. Stratford Shoal Light in East Setauket, NY 
  4. 4. Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Light in Cleveland, Ohio 

Size can vary and, according to the GSA, lighthouse sales have ranged from $10,000 to nearly a million. Virtually all lighthouses require some kind of restoration, from painting to more extensive remodeling, and most don’t have utilities. As you would expect, getting insurance can also be costly. The auctions begin in June.