BORDEN FLATS LIGHTHOUSE
Stay a night, or a few, in the keepers quarters inside the light tower at the mouth of the Taunton River in Fall River, Massachusetts.
Borden flats lighthouse sits fifty feet tall in the mouth of the Taunton River just before it empties into Mt. Hope Bay. Heading over the Braga Bridge from Providence into Massachusetts, you’ll get a glimpse of the light- once it was a neglected speck in the river, now it is beautifully and boldly restored to red and white with black details.
Fall River was booming with textile mills in the second half of the 19th century and an aid to navigating the shallow Mt. Hope Bay was needed. The light was built in 1881. After becoming automated in 1963, the light sat deteriorating from the 1960’s until 2010 when it was purchased at auction by Nick Korstad, a lighthouse enthusiast who completely restored it over the next eight years. Kevin, the newest owner, is committed to keeping the light accessible to the public through the keeper program installed by Nick. You can stay a night, or a few, in the keepers quarters inside the light tower. This is currently one of only two opportunities to cook, sleep and be cozy inside a lighthouse. The entire space is yours for your stay- including the lantern room and top deck.
After being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, Borden Flats Light was made available for restoration under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. This allowed the lighthouse to be given to State or Federal agencies, or any non-profit corporation, for maintenance, restoration and care. In exchange, the light would be available for education, community recreation or historic preservation purposes. Unfortunately, none of these agencies wanted to take on the restoration of the light, so it was put up for public auction instead.
It was purchased at auction in 2010 by Nick Korstad, a lighthouse enthusiast who completely restored it over the next eight years. Kevin, the newest owner, is committed to keeping the light accessible to the public through the keeper program installed by Nick. You can stay a night, or a few, in the keepers quarters inside the light tower. This is currently one of only two opportunities to cook, sleep and be cozy inside a lighthouse. The entire space is yours for the stay- including the lantern room and top deck.
Like Nick, the current owner Kevin is committed to preserving the Borden Flats Light for the community and beyond. Kevin met us at Borden Flats Marina, just south of the Braga Bridge in Fall River in the late afternoon and took us on a two-minute boat ride out to the light. We climbed the rungs up onto the newer large caisson, which was easier than it looked. From there he gave us a wonderful, fact-packed tour of the light.
The compact, modern kitchen does the trick for a quick easy meal, or you can grill out on the deck. The kitchen is the first level of the light. There’s also a great area just inside the front door with a table set up, plus a handful of photos and memorabilia to look through. As you wind up the stairs from the kitchen, you’ll find two sitting rooms on the second and third levels. You can pick through the library, or lounge with a drink. The living quarters, now lit with solar electricity, are modern in a comfortable way, but still hold true to their past in so many ways. The reflections of the light, and the sound of the wind and water surrounding you put you in a place unlike any other.
Next up the stairs is the bedroom. Light comes in from two portholes and from the top of the stairs if you have the door to the lantern room open. The cylindrical room is cozy. The cast iron walls have beautiful details, and seemed to retain some of the heat from the sunny October day. Kevin provided us with space heaters but we didn’t have to use them at all.
As we got settled, the sun started to set and we spent most of the evening up on the top deck. The sky was perfect and the view was amazing. It’s hard to imagine there’s a more secluded, private place in Massachusetts, despite its being only a short ride from the marina.
Kevin is an excellent host and the lighthouse is a true historical experience. You can read more about its history here, and also find more information about the restoration and booking process here. Be prepared to book in advance, as dates get snagged quickly. We loved staying in crisp October, but the secluded light is surely perfect in any season.