Island Facts: The Graves
This rocky ledge is home to the outermost lighthouse in Boston Harbor.
This bedrock outcropping is one of the Brewsters, a group of the outermost islands in the park. It is an active Coast Guard navigational aid facility, so the buildings are not open to the casual visitor and there are no public rest rooms on the island.
The tallest of the three lighthouses in Boston Harbor, the Graves is sited at the main entrance to Boston Harbor, and continues its tradition as a navigational aid, though now automated.
The Graves Light is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. For more information about the facility, please go to the National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program Inventory of Historic Light Stations.
Visitor Facilities & Services
The Graves is not open to private boaters. There is no docking. Boaters must anchor off shore.
Natural History Overview
There is only aquatic vegetation on the island.
Survey in progress.
The Graves is an aggregation of rock outcroppings rising 15 feet above the high water level.
A cistern with a holding tank for pumped water is located in the base of the lighthouse.
Views and Vistas
The 113-foot tall Graves Light is visible from a 24-nautical mile range. Views from the Graves to the surrounding harbor are generally inaccessible.
Graves Light Station is included in the 1987 thematic nomination, Lighthouses of Massachusetts.
Did You Know?
On September 1, 1905, Elliot Hadley lit the most powerful light in Massachusetts at the top of Graves Lighthouse, now in Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The first-order Fresnel lens aided in navigation and allowed for safe passage into Boston Harbor. More...