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Minot's Ledge Lighthouse - Cohasset Massachusetts

We are continually acquiring wonderful and rare original antiques and implements Below are photos and information. Inquiries welcomed.

  See also our Recent Items Page 

22209. [photograph]. "LIGHTHOUSE AT MINOT'S LEDGE"  Matted, color aerial photograph of Minot's Light taken in the 1970's by Tom Hannon of Rockland Mass. Image is 8" x 10" on white matting,  11" x 14", Signed by Hannon. Matting has smudges and soiling from handling, photo itself has 10 or so small bb size faint  red spots (looks like it happened when printing). Condition does not greatly affect the image. A beautiful aerial view looking down on this historic lighthouse as the waters churn around its base. (VG+). $48.


1530. D’Entremont, Jeremy. Lovers' Light: The History of Minot's Ledge Lighthouse. 2015.  Coastlore Media. 121p. Soft wraps. Minot's Ledge Lighthouse, off Boston's South Shore near the towns of Cohasset and Scituate, has a fascinating history replete with heroism, tragedy, and triumph. Widely known as the "I Love You Light" after its famous 1-4-3 flash characteristic, it has sparked the imaginations of lighthouse lovers around the world. The present (1860) tower is one of the classic examples of a granite wave-swept lighthouse and has withstood the battering of countless storms. It stands today as a testament to its designers and builders and as a monument to the brave keepers who stood watch for nearly a century. This new book brings together a variety of source documents, including correspondence, government documents, log entries, interviews with keepers, and much more to help paint an historic portrait of one of the world's most dramatic lighthouses. Well illustrated with photos, engravings and illustrations. (M). $12.95.

4115d. [stereoview] Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse, Cohasset, Mass. (c.1896). Rare view from painting, possibly home-made at the time, shows a detailed image of the tall granite lighthouse tower perched on the rocky ledge during a storm as a ship founders on the rocks. Good detail, on yellow mount, only a bit of light corner wear, light soiling. Rare style of view. (VG). $22.

5381d. [Large woodcut engraving] MINOT’S LEDGE LIGHT-HOUSE, MASSACHUSETTS. 7” X 9”. From Appleton ’s Picturesque America. 1883 ed. Beautiful, bright, hand colored engraving with wonderful detail of the masonry tower in heavy seas, with its beacon shining brightly. The reverse containing a portion of the accompanying article describing this light and the Light-House Establishment, with portions by Charles Nordhoff. Beautiful for framing. (VG). $34.

15192. [framed print]  IRON LIGHT HOUSE ON MINOT ’S LEDGE OFF COHASSET, MASS. BAY…. FIRST LIGHTED JAN 1, 1850, DESTROYED IN THE GALE OF APRIL 16TH, 1851….. Believe this to be a 20th Century print based on the original rendition of the early cast iron lighthouse tower constructed on Minot’s Ledge off Cohasset, Massachusetts by T. O. Walker lithographer, done in 1851. Print is nicely framed to 11” x 15” and is quite presentable. Built under the direction of Capt. W. H. Swift, late of united states engineers, Minot ’s Ledge Light House was a wild and dreary spot on stormy nights and one would think it difficult to find keepers, yet in 1847 there were already 50 applications for the berth. In an original article in the  Newburyport Daily Herald, Thursday January 16, 1851, after visiting with Keeper Bennett at the tower, the author notes: “...Of the lighthouse, I was coolly told [by Keeper Bennett] that it was very doubtful if it stood through this winter, as one of the iron supports had split the rock, and when the sea struck the house, it shook so as take a man off his feet...one of the assistants was thrown from his berth.…During a recent storm, due to the violent oscillations of the structure, the keepers were forced to retreat into the storeroom where they remained for four days without rest.” Just one month later on Wednesday April 23rd. during a furious storm, the entire structure would be swept away with the loss of two of the three keepers. This large three color image is quite detailed, even to the many parabolic reflectors in the lantern room, station boat, the tower’s iron cross braces and much more. This print is clean and bright, in very good condition. (VG+). $48. 

   Print available also. 

1293. (photo) Second-Order Fresnel Lens Section from Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse c.1950. Minot’s Ledge—about a mile offshore, near the South Shore towns of Cohasset and Scituate—is part of the dangerous Cohasset Rocks. The roll call of shipwrecks through the years near the Cohasset Rocks—especially Minot’s Ledge—was lengthy, with and many lives were lost. The lighthouse was automated and the keepers removed in 1947. The second-order Fresnel lens was replaced by a third-order lens. When the old lens was removed, it was put in one of the rooms below for temporary storage. Vandals broke into the lighthouse and smashed sections of the lens, which had been due to go to the Boston Museum of Science. Photo shows one section finally delivered to the museum by the Coast Guard as two Coast Guardsmen and a museum representative pose for the camera. Dated October 5, 1950. 8” x 10”. (VG+).  $44.


578d. Lawrence , Charles A., THE BUILDING OF MINOT'S LEDGE LIGHTHOUSE. October 1896. 14pp. Disbound. Originally published in the New England Magazine, Vol. XV. No 2. October 1896. Nicely illustrated, describes the design and construction of both lighthouses on this exposed site. Includes portraits of some of the designers and engineers on the project, fitting the masonry on Government Island , the Light Keeper’s homes, and more. (VG). $24.

11331. (photo) Lantern and tower renovated, Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse, c.1987. Clear 7” x 10” press photo shows great view of the lens pedestal gallery on the ground in Cohasset as the helicopter lifts in blocke from the light tower for repair. A renovation of the tower was carried out in 1987-89. The lantern was lifted off by helicopter and subsequently cleaned, and some of the damaged upper granite blocks were removed and replaced. The Gayle Electric Company of New Jersey, under contract to the Coast Guard, performed the work. The light was relit on August 20, 1989. Good view, clear and close. With credit line and description on back. Dated September 2, 1987 (VG+) $27.

29267. (framed photo) Minot ’s Ledge Lighthouse, Cohasset , Mass. Superb full color aerial photo shows the tall masonry offshore lighthouse. Unusually large, clear, close view, professionally framed to 16” x 20”. (F-).  $245.

9243i. THE UNITED STATES LIGHT HOUSE SERVICE – Its History, Growth and Methods. Part I. Scientific American Supplement. November 25, 1916. Superb four page article describes in some detail the history and particularly the operations of the Service. Part I includes history, organization and duties, jurisdiction, lighthouses, lighting apparatus and illumination, characteristics of lights, and more. Illustrated with fourteen detailed photos and illustrations including Cape Hatteras light, Ambrose Channel LV No. 87, Cape Henry fog signal, Minot ’s Ledge Light, and more. Also includes a fine full front page photo of the ice-incrusted light at Racine Harbor , Michigan in the winter. Full issue, clean, crisp. (VG+). $78.

V-02. [print] Large 14” x 20” b/w print taken from original lithograph of Minot’s Ledge Light House c.1903. Taken from the original illustration by artist William P. Bodwell, the original of this exquisite poster was issued by a teacher's journal in October 1903. The text gives basic facts about this historic lighthouse, designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that was completed Sept. 16, 1860, replacing the earlier lighthouse that came down in a storm in 1851. As this lighthouse is still in existence, but closed to the public, appreciators of its historical importance can have a rare glimpse of the interior as of 100 years ago, with resident lighthouse keeper, by the following illustrations: First Structure on Minot's Ledge (sitting on delicate framework); Minots Ledge Lighthouse - Low Tide; Trial Foundations - Cohasset (where the lighthouse was set up, showing cottages on shore and lighthouse in distance); Keepers' Cottages Gov't. Island; A Convenient Stairway ( the keeper greets a visitor who's climbing the stairs); Looking Homeward - The Little Ones (the uniformed keeper scans the shore with a telescope, lifeboat nearby); The Entrance - Looking Out (view of area just inside the entrance); Night Duty - The Watchroom (the keeper reads a paper by the cast iron heater, and view of some machinery with wheel); Lighting Up (keeper adjusts the lamp mechanism); On the Parapet - The Fog-Bell (view of bell on walkway, keeper standing by looking at sailboats in the distance); The Storeroom - The Well (a view of a small room with tiny open window and a round trap door in the floor); Kitchen and Dining Room (view of wooden sink and cast iron range stove; The Captain's Sleeping Room; A Summer Visitor (woman in turn of the century clothing sitting in a chair, which is being lowered by a rope or chain); Sectional View (cross section view showing number of floors, stair turns, lamp mechanism, number of feet between levels). At lower right corner it says "Illustrated by Wm. P. Bodwell. Minot's Light. 1896." with facsimile of his signature. Bodwell (1852-1940) painted maritime subjects over the years. This superb rendition provides possibly the only views of the interior of this noted beacon and is perfect for framing. Printed on a beautiful buff woven stock, this would look wonderful framed for a display or wall decoration. (M). $15.95 each.

V-01. [print] Large 17 ½” x 21 ½” b/w print taken from original lithograph of Minot’s Ledge Light House, Massachusetts Bay near Cohasset c.1860. Taken from the original, this superb rendition is perfect for framing. Detailed views include full elevation and sectional view of entire light tower, with sectional plan views through various elevations. Legend includes numerous statistics on the tower construction and dimensions. Printed on a beautiful buff woven stock, this would look wonderful framed for a display or wall decoration. (M).  $15.95 each.  (Out of Stock)

9479e. LIGHT BOAT AT MINOT’S LEDGE. Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion. July 12, 1851. Full issue. 7½" x 10". Beautiful detailed early woodcut engraving showing a complete, close view of the Minot’s Ledge Light Vessel on station. Nice detail showing this early light-vessel with central raised lantern, masts and deck structures. Storm-tossed ship in the background lend an ominous air to the scene. With article describing the destruction of the iron tower on this station and thus the need to this vessel which was built for Brandywine Shoals. This is one of the earliest renditions of United States light vessels available. Clean, light moisture staining to margins and corners but still presentable. (VG-). $54.

27369. [glass plate negative] Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse, Cohasset, Mass. c.1900. Superb 5” x 7” glass plate negative provides a great close view of the tall masonry lighthouse on Minot’s Ledge near the entrance to Boston Harbor. In 1855 work began on this famous granite structure to replace the iron pile structure that was destroyed in the great gale of 1851. The lantern and second-order Fresnel lens were put into place, and the lighthouse was illuminated on November 15, 1860 and the structure has lasted through countless storms since. . Because of the large size of the negative, this is an extremely detailed piece. Excellent early view is exceptionally clear and crisp and should print well. (VG).      $138.

22114c. (souvenir creamer) Minot ’s Ledge Lighthouse, Cohasset , Mass. c.1900. A striking creamer is finely decorated and bears a large full color image of the tall masonry lighthouse perched on the rocks off Cohasset , Mass. as a sailboat ties up at the base. The unusually large and detailed image includes all aspects of the unusual light tower. This superb piece is enhanced by a beautiful coloration, a decorative gilt decoration and trim along the rims and borders. The creamer measures 3 ½” high. Marked “Made in Germany for Joseph St. John, Cohasset, Mass. ” Very clean, no cracks or checks, bright and bold, superb image. A very detailed, pretty item for your display. (VG+). $148.

22114b. (souvenir creamer) Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse, Cohasset, Mass. c.1900. A striking creamer is decorated in a bright rose pattern, and bears a large full color image of the tall masonry lighthouse perched on the rocks off Cohasset, Mass. The unusually detailed image includes all aspects of the unusual light tower, with the wood lifeboat hanging from the tower davits. This superb piece is enhanced by a beautiful decorative gilt decoration and trim around the image and along the rims and borders. The creamer measures 4 ¼” high. Marked “Made in Germany for M. G. Seaverns & Co, North Scituate, Mass.” Very clean, no cracks or checks, bright and bold. . A very detailed, pretty item for your display. (VG+).  $198.


8466b. (souvenir cup) c.1900. Striking piece features the Minot's Ledge Light House, Cohasset, Mass. on a bold hand painted mug or cup. This early piece is quite distinctive and enhanced by a hand painted image of the tall masonry light tower off Cohasset, with  a torquoise background decoration. Measures 3 ¼” high by 2 ¾”  in diameter. Marked “Made in Germany for M. G. Seaverns & Co., North Scituate, Mass.” Clean, bright, no chips or cracks, just light wear to rim. A bright, bold piece for display. (VG+). $155.


27282. (commemorative vase) c.1898 A superb, large commemorative vase featuring a beautiful, detailed full color image of “Minot’s Ledge Light (house), Boston Harbor.” The beautiful vase measures a full 5 ½” high and 3 ¼” in diameter, and is enhanced by a beautiful decorative gilt trim and ornate handles on the sides. Bulbous base of the vase sweeps upward into a slender upper rim, making this a most attractive piece. Very clean, no cracks or checks, a very detailed, pretty little item for your display and quite rare lighthouse piece. (VG+).  $68 net.

2779. (souvenir trivet) c.1900. “Minot’s Ledge Light House, Cohasset, Mass.” A bold, detailed commemorative trivet featuring a detailed b/w period image of the tall granite lighthouse perched on this dangerous offshore ledge. The superb trivet is square and measures 6 ¼” and is enhanced by a beautiful decorative gilt trim on the rim. Marked “Wheelock China, Made in Austria for Estate of Allen O. Sates (sp), Cohasset, Mass. Clean, bright, , no cracks or checks, a very detailed, pretty little item for your display. Unusually bright piece. (VG+). $194.

23166. (souvenir cup/saucer) "Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse / Osgood School, Cohasset, Mass." (F). 88 net.

23547. [newspaper] PROPOSALS FOR BUILDING AND EQUIPPING FOUR LIGHT VESSELS,  Treasury Dept., Office Lighthouse Board, Washington. The Republic, Wash. D.C., Jan.4, 1853. Over a full front page column headed describes in great detail specifications for three light vessels: One to be delivered at Boston , one to be delivered at a point to be designated by the Board in Vineyard Sound, and for one to be delivered at Smithville, ( Cape Fear ,) North Carolina . Full construction details are included. In addition, on the back page is a 3 1/2" column notice requesting proposals for the erection of a lighthouse on  Minot 's Ledge, War Dept., Bureau Corps Topographical Engineers, signed in type by J. J. Abert, Colonel Corps Topographical Engineers. Full early newspaper contains four pages with articles of the day, light browning and expected wear, 2 folds. (VG-).    $34 net.  

23444. Bryant, Gridley. DESCRIPTION AND SPECIFICATIONS OF A PLAN FOR A LIGHT-HOUSE ON MINOT'S LEDGE, NEAR THE ENTRANCE TO BOSTON HARBOR. c.1850’s. 8p. Disbound. Bryant was best known for his involvement as engineer and one of the founders of the Quincy Railroad, one of the pioneer American railroads. This pamphlet gives a detailed description of the building and construction details for a light house on Minot's Ledge, also called Cohasset Rocks. He recommended a stone lighthouse following "the disastrous occurrence to the iron pile Light house on that place" (1850). Includes details on the design, description of the proposed building, the construction process, and much more. Excellent construction details. No plan, disbound, stitch marks, light soiling, else a very good copy with the pencilled signature of the Rev. Daniel Might above the title. $88 net.

97197sss. [newspaper] CONSTRUCTION OF LIGHT HOUSES IN MAINE, NEW HAMPSHIRE AND MASSACHUSETTS. Daily Northern Tribune. February 22, 1847. Short article details individual appropriations for new lighthouses including Little River, Mt. Desert Rock, Prospect harbor, White Head, Whale’s back, Minot’s Rock, Sow and pigs light-boat, buoy-boat on Tuckernuck Shoal, and more. Full issue with additional articles of the day, light browning, original folds. (VG). $16.

22568. [newspaper] Proposals for Building a Light-House, &c. at the Entrance of Scituate Harbor, in the State of Massachusetts, of the following materials, dimensions and description: … The Columbian Centinel. April 27, 1811. Lengthy full column articles detail specifications for the above early lighthouse and keeper’s quarters, etc. Detailed information includes all aspects of the construction, dimensions and materials to be used, lanterns and equipment. Extremely detailed, interesting very early information on this important light. Full newspaper contains four pages with articles of the day, only light browning and expected wear, 2 folds. (G+) $48.


6367bb. Snow, Edward Rowe. THE STORY OF MINOT ’S LIGHT. Boston . July 1955. Second printing. 139pp. Soft wraps. Special signed and numbered copy No. 529 of a special autographed edition. With laid in map of Romantic Boston Bay and Cape Cod . In 1850 the first lighthouse was lighted on Minot ’s Ledge. from March 27, 1851 until June 5 of the same year and chronicle the deterioration of the cast iron pile lighthouse on Minot ’s Ledge and its ultimate destruction. Minot ’s Ledge was a wild and dreary spot on stormy nights and one would think it difficult to find keepers, yet in 1847 there are already 50 applications for the berth. However, shortly after its completion, the new lighthouse would be swept away by a storm with the loss of two keepers. During storms on this dangerous site, there were violent oscillations of the structure, forcing the keepers to retreat into the storeroom where they remained for four days without rest. Finally on Wednesday April 23rd. during a furious storm, the entire structure would be swept away. Work soon commenced on the second light to mark these exposed ledges as "3514 tons of Quincy granite were hewn into 1079 dovetailed blocks." The stones were cut and pre-assembled on land, then transferred to the ledge for the dangerous 5-year task of raising the new 114-foot lighthouse. The second-order lens of Minot 's Ledge went into service in the fall of 1860. This lighthouse on Minot ’s Ledge was one of the Lighthouse Board's most impressive engineering feats. Illustrated with photos. Probably the most complete and detailed history of the lights at this exposed location. Some age toning, a bit of soiling, some corner wear otherwise tight, good copy. Has become quite scarce. (VG).  $148 net.


ERS-120. (wood chips) Original 1850 Minot’s Ledge Light House. From the personal collection of Edward Rowe Snow, found in his barn,  come these rare wood chips from the original Minot’s Ledge Light House. Mr Snow was fond of making special editions of his books by including these and other momentos in the volumes. It has been well established that such chips that Mr. Snow included were indeed authentic and a number of photos and written accounts exist verifying the sources from which these chips were made. Included is one wood chip from the original 1850 Minot's Ledge Light House, along with a photocopy of Mr. Snow’s 12 page typewritten description of contents which he included in his package “The Drama of New England in Charts, Maps and Memorabilia by Edward Rowe Snow". In this, he discusses how he obtained such wood pieces, along with a number of other items that he included in his books and pamphlets. A rare opportunity to obtain these sought after pieces. $22 each. (Titanic wood chip no longer available. 

Lighthouse & Lightship Trade Cards

Beautiful multi colored trade cards c. 1880’s showing a very nice, close, multi colored images of lighthouses, light-vessels or buoys. These fantastic cards were issued by the Duke Tobacco Co. as an insert premium in their brands of HONEST LONG CUT  and G. W. GAIL & AX’S Tobacco and Cigarettes during 1889. These cards are from a fairly rare series of 25 cards entitled , " LIGHTHOUSES", and are designated as N119 in Burdick’s American Card Catalogue. The front of each card features a colorful die cut image of a particular lighthouse, light-vessel or buoy, while the back features advertising for Duke Tobacco. The lithography for the cards is exceptional, full of vibrant color and detail and was done by the Giles Co of New York . Labeled “Smoke and Chew Honest Long Cut Tobacco” or G. W. Gail & Ax’s Navy on the obverse. Trade cards were used as are our present day advertising or business cards. Nice images, die cut to shape of lighthouse, vessel or buoy. Each approx. 4”w x 2½”h. A very pretty set to collect and display. Extremely difficult to find and a most valuable collector’s item.



ww. Sandy Hook Lightship. (VG+). $78.

p. Sandy Hook Lightship. (Fine). $78.

c. Bartlett Reef Lightship. (VG-). $68.

eee. Vineyard Sound Lightship. (VG-). $68.

ii. Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse. (VG). $58.

mm. Stratford Shoal Lighthouse. Two folds to base. (VG). $38.

LL. Sanibel Island Lighthouse, Florida . (Fine). $68.

c3. Bell Buoy. (VG+). $54.

nn. Bell Buoy. One fold. (G). $34.  

20532. Korpela, Janet Winn. IRA WINN – LIGHTHOUSE PIONEER. New Brighton, MN. 2000. 93p. Soft wraps. Ira Win was an early 19th Century metal worker who designed and built lantern rooms for the U. S. Light-House Establishment between 1850 and 1870. Based on his early journals, notes and letters, the author has put together a fascinating story of his work, and of three generations of an American family. The book "follows his footsteps" through a number of lighthouses on which he worked including Minot’s Ledge Light, Montauk Point, Cape Blanco, Charlotte-Genesee, and more. In addition to constructing lanterns, Mr. Winn designed the circular iron stairways used by the Service as well. Well illustrated, a most interesting account in a little known area. (M). $12.50.













Page updated March 17, 2022

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    All text and illustrations on web site Ó James W. Claflin . 03/17/2022 All rights reserved. Use prohibited without written permission.

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