The long and short of it 

Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point Lighthouse is the shortest lighthouse in New England.


New England may have some of the shortest lighthouses but its long on history. 

Portland Harbor Lighthouse.

Portland Harbor Lighthouse on Fort Constitution.


Fort Constitution where Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse is located recalls the days of Paul Revere. Reminders of New England’s Whaling History are prevalent at Nantucket, the site of the oldest lighthouse. 

Portland Breakwater Lighthouse.

The Portland Breakwater Lighthouse is inspired by the Greek Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.

Memories of WWII are present at a shipbuilding museum near Portland Breakwater Lighthouse. Surfside Life Saving Station now a hostel beckon old and youth alike. 

Surfside Life Saving Station.

The Life Saving Service is the precursor to the US Coast Guard.


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A Damsel in Distress

Star of the Sea Youth Hostel

Star of the Sea youth hostel was formerly a life saving station.


It’s kind of ironic that I stayed at the Star of the Sea Youth Hostel in Nantucket. I really needed a reprieve from a chaotic visit to Martha’s Vineyard. The hostel was once a life saving station for distressed vessels. Now I was looking for shelter from a distressed encounter. 

Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point Lighthouse can be seen from the ferry.


Although the ferry ride was about a hour from Martha’s Vineyard, it felt a world away from the turmoil I had witnessed. I was happy to retreat to Nantucket for a few days of painting and quiet.

Old Brant Point Lighthouse

Most people don’t realize this a lighthouse because the lens is missing.


I had reluctantly booked a stay at the hostel. I thought the military style sleeping arrangements would not offer the peace and quiet that I needed. To my surprise there was a curfew with a time of quiet at night. 

Sankaty Lighthouse

Sankaty Lighthouse took a little maneuvering to get to.


After three days of quiet and completing 4 paintings, I felt renewed. The hostel was beautiful and I memorialized my visit by painting it. Of course the weather was windy and the water turbulent on the ferry ride back to Martha’s Vineyard. I was afraid it was an indicator of things to come. 

Surfside Life Saving Station in Nantucket, MA was established in 1874. The Life Saving Service is the precursor to today’s United States Coast Guard. It is a National Landmark.

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I’m a little lighthouse short & stout

A picture of Brant Point Lighthouse.

Brant Point Lighthouse is the shortest lighthouse in New England.


After painting Florida’s towering lighthouses, I was startled when I first encountered New England’s stout lighthouses. After having painted two on Martha’s Vineyard, I smiled when I approached Nantucket’s little Brant Point Lighthouse. It is New England’s shortest lighthouse and the site of America’s second oldest lighthouse. The current lighthouse was built in 1901. 

Serendipity Experiences at Brant Point 

The cruise to Nantucket from Martha’s Vineyard was smooth and uneventful. The Hy-Line cruise ship passed by Brant Point Lighthouse on the way to the port. After debarking, I stopped by the Visitors Center on the dock, got a map and walked to Brant Point. 


As I walked to the new lighthouse, I saw the old lighthouse. I was surprised that Old Brant Point was part of an active Coast Guard Station and well kept. I had expected it to be abandoned and neglected. Although the Fresnel Lens is removed the lighthouse, the complex was very compelling. A keepers dwelling and pair of tall range lights make this lighthouse unique. 


The original or old Brant Point Lighthouse was established in 1746. It was the second oldest lighthouse in the United States. There have been eight lighthouses called “Brant Point Lighthouse.” Most were destroyed by fire. The eighth lighthouse was made of concrete. Old Brant Point Lighthouse was deactivated in 1901.