Nantucket Lightship LV-112
August-September 2012

In this issue
Nantucket/LV-112 named National Treasure
LV-112 to broadcast around the world
New film about Nantucket Lightship
Antique & Classic Boat Festival
Connecticut visitors
Help save LV-112

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Nantucket Lightship/LV-112
Named a 'National Treasure'



The initiative to save and restore the 75-year-old Nantucket/LV-112, a floating lighthouse and National Historic Landmark, has received a major boost. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named it a "National Treasure," one of 30 U.S. historic sites selected in a new campaign (more on LV-112's selection). National Treasures are irreplaceable, critically threatened places across the country. The National Trust is working with our organization, the United States Lightship Museum (USLM), to build broad support nationwide for LV-112 (view highlights).


"The National Trust is excited to work with the U.S. Lightship Museum to help restore LV-112," said John Hildreth, vice president of eastern field services. "The reuse of this vessel as a floating maritime heritage and environmental educational center is as much innovative as it is necessary in telling the stories of the past and how it contributed to the great history of this country."


Nantucket/LV-112 is the largest U.S. lightship ever built and the longest-serving lightship on the treacherous Nantucket Shoals Station, the most remote and dangerous lightship station in the world. As shown in photo above, the ship's exterior is now largely restored, thanks to the generosity of USLM donors to date (see list in left column). Immediate funding of $150,000 is now needed to further the ship's restoration, allowing us to better serve the general public.


LV-112 is berthed in East Boston at the Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina. Effective July, the ship opened to the public on Saturdays, 10am to 4pm. In addition, individuals and groups may arrange for special tours; call 617.797.0135 or contact us via email.


LV-112 in Worldwide Radio Event, Saturday, August 18 

Nantucket/LV-112 radio room, 1936. Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard.
For the third consecutive year, LV-112 will participate in the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, a HAM radio event. On Saturday, August 18, LV-112 visitors can talk and listen to other HAM radio operators from lighthouses and other lightships from around the world, utilizing LV-112's antennas. We also will be communicating in Morse code. This annual amateur radio event, which started in Scotland in 1993, now has more 450 lighthouses and lightships in more than 50 countries participating each year (list of participants).


The event is always held on the third full weekend in August. It coincides with the Sunday of "International Lighthouse Day," an event organized by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers in which lighthouses worldwide are open to the public. In addition to promoting amateur radio and international goodwill, the event promotes awareness of lighthouses and lightships, which are fast becoming endangered species due to GPS, satellite navigation and automation of light sources to solar power. It is hoped the event will heighten awareness of preserving these magnificent structures.

LV-112 on Nantucket Shoals Station. Photo credit:
Life magazine, 1946.

LV-112 Featured in New Film 


The new film "Lightship Nantucketis a look at the floating lighthouses of a bygone era and the sailors who manned those sentinels of the shoals. This documentary is now playing daily at the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum, Nantucket Island. To complement this year's exciting temporary exhibition "Guiding Lights: Nantucket Lighthouses" and to further enhance visits to the museum, Shouldered Oar Films produced a short film documenting another important aid to marine navigation in New England -- lightships. Before today's advanced navigational equipment, these lonely outposts guided ships through the treacherous shoals surrounding Nantucket and Cape Cod. The lightships were on duty 24/7. Former LV-112 crewmember Dick Mack, who participated in the film, is now an interpreter at the museum, where he regales visitors with stories of life in the 1950s on Nantucket Lightship/LV-112.

Visit Our Booth at
Antique & Classic Boat Festival 

SATURDAY, Aug. 25, 11am to 5pm

SUNDAY, Aug. 26, 10am to 3pm

Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina, Salem, MA

Visitor Entrance on Turner Street


Antique & Classic Boat Festival 

The flash of polished bronze and gleam of varnished wood across the water will be the order of the day as elegant antique and classic yachts sail into Salem, MA, for the 30th Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival, August 25-26. Come visit the exhibit booth of U.S. Lightship Museum. Festival highlights include 40 vintage boats and fun for the whole family. "Where else can one see 1900s to 1960s motor yachts, mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners and a 19th-century gold-leaf canoe?" said Pat Wells, event coordinator. "Although many of these craft are museum quality, they are real boats in the water and in use by their owners today."


Some skippers sport vintage garb; others display period d├ęcor, table settings and captivating floral arrangements. Welcome mats are in evidence and children, pets and parrots have been known to enliven the scene. Many hospitable owners invite the public aboard for a personal tour and recount tales of their boat's history, memorable voyages, and the joys and woes of restoring their classic. A crafts fair, artists, old-time band music, children's activities, Blessing of the Fleet and boat parade round out this popular event.

LV-112 Visited by Connecticut Students and Maritime Society


Botell studentsA group of 6th-grade students from the Botelle School in Norfolk, CT, recently visited LV-112 in East Boston as one of the historic sites in their field-trip itinerary. Last April, Capt. Robertson Dinsmore from the USLM visited these students at their school and made a presentation on lightship history. It was inspiring to see these youngsters express an interest in maritime history and enjoy the experience of visiting Nantucket/LV-112.
In June, members of the New London Maritime Society and Custom House Maritime Museum, traveled from New London, CT, to visit LV-112 at her East Boston berth. They also toured "Old Ironsides" and the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.

Help Us Save Nantucket/LV-112 with a USLM Membership

For a gift of $1,000 or more, donors will receive a limited-edition, fine-art print signed by marine artist Gerald Levey.

When you become a member of the U.S. Lightship Museum (USLM), you will be helping rescue and preserve Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and National Treasure that is an important part of our nation's maritime heritage. Plus you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are a contributing partner in the legacy of the world's most famous and largest U.S. lightship ever built. The USLM is a member of the Council of Maritime Museums (CAMM) and the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA). All USLM members will be granted reciprocal privileges (free admission) at participating CAMM institutions. For more information about the benifits and the USLM Membership program, click on USLM Membership.


The United States Lightship Museum 

The U.S. Lightship Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue and preservation of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and a National Treasure. LV-112 is a museum and floating learning center, open to the general public - a place for people of all ages to learn about our nation's seafaring history and the technologies that advanced the nautical and marine sciences.