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Historical Materials: Flags, Lighthouses, & Navigation Aids
New Bedford, Mass. - Clarks Point Light
Clarks Point is the southernmost extension of the city of New Bedford, in Buzzards Bay, on the west side of the entrance to the Acushnet River and New Bedford Harbor. Local merchants erected the first wooden lighthouse there in 1797. This lighthouse burned down and a second was completed by 1799. Starting in 1800 the lighthouse was supported by federal funds. When it burned down a second time in 1803, it was replaced by an octagonal rubblestone tower, 38 feet tall. In 1818 it was made four feet taller and a new octagonal iron latern was added. In 1851, a new cast iron deck was added, and new lamps and reflectors were added. Starting in 1857, construction began on Fort Taber, blocking the view of the light.
There was no keeper's residence near the light. Henry M. Smith, the keeper from 1843–73, was a woodcarver of figureheads for New Bedford's whaling fleet.
This information has been shared with the Lane project by Jeremy D'Entremont. More information can be found at his website, www.newenglandlighthouses.net and The Lighthouse Handbook New England.