Museums, Programs, Historic Sites
US Lightship Museum
The mission of the United States Lightship Museum (USLM) is to preserve and maintain Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 in perpetuity, reestablishing this National Historic Landmark in its homeport of Boston. It serves as a floating museum and learning center for the general public, chronicling the maritime history of the US Lightship Service from its inception in 1820 to its end in 1985.
Visitors will experience what lightship service was like for crewmembers living aboard these “floating lighthouses,” whose duty was to stay on their station regardless of conditions, faithfully and courageously guiding transoceanic commerce to and from the United States through dangerous seas.
The long-term goals of the United States Lightship Museum are two-fold. First and foremost, its objective is to preserve and protect the structural integrity of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112—the largest and most famous US lightship ever built—consistent with its use as a commissioned U.S. Coast Guard lightship vessel, based in Boston and stationed on the treacherous Nantucket Shoals from 1936 to 1975. The ship is shared with the public as a floating educational institution, including exhibits to illuminate the importance of the US Lightship Service and its historic relevance to transoceanic commerce and transportation.
In addition, Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 serves as a catalyst for people to gain a broad understanding of maritime history and marine sciences.