Bass River Light was established in 1850 and completed in 1855
at the mouth of the Bass River, which separates the southern
end of Dennis and Yarmouth). It consisted of lamp on the roof
of the keeper's house, and was equipped with a fifth-order
Fresnel lens. Until this time, local captains were paying 25
cents a month for William Crowell, a local, to keep a lantern
lit in his attic as an aid to mariners. When
the light was completed, Crowell was made the first keeper - a
post he held until 1880, interrupted only by service in the
Union army during the Civil War.
The light was deemed unnecessary after the completion of Stage Harbor Light, and
discontinued in 1880. Complaints led to the re-lighting of
the light in 1881. With the establishment of an automated
beacon, and the completion of the Cape Cod canal, the Fresnel
lens was removed and the lighthouse sold to private ownership
State Senator Everett Stone purchased the site in 1938 - his
descendents still own the property, and have converted it
into the Lighthouse Inn. The original lighthouse site in the
center of what is now the inn's central building.
A modern 300 mm optic was installed
in the beacon and relit on August 7, 1989, the 200th
anniversary of the Lighthouse Service.
In 2003, owners Bob and Mary Stone were awarded
the honor of "Masters of New England Innkeeping"
for their efforts at the Lighthouse Inn.
Lighthouses of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket - Their History and Lore, Clark pp. 115-119
Massachusetts Lighthouses - A Pictorial Guide, Thompson p. 66
Lighthouses and Life Saving Stations Along the Massachusetts Coast, Claflin p. 80
The Keeper's Log Summer 2003