Lonely Planet Writer

Seven stunning American lighthouses have gone up for sale and one of them could be yours

Have you ever fancied being the proud owner of an isolated maritime bolthole, where your only neighbours are sea creatures and ships?

Southwest Ledge Lighthouse, Boston
Southwest Ledge Lighthouse, Boston Image by GSA Auctions

Well now is your chance, as the US government is currently auctioning off seven secluded lighthouses dotted along the eastern seaboard of the country and the vast Lake Michigan. The seven structures are all located offshore, offering potential purchasers the promise of privacy and solitude. The buildings, many of which are more than a century old, are being offered in the first instance to non-profit organisations, according to Curbed.  And, if the lighthouses aren’t taken over by a third party at that stage, they will then be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Gray Reef Lighthouse
Gray Reef Lighthouse Image by GSA Auctions

The property website also cites the increasing availability of these ‘wave washed towers’ due to advances in GPS and radar technology which means that ships no longer rely on the beaming beacons and their trustee keepers. The seven lighthouses have panoramic views from off the coast of Connecticut and the shores of Lake Michigan.

Amongst the more impressive structures, currently going under the hammer online, is the Penfield Reef Lighthouse, off the coast of Bridgeport in Connecticut. The property boasts a ‘51-foot-tall octagonal light structure’ which is ‘attached to a square two-storey keeper’s quarter building’. This particular building was built in 1874 and is ‘part of maritime history’ as it is listed on the ‘National Register of Historic Places’. ‘In 2015, and with approval from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation officer, the property’s exterior was restored to a great extent to its 19th-century appearance,’ the GSA description reads. It has currently attracted offers from two bidders, the highest being $210,000.

Another notable property up for grabs is the Southwest Ledge Lighthouse in New Haven, Connecticut. Bidding closes on 25 August and there are currently five bids lodged, with the highest being $80,000.