You can buy a lighthouse. What would you do with it?
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Lighthouses for sale! Some are even free.
The U.S. government has gotten rid of more than 100 lighthouses over the last 14 years. And it intends to keep selling and giving them away.
Dave Waller purchased the Graves Island Light Station in the mouth of Boston Harbor for $933,888 last year. He is turning it into a private home that can be used as a vacation rental. He wants to create a bedroom as far as possible from the foghorn.
Sixty-eight of the lighthouses have gone for free to groups that want to preserve them. Another 36 were sold at public auction. That's where the highest bid gets the lighthouse. The Coast Guard, which maintains lighthouses, has 71 others ready up to go. Four are at auction now.
The Coast Guard owns 254 lighthouses. The question is more about which ones it will keep, said Jeff Gales, executive director of the nonprofit U.S. Lighthouse Society.
"There is an end in sight," Gales said. "There's a limited number of lighthouses."
The federal General Services Administration sells the lighthouses. It is nearing the end of an online auction for the Halfway Rock Light Station off of Harpswell, Maine. It has attracted a half dozen bidders and a high bid of more than $240,000. That's a good figure for a lighthouse that can only be reached by boat, Gales said.
Some lighthouses go swiftly to preservation groups. Others that are offshore or in need of heavy upkeep receive no bidders. Still others attract the eye of private investors, such as Boston's Waller.