Have you ever dreamed of leaving it all behind to become a lone lighthouse keeper on a secluded island? If that sounds like your idea of serenity and relaxation, then you are in luck! Baker’s Island Lighthouse in Massachusetts’ Salem Sound now offers overnight stays in their assistant keeper’s house.
The 60-acre private island has long been closed to the public. It features about 55 summer cottages owned by private residents who also own the Bakers Island Wharf.
Baker’s Light was built in 1820, and the 10-acre light station – located on the island’s northwest corner – includes two keepers’ houses, and oil and lantern buildings.
The light station was owned and operated by the federal government from 1798 until August 2014 when the non-profit Essex National Heritage Commission took over the deed.
The public can now access the light station through guided boat tours conducted by the ENHC and even opt for a one night stay in the three-bedroom assistant keeper’s house!
Overnight guests must be members of the ENHC – membership starts at $65. The invitation is open for up to four people on Fridays and Saturdays, from July to September.
The $295 nightly rate includes a roundtrip boat ride from the Blaney Street Dock in Salem and there are two volunteer keepers on the island in case of emergency.
Despite the novelty of a night in a historic lighthouse, Annie Harris, Essex Heritage president, warns that it is certainly no bed and breakfast!
“It’s rustic,” she told Boston.com. “We stress that it’s like camping, but you do get a bed and roof over your head, so it’s a little bit better.’’
A stay on Baker’s Island comes with a lot of work. The assistant keeper’s house is solar-powered so lighting is limited. Guests must bring their own bedding, food and drinking water.
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With well water running from the showers and taps bathing can be a chilly experience and the kitchen is limited to a propane stove, mini fridge, and French-press coffee maker.
Surprisingly, the cottage is equipped with Wi-fi, but most guests prefer to unplug and enjoy Mother Nature.
Children must be four-years-old to stay and there are no dogs allowed, so this particular adventure may not be right for young families. But those who have opted to brave the rustic elements of the island have described it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Essex Heritage reports that they are already accepting spots on a waiting list for the 2018 season on Baker’s Island!