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Boston Light, the lighthouse located on Little Brewster Island, was the first lighthouse built in the United States. The first lighthouse on the site was lit on September 4, 1716. To help maintain the lighthouse, a tonnage tax of 1 penny per ton on all vessels, except coasters, moving in or out of Boston Harbor was collected. Before the start of the American Revolution, the British took control of the island in 1774 and blocked the harbor the following year. During the Revolution, American troops destroyed the lighthouse, preventing the British from using it and disabling their ships.
In 1783, the Massachusetts Legislature supplied money to build a new lighthouse, which still stands today. It is the only lighthouse in America still actively staffed by the U.S. Coast Guard, even though it was automated in 1998. Boston Light was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.