Nixes Mate

Nixes Mate
Nix's Mate Daybeacon
Pyramid beacon on Nixes Mate at 1 hour after high tide
Nixes Mate is located in Massachusetts
Location: Nubble Channel, The Narrows, Boston Harbor, Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°19′53.5″N 70°56′39.3″W / 42.331528°N 70.94425°W / 42.331528; -70.94425Coordinates: 42°19′53.5″N 70°56′39.3″W / 42.331528°N 70.94425°W / 42.331528; -70.94425
Area: less than one acre
Built: 1834[2]
Governing body: U.S. Coast Guard
NRHP Reference#:


Added to NRHP: March 18, 2004

Nixes Mate, also known as Nixes Island, Nix's Mate and Nick's Mate, is one of the smaller islands in the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. The island lies about 5 nm from downtown Boston and about 0.6 nm east of Long Island Head Light. The island covers and uncovers with the tide.[3] A prominent black and white stucco covered wood pyramidal beacon, resting atop a granite base,[4] reaches a height of approximately 20 feet (6.1 m).[5] The base was erected by the Boston Marine Society in 1805. By 2001, the daymark was in poor condition. The Coast Guard, which is responsible for it, announced that it would be replaced, but following public outcry they rebuilt it instead, in 2003.[4] The island is not open to the public.[5] It is described in the Light List as "Nixes Mate: black, white band midway of height, octagonal pyramid on square granite base", Light List number 1-11450.[6]

In 1636, Nix's Mate was granted to John Gallop, a harbor pilot who lived on nearby Gallops Island and used the then 12-acre (49,000 m2) island for grazing his sheep. Ship's ballast was quarried from the island during the 17th century, followed by slate in the 18th century, resulting in today's much smaller island. In 1726, upon the arrest of pirate chief William Fly, officials brought him to Boston where he was executed. His body was then gibbetted on Nixes Mate to serve as a warning to sailors not to turn to piracy. Before Fly's execution, he famously scolded the hangman for incorrectly securing his noose, then re-tied it himself. His body, as well as those of two other pirates, is buried on the island.[5]

Nixes Mate was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Nix's Mate Daybeacon on March 18, 2004, reference number 04000189.[1]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ According to the National Register of Historic Places. 1805 according to Rowlett.
  3. ^ Chart 13270: Boston Harbor 1:25,000. NOAA. 2006. 
  4. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ (2009-09-07). "Lighthouses of the United States: Northern Massachusetts". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
  5. ^ a b c "Nixes Mate Factsheet". Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ (PDF) Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey. Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2009. p. 95. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area — Infobox Protected area name = Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area iucn category = caption = locator x = 266 locator y = 50 location = Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk counties, Massachusetts, USA nearest city = Boston, Massachusetts lat… …   Wikipedia

  • Boston Harbor — This article is about Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. For other uses, see Boston Harbor (disambiguation). Topographic map of Boston Harbor Boston Harbor is a natural harbor and estuary of Massachusetts Bay, and is located adjacent to the city of… …   Wikipedia

  • William Fly — Captain William Fly (d. July 12, 1726) was an English pirate who raided New England shipping until he was captured by some of the crew of a seized ship. He was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts. Reportedly, Fly approached the hanging with complete… …   Wikipedia

  • Chatham Light — Chatham Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station Location Chatham, Massachusetts Year first constructed 1808 Year first lit 1877 (current structure) Automated 1982 Foundation Concrete Construction …   Wikipedia

  • List of islands of Massachusetts — Rainsford Island is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, a National Recreation Area situated among the islands of Boston Harbor of Boston, Massachusetts The islands of Massachusetts range from barren, almost completely… …   Wikipedia

  • Nobska Light — (March 2005) Location Woods Hole, Massachusetts Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Minot's Ledge Light — Minots Ledge Light Minots Light in a storm Location Offshore Cohasset, Massachusetts Year first constructed 1850 (first tower) Year first lit 1860 (current tower) Automated 1947 Deactivated 1851 1860 Foundation …   Wikipedia

  • Duxbury Pier Light — Duxbury Pier lighthouse in Plymouth Harbor Location Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth, Massachusetts Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Old Scituate Light — in Scituate Location Cedar Point, Scituate Harbor Year first lit 1811 Deactivated 1860–1994 Foundation Natural/emplaced Construction Granite/Brick …   Wikipedia

  • Nauset Light — Nauset Beach Light Nauset Light and lightkeeper s house Location Eastham, Massachusetts Year first constructed 1838 Year first lit 1877 (current tower in Chatham) 1923 (current tower here) Automated 1955 Deactivated 1996 97 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.