A few years back, I took a Boston Harbor boat tour with a couple of friends. I've been out in Boston Harbor many times, but what was interesting on this one was learning that someone had purchased Graves Light and was turning the lighthouse into living quarters, and renovating the oil house, attached by that catwalk-y bridge to the main event, and turning it into a guest house.
...the lighthouse did not belong to any city or town.
That’s why Waller was shocked when, out of the blue, he received a property tax bill from the town of Hull last year.
“I called the assessor’s office,” Waller said. “They just annexed us.”
Since then, he’s been locked in a legal battle with the town to prove that the sea-swept ledge that the 115-year-old lighthouse was built upon is not part of Hull.(Source: Boston Globe)
"If it’s not located in Hull, where is it? We say that it’s located in Hull, and if it’s not in Hull, it has to be located in some jurisdiction.”
Might existential question you're asking there, Town of Hull.
In addition to looking for the tax revenue, Hull wants construction permitting and inspection to come under their regulations. Waller has countered that all the work he's done "has been subject to oversight by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Coast Guard, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and other regulatory agencies."
Graves Light, by the way, has a nice little website. These days, it's mostly dedicated to squawking about the Hull "landgrab", although technically it's more of a rock grab. Among other , the website shows a raft of the anti-Hull comments that attached themselves to the Boston Globe article I've cited here. And there's a nifty picture of the lighthouse streaming out the word SHAKEDOWN in large red letters.
The Land Court "has asked both sides to consider the possibility of resolving the issue through mediation, and a status conference is scheduled for June 29."
I'm rooting for Waller. And I'm guessing that Hull will have spent more money going after Graves Light than they'll ever realize from taxes.
Anyway, I've added another cruise on Boston Harbor to the list of things I want to do next summer, or whenever the COVID after time begins...