In 1716, America built its first lighthouse, Boston Light, on Little Brewster Island. Along with illuminating the way, the lighthouse helped Boston collect a tax from all vessels: one penny per ton.
During the Revolutionary War, the British occupied Little Brewster Island but failed to defend the lighthouse against two successful raids by American troops, who disabled it without destroying it. However, upon relinquishing Boston Harbor in 1776, the redcoats obliterated Boston Light completely.
Rebuilt in 1783, the “new” lighthouse still stands as the only one in America actively staffed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Book a tour here.