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Coast Guard History

Frequently Asked Questions

So you would like to be a lighthouse keeper or purchase a lighthouse?


The best sources of information to purchase a lighthouse are the regional offices of the General Services Administration (GSA). A link to the GSA regional offices is provided. However, lighthouse properties can leave Federal government ownership in several ways. The GSA is the Federal government's real estate broker and normally processes most of the lighthouse sales. Usually, GSA will first offer the lighthouse property to the state or a non-profit historic preservation group. Then, the property may be auctioned to the highest bidder. However, some Federal agencies have the authority to directly dispose of their properties. The Congress of the United States may also enact special laws requiring that one or more lighthouses be transferred to the states or to non-profit organizations. Each lighthouse property sale may have special conditions. Prospective buyers need to research each property sale, beginning with the GSA.  Check their website:  GSA Website

The Coast Guard does not accept volunteer lighthouse keepers.  Many of the light stations that have been turned over to the National Park Service or the various states, however, do permit volunteers to staff their lighthouses.  Check with the National Park Service or with your local historical preservation society. 

Last Modified 1/12/2016