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. Located in Boston Harbor's outer limits near the convergence of three major channels, the island lies about 5 nautical miles from downtown Boston and about 0.6 nautical miles east of Long Island Head Light. The island covers and uncovers with the tide and is not open to the public. 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.
The island features a prominent black and white stucco-covered wood pyramidal daybeacon, or channel marker, resting atop a granite base erected by the Boston Marine Society in 1805. Reaching a height of approximately 20 feet , the beacon serves as a Federal aide to navigation, warning passing ships of one of the harbor's most hazardous shoals. Originally sheathed in slate shingles, the pyramid likely received its concrete coating some time between World War I and World War II. A granite block stairway accesses the pyramid at the base's south side. The pyramid's hollow innards comprise a mortise-and-tenon wood structural system supported by cross-members radiating from a central column.
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