For the past 50 years, a Christmas star has been shining bright on the shores on Mattapoisett Harbor. Ned Kaiser should know. He's heard the family stories about how his grandfather built the star by hand in 1972 when the Mattapoisett Boatyard was merely 10 years old.

Over the decades, it has become a sure sign for Mattapoisett residents that Christmas is right around the corner. It's as much a part of Christmas in Mattapoisett as Salty the Seahorse's Santa hat, or the Christmas tree lighting at the town wharf. If you're a kid in Mattapoisett, it's time to get excited when you see these things start to pop up around town.

That's the way things have operated here in Mattapoisett for 50 years. Until this year.  The staff at Mattapoisett Boatyard realized a sad reality.  The star had been torched during the devastating boatyard fire this past summer.

Luckily, the boatyard's staff knew how important it was to get their Christmas star back up and on display.

"We knew it was an important thing to the town," Kaiser, the boatyard owner, said.  "We had to replace it."

Kaiser and his crew built the new star in the very same way Kaiser's grandfather did it 50 years ago. It assumed its station by the fueling dock this week.

"It's symbolic to our comeback," Kaiser said.  "We need to get our flagpole back up, as well, and I was hoping to have that up, too. But the star is definitely a sign that we're not going anywhere. It's the beginning of a long, productive road."

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