Lighthouses of the United States: Southeastern Massachusetts

A small state with a long coastline and many harbors, Massachusetts has a large number of lighthouses. This page lists the lighthouses of the southeastern part of the state, including the long hook of Cape Cod, the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and the mainland coast in the New Bedford area. The former whaling center of New Bedford is the only important port in this region. However, the beaches and shoals of Cape Cod and the islands have been grave hazards to navigation ever since the European discovery of this coast. The lights that warn of these dangers include some of the best known and best loved U.S. lighthouses.

Although there is no state preservation society in Massachusetts, there are many local societies. There have been substantial preservation efforts at many lighthouses in recent years, although several towers remain in need of attention.

Jeremy D'Entremont's book, The Lighthouses of Massachusetts (Beverly, Mass.: Commonwealth Editions, 2007) is an indispensible resource for information on these lighthouses.

Navigational aids in Massachusetts are operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, but ownership (and sometimes operation) of historic lighthouses has been transferred to local authorities and preservation organizations in many cases.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. USCG numbers are from Vol. I of the USCG Light List.

General Sources
New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide - Massachusetts
Data and photos for all of the lighthouses; an outstanding resource created by Jeremy D'Entremont.
Lighthouses of Massachusetts
Photos, travel directions, and historical accounts from Kraig Anderson's Lighthouse Friends site.
Online List of Lights - Massachusetts
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Massachusetts
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Massachusetts Lights
From Bill Britten's Lighthouse Getaway site: fine photos of many of the state's better-known lighthouses.
Lighthouses of Massachusetts
Photos and accounts by Gary Richardson and Anna Klein; part of their Cyberlights site.
Lighthouses in Massachusetts, United States
Aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
National Maritime Inventory - Massachusetts
National Park Service inventory of Maine lighthouse data.
Coast Guard Lighthouses - Massachusetts
Historic photos and notes posted by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's office.
Leuchttürme USA auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images of U.S. lighthouses posted by Klaus Huelse.

Highland Light
Highland Light, Truro, July 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by azurewoman


Chatham Light, Chatham, June 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Mr. Nixter

Barnstable County (Cape Cod) Lighthouses

Cape Cod Bayside Lighthouses
* Cape Cod Canal Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 ft (13 m); red flash every 5 s. 43 ft (13 m) round dumbbell-shaped red fiberglass tower. Trabas has a good photo, a 2009 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. The Cape Cod Canal, completed in 1916, is a 7 mile (11.3 km) long sea-level cut across the neck of Cape Cod, connecting Massachusetts Bay to the northeast and Buzzard's Bay to the southwest. Located at the end of the north breakwater at the eastern entrance to the canal. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J0372; USCG 1-13050.
Cape Cod Canal Entrance Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 56 ft (17 m); continuous green light. 52 ft (16 m) square skeletal tower with a small metal equipment shelter in the base. The tower carries a rectangular daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a shorter, triangular skeletal tower. Located on the south side of the canal about 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of the entrance. Site status unknown, but the light can be seen from nearby. Admiralty J0374.1; USCG 1-13085.
Sandy Neck (2)
1857 (station established 1826). Reactivated (inactive 1931-2007, now privately maintained); focal plane about 60 ft (18 m); white flash every 6 s. 52 ft (16 m) round brick tower strengthened (in 1887) with cast iron bands. Lantern removed in 1952, but the gallery remains. Tower painted white, gallery black. The 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house (1880) is a private residence. Kee Hinckley's photo is at right, Anderson's page has photos, Trabas has a photo, Lighthouse Digest has a September 2003 article on the light station, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has an aerial view. The lighthouse was replaced in 1931 by a light on a skeletal tower, but that light was discontinued in 1952. In 2005, the Sandy Neck Lighthouse Restoration Committee was organized to raise funds to build and install a replica of the original lantern; the committee is also a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation. The project was carried out in 2007. On October 20, the lighthouse was relit for the first time in 76 years. Located on the Sandy Neck Dunes on the north side of the entrance to Barnstaple Harbor from Cape Cod Bay. Best seen by boat: it's a difficult 6-mile (10 km) hike on the beach to reach the site. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-732; Admiralty J0375.5; USCG 1-13117.
* [Mayo's Beach (2)]
1881 (station established 1838). Inactive since 1922. In late 2007, astonished researchers discovered that the 35 ft (11 m) cast iron light tower of Mayo's Beach, long thought to have been demolished, was actually dismantled and shipped to California. It was installed at Point Montara, near San Francisco, in 1928, and it stands there today. The 2-story wood keepers' house (1881) and brick oil house (1907) remain in excellent condition at their original locations. Anderson's page has recent photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The house is a private residence. Located next to a beach parking area at 110 Kendrick Avenue in Wellfleet. Site closed, but the house is easily seen from the street or parking area. Site manager: private. ARLHS USA-486.
Sandy Neck Light
Sandy Neck Light, Barnstable, July 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Kee Hinckley

Provincetown Lighthouses
* Long Point (2)
1875 (station established 1826). Active; focal plane 36 ft (11 m); green light occulting every 4 s. 38 ft (11.5 m) square pyramidal brick tower with lantern and gallery; solar-powered 300 mm lens. Tower painted white, lantern black. Fog horn (blast every 15 s). Sibling of Wood End. The keeper's house has been demolished, but the oil house (1904) survives. Anderson has a page with good photos, Trabas has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. In December 2009, preservationists proposed to rebuild the keeper's house as a bed and breakfast similar to the operation at Race Point (see below). So far there's been no progress on this idea. The American Lighthouse Foundation is responsible for restoration and maintenance of the light. In 2012, ALF volunteers painted all three Provincetown lighthouses. Located in the Cape Cod National Seashore near the end of the sand spit protecting Provincetown Harbor. Accessible by boat or by a hike of 2-1/2 miles (4 km); Flyer's Boat Yard offers a boat shuttle from Provincetown's West End in the summer. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: American Lighthouse Foundation. ARLHS USA-450; Admiralty J0382; USCG 1-13275.
* Wood End
1872. Active; focal plane 45 ft (13.5 m); red flash every 10 s. 39 ft (12 m) square pyramidal brick tower with lantern and gallery, solar-powered VRB-25 aerobeacon. Tower painted white, lantern black. Fog horn (blast every 30 s). The keeper's house and other light station buildings were demolished in 1961; the oil house (1896) survives. Kyle Walton has a good 2007 photo, Anderson has a page with excellent photos, Trabas has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The American Lighthouse Foundation is responsible for restoration and maintenance of the light. In 2000 ALF volunteers painted the tower and oil house, and in 2012 they painted all three Provincetown lighthouses. Located in the Cape Cod National Seashore on the southwestern face of Long Point. Accessible by a hike of about 1-1/4 miles (2 km). Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: American Lighthouse Foundation. ARLHS USA-904; Admiralty J0383; USCG 1-13270.
* Race Point (2)
1876 (station established 1816). Active; focal plane 67 ft (20 m); white flash every 10 s. 45 ft (13.5 m) round cast iron tower (brick lined) with lantern and gallery; solar-powered VRB-25 aerobeacon. Tower painted white, lantern black. Fog horn (2 blasts every 60 s). The original 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house, restored by the Cape Cod Chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation in 1995, is available for overnight rental, and in 2007 the 1-story brick whistle house (1870s) was also opened for overnight rental. The original brick fog signal building was restored in 1999 as a field station of the Center for Coastal Studies. C.M. Hanchey's photo is at right, Anderson has a fine page with several photos, Trabas has a distant view by Ronald Wöhrn, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This tower replaced an 1816 tower similar to the Scituate Light (see Northern Massachusetts). The gallery railing was replaced in 2001, and restoration of the tower was completed in 2002. In 2006-07, the station's whistle house was renovated to provide an additional accommodation, and a wind turbine was installed to provide additioanl power. A movie, The Lightkeepers, was filmed at this lighthouse in 2009. In 2012, ALF volunteers painted all three Provincetown lighthouses. Accessible by a hike of about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) from Race Point Beach. Located on the extreme tip of Cape Cod, west of Provincetown. Site and tower open. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Race Point Lighthouse. ARLHS USA-680; Admiralty J0386; USCG 1-0485.

Race Point Light
Race Point Light, Provincetown, August 2013
Flickr Creative Commons photo by C.M. Hanchey

 


Cape Cod Oceanside Lighthouses
**** Highland (Cape Cod) (3)
1857 (station established 1797). Active; focal plane 183 ft (56 m); white flash every 5 s, day and night. 66 ft (20 m) round brick tower with lantern and gallery; VRB-25 aerobeacon. Tower painted white, lantern black. The 1st order Fresnel lens was largely destroyed during removal (1998); some pieces of it are on display at the museum on site. The original 1-1/2 story Queen Anne wood keeper's house includes the museum and gift shop. A photo is at the top of this page, Anderson has a good page for the lighthouse with many photos, Trabas has a good photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a good satellite view. This is a historic and famous lighthouse, almost always called Highland Light although officially it was renamed Cape Cod Light in 1976. The Truro Historical Society worked steadfastly to restore and protect the light. The light station was relocated 450 feet (137 m) west in 1996 to escape erosion of the bluff. In 2001, Campbell Construction repainted the lighthouse, renovated iron work, and restored the interior of the lantern. At the end of 2013, the Park Service allowed its 20-year managemant agreement with the preservation group Highland Museum and Lighthouse to expire without renewal. Located in the Highlands area of Cape Cod National Seashore atop a high cliff at the end of Highland Road, off US 6 in North Truro. Site open. In the past, the tower and museum have been open daily mid May through mid October (free; fee to climb the tower), but it is not yet known how the station will be managed in the future. Owner: U.S. National Park Service. Site manager: Cape Cod National Seashore. ARLHS USA-110; Admiralty J0390; USCG 1-0500.
** Nauset (2) (Three Sisters)
1892 (station established 1838). Northern and southern towers inactive since 1911; center tower inactive since 1923. Triple 29 ft (9 m) round conical wood towers; only the northern tower retains its lantern and gallery. The 4th order Fresnel lens from the center tower (1873, transferred from an older tower) was transferred to Nauset Light in 1923 and is now on display at the national seashore's Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham. Lighthouses painted white, lanterns black. Roxie Zwicker has a closeup 2007 photo of the north lighthouse, Anderson's page has photos of all three, and Google has a satellite view. Only a few triple-tower light stations were built in the U.S., and this is the only surviving example. The towers were privately owned for many years; the National Park Service purchased two of them in 1965 and the third in 1975. In 1989 the park service renovated the three towers and placed them in their original configuration about 1800 ft (550 m) west of the Nauset Light. Lighthouse Digest has a January 2002 feature story on the light station. Located near the Nauset Light Beach parking area in Eastham. Site open; towers open to guided tours in season. Owner: U.S. National Park Service. Site manager: Cape Cod National Seashore. ARLHS USA-975 (north), 528 (middle), and 976 (south).
** Nauset (3) (Nauset Beach)
1877 (originally Chatham Light North Tower, relocated to Nauset in 1923). Active (privately maintained since 1997); focal plane 102 ft (31 m); flash every 5 s, alternating red and white, day and night. 47 ft (14 m) round cast iron tower (brick lined) with lantern and gallery; DCB-224 aerobeacon (1981). Tower painted white with a broad red band at the top; lantern and gallery painted black. The original 4th order Fresnel lens is on display at the national seashore's Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham. The 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house (1875) is a private residence. Brick oil house (1892). Lin Mei's photo is at right, Anderson has a good page for the light station, Trabas has a fine photo, and Google has a street view and a good satellite view. This lighthouse is a familiar symbol of Cape Cod. International Chimney Corporation relocated the lighthouse 300 ft (90 m) west in 1996 to escape erosion of the bluff; the keeper's house was relocated similarly in 1998. In 2005, the exterior of the lighthouse was refurbished and restored. In 2013, the lighthouse was repainted thanks to a grant from Snyder's-Lance, the owner of Cape Cod Potato Chips (which has the lighthouse as a logo). Located in Cape Cod National Seashore at Nauset Beach off US 6 in Eastham. Site open; tower open for guided tours on Sunday afternoons from early May through October and also on Wednesdays in July and August. Owner: U.S. National Park Service. Site manager: Nauset Light Preservation Society. ARLHS USA-529; Admiralty J0392; USCG 1-0510.1.
Nauset Light
Nauset Light, Eastham, July 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Lin Mei
** Chatham (3)
1877 (station established 1808). Active; focal plane 80 ft (24 m); 2 white flashes every 10 s, day and night. 48 ft (14.5 m) round cast iron tower (brick lined) with lantern and gallery; rotating DCB-224 aerobeacon (1993). The lantern is modern, installed in 1969. Tower painted white with black trim; lantern is gray. The original 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house remains in use as Coast Guard housing. The original lantern and 4th order Fresnel lens are on display adjacent to the Atwood House Museum in Chatham (the lens is lit whenever the museum is open). A photo appears at the top of this page, Anderson has a good page with many photos, Trabas has a good photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Originally the station had twin towers, but the north tower was moved to Nauset Beach in 1923. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the twin-tower station. Located at the Chatham Coast Guard Station just off Main Street in downtown Chatham; the station has a page with visitor information for the lighthouse. Site open; museum open Tuesday through Friday afternoons, June through September; tower open for tours every Wednesday afternoon mid June through early September and on the first and third Wednesday afternoon in May, early June, September, and October. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-158; Admiralty J0394; USCG 1-0525.
Monomoy Point (2)
1849 (station established 1823). Inactive since 1923. 47 ft (14 m) round cylindrical cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted red; lantern and gallery painted black. The original 2-story wood keeper's house is used as a guest house. Brick oil house (1894) and generator building. Blake Treves has a good 2007 photo, Anderson's page has photos and a report from a recent visit, Lighthouse Digest has Jeremy D'Entremont's December 2006 article on the history of the station, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This early cast iron tower has a unique design. The Massachusetts Audubon Society purchased the station from private owners in 1964 and sold it to the federal government in 1977. The light station has been restored twice through efforts of the Audubon Society (1960s) and Lighthouse Preservation Society (1988).The Friends of Monomoy support continued preservation of the lighthouse. The beach has built up in the area so that the lighthouse, built at the dune line, is now 1/2 mile (800 m) from the ocean. In October 2009, $1.5 million in federal recovery act funding was allocated to restoration of the lighthouse; this was enough to restore the lighthouse and the exterior of the keeper's house and add solar and wind generators to provide power for the buildings. The restoration was carried out by Campbell Construction in 2010-11. Located near the south end of South Monomoy Island (the island was cut in two by the Blizzard of 1978). Accessible only by boat; the Friends of Monomoy organization offers tours in season. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge). ARLHS USA-510.
Monomoy Point Light
Monomoy Point Light, Chatham, September 2006
Flickr photo copyright Jeremy D'Entremont; used by permission

Cape Cod Southside Lighthouses
* Stage Harbor
1880. Inactive since 1933. 36 ft (11 m) round cast iron tower with gallery, lantern removed, attached to a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house. Buildings painted white with red trim; lighthouse gallery painted black. The active light (focal plane 42 ft (13 m); white flash every 6 s) is on a nearby skeletal tower. Anderson's page has closeup photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a satellite view. The building is a private residence. Located on the west side of the Stage Harbor entrance in Chatham. Accessible by 1 mile (1.6 km) hike on the beach from the end of Harding's Beach Road; there is a distant view across the harbor from the town landing at the end of Sears Road. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-806; Admiralty J0422; USCG 1-13860.
** West Dennis (Bass River, Lighthouse Inn)
1855. Reactivated (inactive 1880-1881 and 1914-1989, now privately maintained); focal plane 44 ft (13.5 m); white flash every 6 s. Lantern mounted on the roof of what was once a 2-1/2 story wood keeper's house. 300 mm lens. Building painted white with green trim, lantern red. Anderson has a good page with several photos, Trabas has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. This light station has been operated as an inn by the Stone family since 1938. The building has been expanded several times and is now much larger than the original lighthouse as seen in Huelse's historic postcard view. The light was relit on 7 August 1989, the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Lighthouse Service. In 2002 the lantern room was restored by Campbell Construction. Located just off Lighthouse Road in West Dennis. Site open; inn and restaurant open Memorial Day (late May) through Columbus Day (mid October); tower closed. Owner/site manager: The Lighthouse Inn. ARLHS USA-042; Admiralty J0425.7; USCG 1-14175.

Stage Harbor Light, Chatham, October 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Melanie McCue
Bishop and Clerks (3)
1998(?) (station established 1858). Active; focal plane 45 ft (14 m); white flash every 6 s. 30 ft (9 m) round cylindrical fiberglass tower, painted white with a red band (very similar to the "D9" towers so common on the Great Lakes). Anderson has a photo of the current light on his page for the lighthouse, and Trabas has a distant view. This modern beacon stands on the foundation of the historic 1858 lighthouse, a 65 ft (20 m) classic wave-swept masonry tower seen in Huelse's historic postcard view. The lighthouse became dilapidated and began to lean dangerously, so the Coast Guard demolished it in 1952. An unlighted daybeacon stood on the foundation until the present light was installed. Located on a dangerous group of rocks about 2.5 miles (4 km) south southeast of Point Gammon. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-058; Admiralty J0426.68; USCG 1-14490.
Point Gammon
1816. Inactive since 1858. 20 ft (6 m) round conical fieldstone tower topped by a wood observation room. The keeper's house was dismantled in 1935. Anderson has a good page with several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has an aerial view. The original iron lantern was removed after the light was deactivated. A round observation room with a conical roof was added by ornithologist Charles Cory, who bought the entire "island" on which the lighthouse stands in 1882. However, the current observation room was built much more recently (1980s?). Located on Great Island (actually a peninsula) at the eastern entrance to Hyannis Harbor. Site and tower closed (private property, no public access). Visible (distantly) from Hyannis-Nantucket ferries. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-622.
* Lewis Bay (Channel Point)
Date unknown. Active (privately maintained and unofficial); focal plane about 26 ft (8 m); flashing green light. 26 ft (8 m) round tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a small workshed. Tower painted white; lantern and gallery painted black. Lightphotos.net has Charlie Kellogg's photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos (misidentified as Hyannis Harbor Light), and Google has an aerial view. The lighthouse is a close replica of the Brant Point (8) Light on Nantucket. Located on private property at the end of Channel Point Road on the inner harbor of Hyannis, opposite the Nantucket ferry terminal. Visible at close range from Hyannis-Nantucket ferries. Owner/site manager: private.
Hyannis Harbor
1849. Inactive since 1929. 19 ft (6 m) round old-style brick tower attached to 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house. The lantern, removed in 1929, has been replaced by an octagonal sunroom (1989). Tower painted white with three narrow red bands under the sunroom; the roof is black. Brick oil house (1902). Anderson's page also has closeup photos, Lighthouse Digest featured the lighthouse in January 2002, and Google has an aerial view. The Coast Guard has a historic photo showing the original "birdcage" lantern; a second Coast Guard photo and Huelse's historic postcard view show the later form of the light station. The keeper's house, expanded at least twice, is a private residence owned by two antiques dealers. The red bands were added when the tower was repainted in 2012. Located at the end of Harbor Road on Hyannis Harbor. Site and tower closed; there are views from Keyes Beach nearby. Owner/site manager: Hyland Granby Antiques. ARLHS USA-397.
* Nobska Point (Woods Hole) (2)
1876 (station established 1828). Active; focal plane 87 ft (26.5 m); white flash every 6 s, day and night; red sector covers dangerous shoals. 40 ft (12 m) "Race Point" round cylindrical cast iron tower (brick lined) with lantern and gallery, attached to 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house. The buildings are floodlit at night. Fog horn (2 blasts every 30 s). 4th order Fresnel lens (1888) in use. Buildings painted white, roofs red, lantern black. Oil house and utility buildings also preserved. A photo by Jessica Langlois appears at right, Anderson has an excellent page for the lighthouse with good photos, Trabas has a closeup photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. After the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the International Ice Patrol was established and was based at this station for many years (it is now at Groton, Connecticut). Today the lighthouse is a popular location for weddings. The keeper's house was for many years the residence of the commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England. In November 2013, however, the Coast Guard announced that the house needs $550,000 in repairs. It has offered to lease or sell the building to any organization that will restore it. Located on Nobska Road, at the eastern entrance to Woods Hole Harbor. Visible from the Woods Hole-Martha's Vineyard ferries. Site open daily, tower generally closed but the local Coast Guard Auxiliary offers several open-house opportunities each year. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-550; Admiralty J0456; USCG 1-15560.
Nobska Point Light
Nobska Point Light, Falmouth, February 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jessica Langlois
Wings Neck (2)
1889 (station established 1848). Inactive since 1945. 32 ft (10 m) hexagonal wood tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white, lantern black. The assistant keeper's house (1888) was relocated from Ned's Point Light (see below) in 1923. Anderson's page also has good photos, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. After many years as a private residence, the house was renovated in 2003 for weekly vacation rental. Located on Wing's Neck in Pocasset, on the east side of the southern approach to the Cape Cod Canal. Site open to guests, but otherwise closed; tower closed. There is a distant view from the edge of the property at the end of Wings Neck Road. Owner/site manager: Wings Neck Lighthouse. ARLHS USA-899.
Cleveland East Ledge
1943. Active; focal plane 74 ft (22.5 m); white flash every 10 s, day and night. 70 ft (21 m) round cylindrical reinforced concrete tower with lantern and gallery, atop a 2-story octagonal reinforced concrete keeper's quarters, all mounted on a concrete caisson. 190 mm lens (1978). Fog horn (blast every 15 s). Building painted white, lantern black, caisson red. Anderson's page has an excellent closeup photo, Trabas has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. This Art Moderne building is one of the last more-or-less traditional lighthouses built in the U.S. It was renovated by the Coast Guard in 1990. In 2007, the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA. No suitable recipients came forward, and in December 2010 the lighthouse was sold at auction for $190,000 to Sandy D. Boyd of Emeryville, California, the owner of a chain of coffeehouses. Boyd is researching the history of the station and plans to restore the lighthouse as a vacation residence. Located on a reef on the east side of the main Buzzard's Bay channel, off West Falmouth. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-179; Admiralty J0502; USCG 1-16085.

Dukes County Lighthouses

Elizabeth Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Elizabeth Islands are a chain of small islands extending southwestward from the Wood's Hole area, separating Vineyard Sound on the east from Buzzard's Bay on the west. Most of the islands are privately owned. The only village is Cuttyhunk, located at the southwestern end of the archipelago.
Buzzards Bay Entrance (2)
1997 (station established 1961). Active; focal plane 67 ft (20 m); white flash every 2.5 s. Beacon mounted on a platform supported by three legs and a larger central column, all painted red. Fog horn (2 blasts every 30 s). NOAA maintains a C-MAN automatic weather station on the platform. This light tower replaced a Texas tower lighthouse seen on Wikipedia's page and in several photos (almost halfway down the page) by Brian Tague. The new tower is similar to the 1999 Ambrose Light off New York Harbor. Located at the mouth of Buzzards Bay, about 5 mi (8 km) west southwest of Cuttyhunk. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-100; Admiralty J0480; USCG 1-0630.
* Cuttyhunk (3)
1947 (station established 1823). Inactive since 2005. 60 ft (18 m) skeletal tower with a small enclosed workroom at the base. Lighthouse painted white. The ruined stone oil house and foundations of the keeper's house remain. Anderson has a photo, the Coast Guard has a historic photo of the original lighthouse, and Google has a blurry satellite view. The 1891 lighthouse, a 45 ft (14 m) brick tower attached to a 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house, was demolished when it was deactivated in 1947. Nearby is a round stone tower that looks more like a lighthouse than the lighthouse does; it is a monument to the English explorer Batholomew Gosnold, who briefly settled a colony on the island in 1602. Located at the southwestern end of Cuttyhunk Island. The island is accessible by ferry from New Bedford. Site open. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-215; ex-USCG 1-15615.
Tarpaulin Cove (2)
1891 (station established 1817). Active; focal plane 78 ft (24 m); white flash every 6 s. 28 ft (8.5 m) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a brick workroom; 300 mm lens. Tower painted white, lantern and gallery black. The keeper's house was demolished in 1962. One of D'Entremont's photos is at right, Anderson has a page with photos taken from the water, Lighthouse Digest has an article on the history of the station, Jennifer Webber has a 2007 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Tavern keepers maintained a private light at this site from 1759 to 1817. In late 2001 the light station was leased from the Coast Guard by the Cuttyhunk Historical Society, which has a web page for the lighthouse. Located on the eastern side of Naushon Island, one of the Elizabeth Islands southwest of Wood's Hole. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed except for an annual open house; the island is privately owned. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Cuttyhunk Historical Society. ARLHS USA-835; Admiralty J0470; USCG 1-15580.

Tarpaulin Cove Light, Gosnold, September 2005
Flickr photo copyright Jeremy D'Entremont; used by permission

Martha's Vineyard Lighthouses
Note: Martha's Vineyard is an island about 4 miles (7.5 km) south of the southwestern end of Cape Cod. The name is often extended to include the smaller Chappaquiddick Island, which is separated from the main island by a narrow channel. "The Vineyard," as it is often called, has a permanent population of about 15,000 and a much larger summer population. The island is accessible by scheduled air service and by ferries from Wood's Hole, Hyannis, and several other locations.
*** Gay Head (Aquinnah) (2)
1856 (station established 1799). Active; focal plane 170 ft (52 m); flash every 7.5 s, alternating red and white, day and night. 51 ft (15.5 m) unpainted round red brick tower with lantern and gallery; DCB-224 aerobeacon (1953). Lantern is painted black. The original 1st order Fresnel lens, removed in 1952, is on display in a replica lantern on the grounds of the Martha's Vineyard Museum in Edgartown. The keeper's house and other light station buildings were all demolished in 1956. Timothy Valentine's photo is at right, Tracy Lee Carroll has a good photo, Anderson's page has fine photos, Britten has a fine photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This is a famous and familiar lighthouse. The lighthouse was prominent in the news in July 1999 when John F. Kennedy, Jr., was killed in a plane crash just offshore. In August 2009, President Barack Obama and his family visited the lighthouse during a Vineyard vacation. The lighthouse is endangered by erosion of the bluff on which it stands, and in May 2011 town officials learned that the need to move the tower may be coming soon. In November 2012 the Aquinnah Board of Selectmen announced formation of an advisory committee to plan for ownership, restoration, and relocation of the lighthouse. The committee has a web site for the restoration effort. In the meanwhile, the light is on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. In February 2013, a town meeting approved acquisition of the lighthouse for the purpose of relocation and preservation. In April, the Coast Guard announced plans to replace the failing DCB-224 with a modern LED light. Following protests, a replacement DCB was found in storage in Virginia. In June, the National Trust for Historic Preservation placed the lighthouse on its 2013 Most Endangered Historic Places list, and supporters launched a "Keep on Shining" campaign to save the lighthouse. The move is expected to cost about $3 million. In October 2013, researchers discovered the stone foundations of the 1799 lighthouse. In April 2014, International Chimney Corporation was selected to relocate the lighthouse. Located at the end of Lighthouse Road at the extreme western tip of Martha's Vineyard. Site open, limited parking available, tower open daily mid June through Labor Day and on weekends late May to mid June, September, and October. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Martha's Vineyard Historical Society. ARLHS USA-319; Admiralty J0476; USCG 1-0620.
* West Chop (3)
1891 (station established 1817). Active; focal plane 84 ft (25.5 m); white light occulting every 4 s; red sector covers dangerous shoals. 52 ft (16 m) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery; original 4th order Fresnel lens. The 1-1/2 story wood keeper's house (1847, remodeled 1881) is used as a Coast Guard residence; the assistant keeper's house is a vacation cottage for military personnel. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black. Anderson's page has excellent photos, Trabas has a good photo by Michael Boucher, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. A well preserved light station, including the wood fog signal building (1881) and oil house (1895). Located on West Chop Road (now Main Street) at the western entrance to Vineyard Haven Harbor in Vineyard Haven. Site closed, but visitors can park nearby; tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-877; Admiralty J0450; USCG 1-13775.
Gay Head Light
Gay Head Light, Aquinnah, September 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Timothy Valentine
** East Chop (Telegraph Hill, Oak Bluffs)
1877. Active; focal plane 79 ft (24 m); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 40 ft (12 m) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery; 300 mm lens. Lighthouse painted white, lantern black. The keeper's house was demolished in 1934. Anderson's page has good photos, another closeup photo is available, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. In 2007 the lighthouse was repaired, restored and repainted in a $140,000 project. Located on Highland Drive at the eastern entrance to Vineyard Haven Harbor in Oak Bluffs. Site open (town park, but parking is limited), tower open on Sunday evenings mid June through mid September. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Martha's Vineyard Historical Society. ARLHS USA-259; Admiralty J0446; USCG 1-13745.
* Edgartown Harbor (2)
1881 (originally the Ipswich Range Rear Light, relocated here in 1939; station established 1828). Active; focal plane 45 ft (13.5 m); red flash every 6 s. 45 ft (13.5 m) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery; 250 mm lens (1988). Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black. Andrew Cafourek's photo is at right, Anderson has a good page with several photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a good satellite view and a distant street view. The original lighthouse was built offshore, as seen in Huelse's historic postcard view. It was nearly destroyed by the 1938 hurricane and was demolished in 1939. The hurricane converted the shoal into a sandy island, which then developed into a spit, which the Coast Guard then stabilized by building a stone jetty. The present tower was renovated in 1985. In 2001 the foundation was restored and the lighthouse was rededicated as the Children's Lighthouse Memorial. In 2007, the lighthouse was restored inside and out; boarded-up windows were replaced with glass and a new spiral stairway was installed. This allowed opening the lighthouse to visitors in 2008. In 2012, the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA, and in January 2013 the town decided to seek ownership, an effiort approved by voters at a town meeting in April. In January 2014 the town was awarded ownership. Located on a spit at the entrance to Edgartown Harbor. Accessible by a short walk from the downtown area. The Falmouth-Edgartown ferry rounds the spit just before arriving. Site open, tower open daily mid June through Labor Day and on weekends late May to mid June, September, and October. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard (transfer to Town of Edgartown pending). Site manager: Martha's Vineyard Historical Society. ARLHS USA-265; Admiralty J0440; USCG 1-15420.
Cape Poge (Cape Pogue) (4)
1893 (station established 1801). Active; focal plane 65 ft (20 m); white flash every 6 s. 35 ft (11 m) round shingle-clad wood tower with lantern and gallery; solar-powered 300 mm lens. The original 4th order Fresnel lens is on display at the Martha's Vineyard Museum in Edgartown. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black. The keeper's house was demolished in 1954. Anderson has a fine page with closeup photos, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The configuration of Cape Poge changes very rapidly, and the present tower has been relocated away from the water's edge four times: in 1907, 1922, 1960 and 1987. The last relocation was 500 ft (150 m), by helicopter. The lantern was restored in 1997. Located at the extreme northeastern tip of Martha's Vineyard on Chappaquiddick Island. Accessible by boat, by a 5-mile (8 km) hike (free), or by 4-wheel drive (expensive license required) north from Tom's Neck. Site open, tower open to guided tours (admission fee, reservations required) in the summer. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Trustees of Reservations (Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge). ARLHS USA-132; Admiralty J0438; USCG 1-13715.
Edgartown Harbor Light
Edgartown Harbor Light, Edgartown, November 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Andrew Cafourek

Nantucket County Lighthouses

Nantucket Harbor Lighthouses
Note: Nantucket is an island located 30 miles (48 km) south of Cape Cod. The island has a permanent population of about 10,000, but that number is greatly increased during the summer season. Nantucket is accessible by ferries from Hyannis.
* Nantucket Cliff Range (Brant Point Range) Lights
1838. Inactive since 1912. Two wooden towers, painted white, topped by conical shingled roofs. The lights were displayed through windows. These lights have been relocated to the grounds of a private residence. Anderson has a good page for the lights with closeup photos, and Google has a satellite view, and one of the lights is visible in a distant street view. Located on opposite sides of a house on Pawguvet Lane at Hulbert Avenue, about 3/4 mi (1.2 km) northwest of Brant Point. Site and towers closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-078 (front) and 521 (rear).
* Brant Point (8)
1901 (station established 1746). Active; focal plane 26 ft (8 m); red light occulting every 4 s. 26 ft (8 m) round shingle-clad wood tower with lantern and gallery; 250 mm lens. The lighthouse is connected to shore by a walkway. Fog horn (blast every 10 s). Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black. Michael Femia's photo is at right, Anderson also has a good page for this station, Guy Cipriani has a good photo, Trabas has a photo by Michael Boucher showing this light and the next three lights as well, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. This small but prototypical lighthouse has been the model for dozens of faux lighthouses all over the U.S. The walkway, heavily damaged by a storm in 1991, was rebuilt in 1992. The Coast Guard and Campbell Construction carried out an extensive renovation of the light tower in 2000. Brant Point is the third oldest light station in the U.S., established in 1746; a series of at least five lighthouses stood here prior to 1790. Located at the water's edge east of the 1856 light station. Ferries to Nantucket round Brant Point just before arrival. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-1095; Admiralty J0414; USCG 1-15205.
* Brant Point (7)
1856 (station established 1746). Inactive since 1900. 47 ft (14 m) round brick tower, painted white with black trim, attached to a 2-story brick keeper's house; lantern removed. Anderson has a separate page for this lighthouse with good photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The building continued in use as the keeper's house for the station; it is now used as a Coast Guard communications station. Located at the Nantucket Coast Guard Station, at the end of Easton Street. Ferries to Nantucket round Brant Point just before arrival. Site open, tower closed. Owner/site manager: U.S. Coast Guard. ARLHS USA-1094.

Brant Point Light, Nantucket, April 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Michael Femia
* Nantucket Harbor Range Front
1908. Active; focal plane 35 ft (10.5 m); quick-flashing white light, brighter on the range line. 9 m (30 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower, painted white, with a small open lantern at the top and a small wood equipment shelter in the base; the tower also carries a rectangular wood daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe. Tower painted white; the daymark is red with a white vertical stripe on the range line. Anderson has a photo, Trabas has a good closeup by Michael Boucher, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located a few feet northeast of the old Brant Point Light (previous entry). Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J0416; USCG 1-15160.
* Nantucket Harbor Range Rear
1908. Active; focal plane 51 ft (15.5 m); continuous white light, brighter on the range line. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower, painted white, with a small open lantern at the top and a small wood equipment shelter in the base; the tower also carries a rectangular wood daymark painted red with a white vertical stripe. Tower painted white; the daymark is red with a white vertical stripe on the range line. Anderson has a photo, Trabas has a photo by Michael Boucher, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the water's edge south of the old Brant Point Light and 89 yd (81 m) south southeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty J0416.1; USCG 1-15165.

Nantucket Oceanside Lighthouses
** Great Point (3)
1986 reproduction of 1818 lighthouse (station established 1784). Active; focal plane 70 ft (21 m); white flash every 5 s (red sector covers dangerous shoals). 66 ft (20 m) round rubblestone-faced concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern and gallery painted black. Solar-powered VRB-25 aerobeacon. A 3rd order Fresnel lens from this station (1857, removed in 1971) is displayed in a replica lantern outside the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum. The keeper's house burned in 1966. Kate Elliott's photo is at right, Anderson also has a good page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a closeup photo by Michael Boucher, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse, a wood tower, burned under somewhat suspicious circumstances in 1816. The 1818 lighthouse was destroyed by a nor'easter in March 1984; it was rebuilt at a cost of more than $2 million appropriated by Congress. The Coast Guard has a photo of the late Senator Edward Kennedy raising the flag at the dedication of the new lighthouse in September 1986. Stone from the original lighthouse was used in the facing for the new tower. Located on the end of the long sand spit at the northeast corner of Nantucket, about 900 ft (275 m) west of the site of the 1818 tower. The area may be closed during bird nesting season; otherwise it is open to hikers (free) or 4-wheel drive vehicles (for a stiff fee). Guided tours are available daily May through October (reservations required). Site open, tower open only to guided tours. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: Trustees of Reservations (Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge). ARLHS USA-348; Admiralty J0404; USCG 1-0545.

Great Point Light, Nantucket, August 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Kate Elliott
* Sankaty Head
1850. Active; focal plane 158 ft (48 m); white flash every 7.5 s. 70 ft (21 m) round brick and granite tower with lantern and gallery; original lantern removed (1970) but replaced by an aluminum replica. Rotating DCB-224 aerobeacon. The original 2nd order Fresnel lens (one of the oldest Fresnel lenses in the U.S.) has been on display at the Nantucket Whaling Museum since 1938. Tower painted white with a broad red horizontal band; lantern, gallery, and watch room black. The historic keeper's house was demolished in 1939. The replacement keeper's house has been relocated to Nantucket and rented as low-income housing. Original oil house (1887). Timothy Valentines' photo is at right, Anderson has a page for the lighthouse with good photos, Britten has a fine photo of this light, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Marinas.com has aerial photos. This was the first U.S. lighthouse built with a Fresnel lens as its original optic. Endangered by erosion of the cliff, the lighthouse was added to the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List. In 2000, neighboring landowners got permission to install 8-foot high plastic tubes to retard the beach erosion, but this plan was dropped under protests from environmentalists. In July 2006, the 'Sconset Trust announced plans to lease the light station from the Coast Guard and relocate it 400 ft (122 m) northwest. The $4 million relocation project was carried out in 2007, with the lighthouse reaching its destination in early October. Google's satellite view shows the lighthouse in its new location, an August 2008 photo shows the lighthouse at its new location, and a 2010 photo shows the lighthouse freshly repainted. Located off the end of Baxter Road. adjacent to the fifth hole of the Sankaty Head Golf Club, north of Siasconset ('Sconset) at the eastern end of Nantucket. Site open, tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Site manager: 'Sconset Trust. ARLHS USA-735; Admiralty J0406; USCG 1-0555.
Sankaty Head Light
Sankaty Head Light, Nantucket, September 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Timothy Valentine

Southern Plymouth County Lighthouses

Wareham, Marion, and Mattapoisett Lighthouses
* Lightship WLV-613 Nantucket II
1952. The last lightship on station in the U.S., relieved 20 December 1983. 39 m (128 ft) steel lightship; lantern and gallery atop a tripod light tower amidships. Hull painted red, superstructure white, light tower and lantern gold. The ship served initially on the Ambrose station off New York, and later at Nantucket Shoals. The Coast Guard has the ship's service history, Uma Tyan has a closeup 2007 photo, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. After decommissioning, the ship was donated to a nonprofit and served as a museum in Boston. In 1996, it was placed on sale and purchased by a small group that moved the ship to Quincy but was not able to care for it. In 1998, when it looked like the ship would be scrapped, it was bought by Jack Baker, who spent more than $1 million to restore the vessel. The ship sailed to New Bedford and back in September 1999. In 2000, the ship sailed to New York to participate in OpSail 2000. In late 2002 the ship was for sale for $1.6 million, but the listing was dropped. Moored near Main Street and Cedar Street, off US 6 in Wareham. Site open, ship closed. Owner/site manager: private. ARLHS USA-524.
Bird Island
1819. Reactivated (inactive 1938-1997, now privately maintained); focal plane 37 ft (11 m); white flash every 6 s. 31 ft (9.5 m) round rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery; ML-300 lens (1997). Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black. The keeper's house and all other structures except the tower were destroyed by the hurricane of 1938. Anderson has a good page for the lighthouse, Trabas has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, and Google has a good satellite view. This historic tower was restored and relit through local efforts beginning in 1991. There was concern when longtime Bird Island Preservation Society chairman Charles Bradley Jr. retired in early 2008, but the society and the Marion harbormaster cooperated to repaint and refurbish the lighthouse in 2009. Located on a small island in Buzzard's Bay off Butler Point, Marion. Accessible only by boat. Site open except during the bird nesting season, tower closed. Owner: Town of Marion. Site manager: Bird Island Preservation Society. ARLHS USA-057; USCG 1-17105; Admiralty J0511.1.
** Ned's Point
1838 (Leonard Hammond). Reactivated (inactive 1952-1961); focal plane 41 ft (12.5 m); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 39 ft (12 m) round rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery. 250 mm lens (1996). Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black. The keeper's house was relocated to Wing's Neck Light in 1923 (see above). Tom Hardin's photo is at right, another 2007 photo is available, Anderson's page has good photos, Trabas has a closeup photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a closeup street view and a good satellite view. The lighthouse was restored through local efforts in 1993-98 and is maintained with the help of the First District Coast Guard Auxiliary. Auxiliary members worked on renovations to the lighthouse in 2011. Located in Veterans Memorial Park at the end of Ned's Point Road on the east side of the harbor entrance in Mattapoisett. Site open, tower open for tours once a week during the summer. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard (tower only). Site manager: Town of Mattapoisett. ARLHS USA-533; Admiralty J0504; USCG 1-17095.

Ned's Point Light, Mattapoisett, July 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Tom Hardin

Bristol County Lighthouses

New Bedford Harbor Lighthouses
New Bedford West Barrier
1960s. Active; focal plane 48 ft (15 m); quick-flashing green light. Lights mounted atop a 2-story concrete control tower. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. The New Bedford Hurricane Barrier was built to prevent storm surge from entering the funnel-shaped harbor, as happened with devastating results during the great hurricane of 1938. The barrier's narrow opening for ships can be closed by gates when necessary to protect the city. The East Barrier Light marks the other side of the opening. Located on the west side of the harbor entrance. Site and tower closed to the public. Admiralty J0500; USCG 1-16897.
* Palmer Island
1849. Reactivated (inactive 1962-1999, now maintained by the city of New Bedford); focal plane 42 ft (13 m); white flash every 4 s. 24 ft (7 m) round rubblestone tower with lantern and gallery; solar-powered 250 mm acrylic lens. The lantern is a fiberglass repica. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery black. Robert English has a photo, Anderson has a good page with several photos, Trabas has a photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. One of the last "old style" stone towers built. The keeper's house was destroyed by the 1938 hurricane. Though protected now by the city's hurricane dike, the tower was gutted by fire in 1966 and repeatedly vandalized thereafter. Acquired by the city in 1978, it was restored and relit in 1999. Lighthouse Digest has a feature on keeper Arthur Small. Located on a pier off the north end of the island, in New Bedford Harbor. Accessible at low water from the hurricane barrier. Visible from the New Bedford Whaling Museum, from the Cuttyhunk ferry, and from harbor tours in season. Site open, tower closed. Owner/operator/site manager: City of New Bedford. ARLHS USA-578; Admiralty J0501; USCG 1-16898.
Butler Flats
1898 (F. Hopkinson Smith). Active (maintained by the city of New Bedford); focal plane 53 ft (16 m); white flash every 4 s. 53 ft (16 m) round cylindrical brick tower incorporating 3-story keeper's quarters, with double upper gallery and a lower gallery, mounted on a concrete and cast iron caisson. Original 5th order Fresnel lens in use. Unusual design: a sparkplug tower in brick rather than cast iron. Lighthouse painted white; lantern, galleries, and caisson painted black. Cristina Carvalho's photo is at right, Anderson's page has good photos, Trabas has a good photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse has been owned and maintained by the city since 1978; volunteers and county jail inmates have worked to keep it in order. It was one of the first lighthouses in the country to be converted to solar power. In 2012 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA, but the city declined to apply for it and no other group came forward. The lighthouse was offered for sale by auction in August 2013. Nick Korstad, the owner of the similar Borden Falls lighthouse (see below), declined to bid; he estimates the lighthouse needs $1 miilion just to restore the foundation. Located in New Bedford Harbor east of Clark's Point. Accessible only by boat. Good views from the Martha's Vineyard ferry mid-May to early October. Site and tower closed. Owner: U.S. Coast Guard. Operator/site manager: City of New Bedford. ARLHS USA-099; Admiralty J0498; USCG 1-16853.
* Clark's Point (2)
1869 (station established 1804). Reactivated (inactive 1898-2001, now maintained by the city of New Bedford); focal plane 68 ft (21 m); continuous white light. 2-story rectangular keeper's house, lower story stone and upper story wood, with cylindrical lantern and gallery, mounted atop the walls of Fort Taber (1840). Lantern black; upper story of keeper's house painted white, lower story unpainted stone. Anderson has a good page for the lighthouse, Mike Carey has a closeup 2007 photo, Trabas has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse was previously endangered by neglect, but the city has completely restored the tower. The light was relit in celebrations in June 2001. Lighthouse Digest has a story on this effort and the history of the light station. Located off South Rodney Boulevard on the west shore of New Bedford Harbor. Site open, parking provided, tower closed. Owner/operator/site manager: City of New Bedford (Fort Taber Park). ARLHS USA-174; Admiralty J0497; USCG 1-16795.
Butler Flats Light
Butler Flats Light, New Bedford, May 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Cristina Carvalho
Dumpling Rocks (4?)
Date unknown (station established 1828). Active; focal plane 52 ft (16 m); green flash every 6 s. 46 ft (14 m) square cylindrical skeletal tower mounted on a square concrete base and carrying a square daymark painted green. 1-story concrete equipment shelter. A photo is available, Trabas has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. The original lighthouse was a 2-story keeper's house with the lantern on the roof. This was replaced in 1890 by a square wood tower attached to a 2-story keeper's house. The light station was largely destroyed by the great hurricane of 1938; in 1940, the remains were demolished and a skeletal tower was installed. The present skeletal tower has a more modern design. Located off Round Hill Point about 8 km (5 mi) southwest of Clarks Point. Accessible only by boat; there should be a good view from the end of Club House Road in Dartmouth. ARLHS USA-247; Admiralty J0492; USCG 1-16040(=16731).

Fall River Lighthouse
Note: The city of Fall River is on the east side of Mount Hope Bay, an arm of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay.
Borden Flats
1881. Active; focal plane 47 ft (14.5 m); white flash every 2.5 s. 50 ft (15 m) round cast iron sparkplug tower with lantern and upper and lower galleries, incorporating 2-story keeper's quarters and mounted on a circular concrete and cast iron caisson. 250 mm lens (1977). Fog horn (1 s blast every 10 s). Lighthouse painted white with one red horizontal band, lantern and gallery painted black, lantern roof red. The caisson was expanded after the hurricane of 1938 damaged the original foundation. Anderson's page has good photos, Robert Magina has a 2012 photo, Marinas.com has aerial photos, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. In 2006 the lighthouse became available for transfer under NHLPA, but no interested parties came forward to accept it. In December 2008 it was sold for $55,000 to Michael Gabriel, a Nevada attorney and lighthouse fan who had also purchased the Fourteen Foot Bank lighthouse in Delaware Bay and the Bloody Point Bar lighthouse in Chesapeake Bay. In August 2009, Gabriel announced plans to finance maintenance of his lighthouses by operating microbreweries in them. However, it seems that Gabriel had overreached, because he defaulted on the closing for Borden Flats. The lighthouse went back on the auction block, and in August the high bid of $56,569 was submitted by Nick Korstad of the privately-owned U.S. Lighthouse Establishment. Gabriel sued to have this sale stopped, but the General Services Administration says Korstead's title is clear. In 2011 Korstad had the lighthouse repainted, adding the red horizontal band. He hopes to offer public tours, but has not been able to arrange for transportation. Located in the middle of Fall River just downstream from the Braga Bridge (I-195). Accessible only by boat. There are good views from the Borden Light Marina at 251 Bank Street. Site open; tower generally closed but private tours can be arranged by contacting the owner. Owner/site manager: Borden Flats Lighthouse. ARLHS USA-072; Admiralty J0576; USCG 1-18925.

Lightship Nantucket I

* Lightship WLV-612 Nantucket I
1950. Decommissioned 1985. 2-masted, 617-ton steel lightship, length 128 ft (39 m), beam 30 ft (9 m). The ship served most of its career off San Francisco, but it was also stationed off Portland, Maine, and from 1975-1983 on the Nantucket Shoals station, where it alternated on station with Nantucket II and was one of the last two U.S. lightships in service. Anderson has a good page for the lightship, Wikimedia has Jim Henderson's February 2009 photo (also seen at right) of the ship moored at lower Manhattan, Jef Nickerson has a November 2006 photo, the Coast Guard has the ship's service history, and Bill Richardson has a historic photo of the ship on station as the San Francisco in 1954. In 1987 the vessel was purchased for $1500 by the Metropolitan District Commission of Boston with the intention that it would be refurbished as a museum. These plans were never carried out, and in the end the state allowed the ship to deteriorate at a berth in Quincy. In 1999 the State of Massachusetts declared the ship surplus property, and on March 15, 2000, the state put the ship up for auction on eBay. It was sold to Bill and Kristin Golden, who have renovated the vessel. The ship arrived in Boston under its own power in October 2002 and was moored off season at Rowe's Wharf on the Boston waterfront. In late 2004, the Goldens announced plans to berth the ship at Nantucket during the summer and sell shares in the vessel to would-be summer residents. However, nothing came of these plans. In January 2006 the Goldens put the lightship up for sale with an asking price of $7.6 million, but the ship found no buyers. In 2008 the Goldens sailed the ship to New York, where it was based at Battery Park City in lower Manhattan. In 2009 they sailed the ship to Hyannis, Massachusetts, flashing its light as a memorial to Senator Edward Kennedy. In late summer 2009 the ship was anchored at Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard. The ship's management is based at Waquoit Village, near Wood's Hole; the ship could be almost anywhere between Boston and New York. In the summer of 2013 it was at Jamestown, Rhode Island, and it was scheduled to move to New York in the fall. Site manager: private. ARLHS USA-523.

Lightship WLV-612 Nantucket at New York, February 2009
Wikimedia public domain photo by Jim Henderson

Notable faux lighthouses:

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Billingsgate (1858-ca. 1940), Cape Cod Bay near Wellfleet. ARLHS USA-055.
  • Pamet Harbor (1849-1856), Truro. ARLHS USA-961.

Adjoining pages: North: Northern Massachusetts | West: Rhode Island

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Checked and revised March 27, 2014. Lighthouses: 45. Lightships: 2. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.