Massachussetts Lighthouses

Lighthouses in the state of Massachusetts as identified by the United States Coast Guard. Enumeration of the lighthouses in this state is complicated by the number of multiple tower stations and replacement of older towers, with the Brant Point Light station having had nine towers, two of which survive. At present there are forty-seven active towers, of which eleven are privately maintained; thirteen are standing but inactive, seven have been replaced with skeleton towers, thirteen have been destroyed or removed, and one tower has been moved to another state.

The oldest station, Boston Light, established in 1716, was the first lighthouse built in the colonies, and the current tower at that station, built in 1783, is the oldest survivor in the state and the second oldest in the nation, and was the last lighthouse automated in the United States.[2] The last station established was at the Buzzards Bay Entrance Light in 1961 (since replaced by an automated light on a steel tripod), but in 1986 the 1818 Great Point Light was rebuilt and relit, making it the last tower constructed in the state. The tallest towers in the state are the two Cape Ann Light towers, but the highest focal plane is at the Hospital Point Range Rear Light, which is located in the steeple of the First Baptist Church of Beverly.

A number of inactivated Massachusetts lights have met with unusual fates. The Three Sisters of Nauset were sold off to separate private buyers before being purchased by the National Park Service and moved back near their original site. Range lights in Nantucket and Hyannis were incorporated into private dwellings, the former housing the Gilbreth family of Cheaper by the Dozen fame. The Point Gammon Light was converted into an observation tower for bird watching.

If not otherwise noted, focal height and coordinates are taken from the United States Coast Guard Light List,[3] while location and dates of activation, automation, and deactivation are taken from the United States Coast Guard Historical information site for lighthouses.

Name Image Location Year first lit Current Lens Focal Height
Annisquam Harbor Light Gloucester
(Cape Ann)
1801 (Former)
1898 (Current)
190mm 045 45 ft (14 m)
Bakers Island Light Salem 1791 (Former)
1821 (Current)
190mm 111 111 ft (34 m)
Billingsgate Island Light Wellfleet
(Billingsgate Island)
1858 None 040 40 ft (12 m)
Bird Island Light Marion
(Buzzards Bay)
1819 Unknown 047 47 ft (14 m)
Bishop and Clerks Light Hyannis 1858 None 059 59 ft (18 m)
Borden Flats Light Fall River
(Taunton River)
1875 (Former)
1881 (Current)
250mm 047 47 ft (14 m)
Boston Light Boston
(Little Brewster Island)
1716 (Former)
1783 (Current)
Second-order Fresnel 102 102 ft (31 m)
Brant Point Light Nantucket 1856
(Old)
1901
(Current)
Fifth-order Fresnel 046 46 ft (14 m)
(Old)
26 ft (7.9 m)
(Current)
Broad Sound Channel Inner Range Lights Boston
(Spectacle Island)
1903 None 053 53 ft (16 m)
(Front)
70 ft (21 m)
(Rear)
Butler Flats Light New Bedford
(Acushnet River)
1898 Fifth-order Fresnel 025 25 ft (7.6 m)
Buzzards Bay Entrance Light Buzzards Bay 1961 (Former)
1997 (Current)
Unknown 101 101 ft (31 m)
Cape Ann Light Station
(aka: Thacher Island Lights)
Rockport
(Thacher Island)
1861 VRB-25 166 166 ft (51 m)
Cape Poge Light Edgartown
(Chappaquiddick Island)
1801 (Former)
1893 (Current)
300mm 065 65 ft (20 m)
Chatham Light Chatham 1808 (Former)
1877 (Current)
DCB-224 080 80 ft (24 m)
Clarks Point Light New Bedford 1797 (Former)
1869 (Current)
250mm 068 68 ft (21 m)
Cleveland East Ledge Light Falmouth 1943 190mm 074 74 ft (23 m)
Cuttyhunk Light Gosnold
(Cuttyhunk Island)
1823
(The last L.H.
was built in 1891)
None Unknown
Deer Island Light Boston
(Deer Island)
1890 None 053 53 ft (16 m)
Derby Wharf Light Salem 1871 Optic 025 25 ft (7.6 m)
Dumpling Rocks Light Buzzards Bay 1829
(The last L.H.
was built in 1889)
None Unknown
Duxbury Pier Light Duxbury
(Plymouth Harbor)
1871 Fourth-order Fresnel 035 35 ft (11 m)
East Chop Light Oak Bluffs 1869 (Former)
1878 (Current)
300mm 079 79 ft (24 m)
Eastern Point Light Gloucester
(Cape Ann)
1833 (Former)
1890 (Current)
DCB-24 057 57 ft (17 m)
Edgartown Harbor Light Edgartown 1828 (Former)
1939 (Current)
250mm 045 45 ft (14 m)
Egg Rock Light Egg Rock
(Near Nahant)
1856
(The last L.H.
was built in 1898)
None 090 90 ft (27 m)
Fairhaven Bridge Light Fairhaven 1888 None Unknown
Falmouth Inner Light Falmouth Unknown Unknown 025 25 ft (7.6 m)
Fort Pickering Light Salem
(Winter Island)
1871 Unknown 028 28 ft (8.5 m)
Gay Head Light Aquinnah 1799 (Former)
1856 (Current)
DCB-224 170 170 ft (52 m)
Great Point Light Nantucket 1769 (Former)
1986 (Current)
VRB-25 071 71 ft (22 m)
Highland Light Truro
(North Truro)
1797(Former)
1857(Current)
LED 170 170 ft (52 m)
Hospital Point Range Front Light Beverly 1872 Optic 070 70 ft (21 m)
Hospital Point Range Rear Light Beverly 1927 Unknown 183 183 ft (56 m)
Hyannis Front Range Light Hyannis 1885 None 020 20 ft (6.1 m)
Hyannis Rear Range Light Hyannis 1849 None 043 43 ft (13 m)
Ipswich Front Range Light None Ipswich 1838 None 025 25 ft (7.6 m)
Ipswich Rear Range Light Ipswich 1838 (Former)
1939 (Current)
Unknown 042 42 ft (13 m)
Long Island Head Light Boston
(Long Island)
1819(Former)
1901(Current)
Acrylic 120 120 ft (37 m)
Long Point Light Provincetown
(Long Point)
1827 (Former)
1875 (Current)
Optic 036 36 ft (11 m)
Lovells Island Range Lights Boston
(Lovells Island)
1903 None 031 31 ft (9.4 m)
(Front Light)
40 ft (12 m)
(Rear Light)
Marblehead Light Marblehead 1835 (Former)
1895 (Current)
300mm 130 130 ft (40 m)
Mayo Beach Light N/A Wellfleet
(Mayo Beach)
1837
(The last L.H.
was built in 1881)
None Unknown
Minot's Ledge Light Cohasset 1850 (Former)
1860 (Current)
300mm 085 85 ft (26 m)
Monomoy Point Light Chatham
(Monomoy Island)
1823 (Former)
1849 (Current)
None 047 47 ft (14 m)
Nantucket Beacon Nantucket 1794
(Coast Guard clam)
or
1820
(Congressional claim)
None 024 24 ft (7.3 m)
Nantucket Cliff Range Lights Nantucket 1838(Former)
1889 (Current)
None Unknown
Nantucket Harbor Range Lights Nantucket
(Brant Point)
1908 Unknown 035 35 ft (11 m)
(Front Light)
51 ft (16 m)
(Rear Light)
Nauset Beach Light Eastham
(Nauset Beach)
1838 (Former)
1877 (Current)
DB-224 120 120 ft (37 m)
Ned Point Light Mattapoisett 1838 250mm 041 41 ft (12 m)
Newburyport Harbor Light Newburyport 1788 (Former)
1898 (Current)
Fourth-order Fresnel 050 50 ft (15 m)
Newburyport Harbor Front Range Light Newburyport 1873 None 037 37 ft (11 m)
Newburyport Harbor Rear Range Light Newburyport 1873 None 058 58 ft (18 m)
Nobska Light Woods Hole 1829 (Former)
1876 (Current)
Fourth-order Fresnel 087 87 ft (27 m)
Old Scituate Light Scituate
(Scituate Harbor)
1811 Replica lantern 070 70 ft (21 m)
Palmer Island Light New Bedford 1849 Fifth-order Fresnel 034 34 ft (10 m)
Plymouth Light Plymouth 1768 (Former)
1843 (Current)
100mm 102 102 ft (31 m)
Point Gammon Light None Hyannis 1816 None 070 70 ft (21 m)
Race Point Light Provincetown 1816 (Former)
1876 (Current)
VRB-25 041 41 ft (12 m)
Sandy Neck Light Barnstable 1826 (Former)
1857 (Current)
Unknown Unknown
Sankaty Head Light Nantucket
(Siasconset)
1850 Second-order Fresnel 158 158 ft (48 m)
Spectacle Island Range Lights Boston
(Spectacle Island)
1897 None 029 29 ft (8.8 m)(Front Light)
54 ft (16 m)
(Rear Light)
Stage Harbor Light Chatham 1880 None Unknown
Straitsmouth Island Light Rockport 1835 (Former)
1896 (Current)
250mm 046 46 ft (14 m)
Tarpaulin Cove Light Gosnold
(Naushon Island)
1818 (Former)
1891 (Current)
300mm 078 78 ft (24 m)
Ten Pound Island Light Gloucester 1821 (Former)
1881 (Current)
250mm 057 57 ft (17 m)
The Graves Light Boston
(The Graves)
1905 VRB-25 098 98 ft (30 m)
Three Sisters of Nauset Eastham 1838 (Former)
1892 (Current)
None Unknown
West Chop Light Tisbury 1817 (Former)
1891 (Current)
Unknown 084 84 ft (26 m)
West Dennis Light West Dennis 1855 300mm 044 44 ft (13 m)
Wing's Neck Light Pocasset 1849 None Unknown
Wood End Light Provincetown
(Long Point)
1864 (Former)
1872 (Current)
VRB-25 045 45 ft (14 m)

The Lighthouses of Massachusetts (Lighthouse Treasury)

Jeremy D'Entremont has been writing about and photographing lighthouses for two decades. Webmaster of ""New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide"" at www.lighthouse.cc, he is founder and president of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, a board member of the American Lighthouse Foundation, and a writer for Lighthouse Digest magazine. A native of Lynn, Massachusetts, he lives with his wife, Charlotte Raczkowski, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.