New England Lighthouse Collection
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Chatham Lighthouse, known as Twin Lights prior to 1923, is a lighthouse in Chatham, Massachusetts, near the "elbow" of Cape Cod.
The station was established in 1808, the second light on Cape Cod. To distinguish it from Highland Light, the first Cape Cod light, and to act as a range, twin octagonal 40 ft (12m) wooden towers were built. They were on skids so that they could be moved to keep them in line with the entrance channel as it shifted. Samuel Nye was appointed as the first Keeper of the Chatham Lights by President Jefferson on October 7, 1808.
Today, the former keeper's house is an active U.S. Coast Guard station, and on-duty personnel living quarters. Search and Rescue, maritime law enforcement, and Homeland Security missions are carried out here. Flotilla 11-01 of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary operates from this station.
Chatham Light was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Chatham Light Station on June 15, 1987,
Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse
The Highland Light, also previously known as Cape Cod Light, is a working lighthouse on the Cape Cod National Seashore in North Truro, Massachusetts. It is the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod. The grounds are open year round, while the light is open to the public from May until late October, with guided tours available. It is owned by the National Park Service, and cared for by the Highland Museum and Lighthouse Inc., while the United States Coast Guard operates the light itself. The United States Navy ship USS Highland Light was named after the light. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Highland Light Station.
Cape Cod Old Harbor Life Saving Station
There are several historic buildings within the Cape Cod National Seashore, including the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station. Built around 1897, the station was originally located at Nauset Beach in Chatham. At the time it housed US Coast Guard lifesaving crews and served as a temporary shelter for rescued persons. Beach erosion forced a relocation of the station and it was moved by the National Park Service to Provincetown in 1977.
Stage Harbor Lighthouse
Stage Harbor Light, also known as Harding Beach Light, was built in 1880 and is the youngest of the Cape Cod Light Stations. Chatham is the entrance to Stage Harbor, which is important to fishing and commercial traffic. The light was installed to complement the light at Chatham, which is one of the foggiest points on the East Coast.
The tower was built of curved iron plates lined with brick. It is identical to the "Chatham Twins." A fifth-order Fresnel lens was installed. The light was attached to a keeper's house similar to the one at Mayo Beach.
During Prohibition, liquor was stored under the floorboards in the passage between the light and keeper's house. During a surprise inspection, the inspector noted the loose floorboards, but simply told the keeper to repair them.
An automated light on a skeleton tower was built in 1933, and the lighthouse was decommissioned. The lantern room was removed, and the site sold to private ownership.
Bass Harbor Head Light
Bass Harbor Head Light is a lighthouse located within Acadia National Park on the southeast corner of Mount Desert Island, Maine, marking the entrance to Bass Harbor and Blue Hill Bay.
The history of Bass Harbor Head Light started in 1855 when it was deemed that there was sufficient reason for a lighthouse at the mouth of Bass Harbor. $5000 was appropriated by Congress for its construction in 1858. The construction of a fog bell and tower, which no longer remains today, was completed in 1876 with a much larger 4000 pound (1800 kg) bell being placed inside the tower in 1898. The keeper's house remains in its original configuration with the exception of a 10-foot addition that was added in 1900. The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Bass Harbor Head Light Station on January 21, 1988.
In 1902, an oil storage house constructed of brick was built 205 feet northwest of the lighthouse.
Bass Harbor's fifth order Fresnel lens was replaced in 1902 with a larger fourth order. This lens was manufactured by the French company Henry-Lepaute. This lens remains in service today.
Nauset Beach Lighthouse
Nauset Light, officially Nauset Beach Light, is a lighthouse in Eastham, Massachusetts. It is a cast iron plate shell lined with brick and stands 48 feet (15 m) high.
Nauset Light was constructed in 1877 and was originally one of two lights in Chatham. It was moved to Eastham in 1923 to replace the Three Sisters of Nauset, three small wood lighthouses that had been decommissioned. They have since been relocated to a small field about 1,000 feet (300 m) west of the Nauset Light.
The light was automated and the keeper's house was sold in 1955. Due to coastal erosion, by the early 1990s Nauset Light was less than 50 feet (15 m) from the edge of the 70-foot (21 m) cliff on which it stood. In 1993, the Coast Guard proposed decommissioning the light. There was a great public outcry. The non-profit Nauset Light Preservation Society was formed and funded and, in 1995, leased the lighthouse from the Coast Guard. It arranged the light's relocation in November 1996 to a location 336 feet (102 m) west of the original one. The move was accomplished successfully by International Chimney Corporation, which had previously moved the larger Highland Light a similar distance.
In 1998, Mary Daubenspeck, who had owned the keeper's house since 1955, agreed to donate it to the National Park Service with the right to live in it for 25 years. It was agreed that the house would be moved from its original location, then only 23 feet from the edge of the cliff, to a new location near the relocated tower. This was accomplished in October, 1998. At about the same time, the Coast Guard gave the tower to the National Park Service and the Nauset Light Preservation Society agreed to maintain it as a private aid to navigation.
The lighthouse is the logo for Cape Cod Potato Chips. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 as Nauset Beach Light
Portland Head Light
Portland Head Light is a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine that sits at the entrance of the shipping channel into Casco Bay. The headlight was the first built by the United States government, and is now a part of Fort Williams Park. Construction began in 1787 at the directive of George Washington, and was completed on January 10, 1791. Whale oil lamps were originally used for illumination. In 1855 a fourth-order Fresnel lens was installed; that was replaced by a second-order Fresnel lens in which was replaced by an aero beacon in 1958 . That lens was replaced with an DCB-224 aero beacon in 1991.
In 1787, while Maine was still part of the state of Massachusetts, George Washington engaged two masons from the town of Portland, Jonathan Bryant and John Nichols, and instructed them to take charge of the construction of a lighthouse on Portland Head. Washington reminded them that the colonial government was poor and that the materials used to build the lighthouse should be taken from the fields and shores. They could be handled nicely when hauled by oxen on a drag, he said. The original plans called for the tower to be 58 feet tall. When the mason completed this task they climbed to the top of the tower and realized that it would not be visible beyond the headlands to the south, so it was raised approximately 20 feet.
The old tower, built of rubblestone, . Washington gave the masons four years to build the tower. While it was under construction, the federal government was formed (in 1789) and it looked for a while as though the lighthouse would not be finished. The first congress made an appropriation and authorized Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, to inform the mechanics that they could go on with the completion of the tower. The tower was completed during 1790 and first lit January 10, 1791.
During the American Civil War, raids on shipping in and out of Portland Harbor became commonplace, and because of the necessity for ships at sea to sight Portland Head Light as soon as possible, the tower was raised twenty feet. The current keepers' house was built in 1891. When Halfway Rock Light was built, Portland Head Light was considered less important and in 1883 the tower was shortened 20 feet and a weaker fourth-order Fresnel lens was added. The former height and second-order Fresnel lens was restored in 1885 following mariners' complaints.
The station has changed little except for the rebuilding of the whistle house in 1975 due to it being badly damaged in a storm. Today, Portland Head Light stands 80 feet above ground and 101 feet above water, its white conical tower being connected with a dwelling. The DCB 224 airport style aerobeacon is visible from 24 miles away. The 400 watt metal halide lamp is rated for 20,000 hours and produces 36,000 lumens of light at 200,000 candlepower. The grounds, and keeper's house are owned by the town of Cape Elizabeth, while the beacon, and fog signal are owned and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard as a current aid to navigation. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Portland Head light (sic) on April 24, 1973.
March 19th, 2013
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