Ipswich Light, Ipswich, Massachusetts
IPSWICH RANGE LIGHTS
Location: CASTLE NECK, EAST OF ENTRANCE TO IPSWICH RIVER, NEAR IPSWICH, MASSACHUSETTS
Station Established: 1838
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1929
Foundation Materials: UNKNOWN
Construction Materials: CAST IRON
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: WHITE W/DARK ROOF AND LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: UNKNOWN
* In 1838, two brick 29 foot towers were built on the area now known as Crane Beach. The lights were 542 apart and aligned on a east-west axis. The towers had fixed lights. They were often confused with Plum Island so the western light was given a revolving light.
* Because of the shifting channels, the towers were moved several times in forty years. The front light was replaced with a “shanty-like affair known as “bug light”” sometime before 1867.
* By 1877 the rear tower was cracked beyond repair. It was replaced by a cast iron conical tower. The front light was discontinued and the rear light was automated in 1932.
* Blowing sand was a problem on the beach. Sometimes the keeper’s could only access the tower through a window. It was decided a skeletal tower would better serve the area. The cast iron tower was floated to Edgartown, Massachusetts in 1939 to replace the lighthouse there that was lost in the 1938 hurricane. The keeper’s house was later destroyed in a fire.
* The skeletal tower is all that remains of the original lighthouse site.
* Ebenezer Pulsifer, took over on February 28, 1843; relieved on April 5, 1847
* Thomas S. Greenwood, April 5, 1847-July 30, 1849
* John I. Philbrook, July 30, 1849-May 3, 1853
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.