Nauset Lighthouse (Nauset Beach Light), Eastham, Massachusetts
Location: CAPE COD - BOSTON APPROACH
Station Established: 1838
Year Current/Last Tower(s) First Lit: 1877
Automated? YES 1952
Foundation Materials: CONCRETE (RE-ERECTED 1923)
Construction Materials: CAST IRON W/BRICK LINING
Tower Shape: CONICAL
Markings/Pattern: UPPER RED, LOWER WHITE W/BLACK LANTERN
Relationship to Other Structure: SEPARATE
Original Lens: FOURTH ORDER, FRESNEL 1923
* 1833 – Boston Marine Society formed a committee to study the need for a lighthouse on the outer portion of Cape Cod. The report recommended building three towers between Highland (Cape Cod Truro) and Chatham (two towers). Congress allocated $10,000 for the project.
* 1837 – Three brick towers (known as the Three Sisters) were built on five acres of land which had been purchased for $150.00.
* 1858 – A 6th order Fresnel lens was installed.
* 1868 – Extensive repairs were made to the Keeper’s house – including ten new window frames, a chimney extension and a new sill. More repairs were made the following year.
* 1873 – The 6th order lens was replaced with a 4th order lens.
* 1892 – The three brick towers had deteriorated and were rebuilt as three wooden towers.
* 1893 – British bark Jason ran aground in a snowstorm near the lighthouses.
* 1895 – Storm porches were added to the three towers.
* 1911 – The center tower was moved back from the edge of the eroding cliff.
* 1918 – The two end towers were sold for the sum of $3.50. They became part of a summer cottage.
* 1923 – The one remaining wooden tower was replaced by one of the two cast iron towers at Chatham. The wooden tower was then sold and used as part of another summer cottage. (This tower was later sold back to the National Park Service (NPS) to be re-united with its “sisters”).
* 1939 – Keeper’s house moved onto new foundation featuring a walk-in cellar.
* 1940/41 – The top half of the tower was painted red for the first time.
* 1955 – Light automated. The characteristic was changed to alternating red and white.
* 1965 – The NPS bought back the two towers that had been sold in 1918.
* 1983 – The additions that had been added to the third tower, by the previous owner, were removed.
* 1984 – Maltese freighter Eldia driven into the beach by hurricane force winds.
* 1990 – NPS moved all three of the wooden towers to their current position in Eastham, MA.
* 1993 – The U.S. Coast Guard proposed decommissioning the lighthouse due to the erosion of the cliff. The Nauset Light Preservation Society (NLPS) was formed.
* 1995 – The NLPS signed a long-term lease for the lighthouse.
* 1996 – The lighthouse was moved back from the edge of the cliff to its current position.
* 1998 – Keeper’s house relocated next to the lighthouse.
* Michael Collins (1838 - c. 1843, 1861 - 1866)
* Henry Horton (c. 1843)
* B. H. A. Collins (1843 - 1849, 1853 - 1861)
* Joshua Crosby (1849 - 1851)
* Henry Y. Hatch (1851 - 1853)
* Peter Higgins (1866 - 1869)
* George W. Eldredge (assistant 1867)
* John Dunn (assistant 1867)
* Samuel Snow (assistant 1867 - 1868)
* John J. Ryder (assistant 1868 - 1870)
* Nathan A. Gill (Sr.?) (1869 - 1883)
* Herman Gill (assistant 1870 and 1873)
* Nathan A. Gill (Jr.?) (assistant 1873 - 1879)
* Alfred Gill (assistant 1879 - ?)
* Stephen Lewis (1883 - 1914)
* Thomas J. Kelley (1914 - 1918)
* James Yates (1918 - 1919)
* George I. Herbolt (1919 - 1932)
* John Poyner (1932)
* Allison G. Haskins (1932 - 1938)
* Fred S. Vidler (1938 - 1942)
* Eugene L. Coleman (1942 - 1952)
Researched and written by Marie Vincent, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.