Wings Neck Lighthouse

Oct. 24, 2019

Wings Neck Lighthouse, Bourne, Massachusetts



Station Established: 1849
First Lit: 
Operational: No
Automated: No
Deactivated: Discontinued in 1945
Foundation Material: Fieldstone
Construction Material: Wood
Tower Shape: Hexagonal pyramidal wooden tower with black cast iron lantern
Markings: White with Black Lantern
Relationship to Other Structures: Attached to the stone dwelling
Original Lens: Multiple lanterns and reflectors
Tower Height: 32 feet
Range: –6 miles
Original Optic: Three and one Half-Order Fresnel Lens 
Present Optic: None
Characteristics: It was fixed then it was changed to flashing
First Keeper: Edward D. Lawrence
Current Use: Private Residence, vocational rental
Fog Signal: Fog Bell and striking mechanism in pyramidal tower (destroyed)
National Register Status

Historical Information:

* The land where the lighthouse is built was once swampy and mosquito infested.
* In 1837 Congress first appropriated $5,000 for a lighthouse at the tip of Wing’s Neck, but it was delayed after some debate about whether the lighthouse was really needed.
* Maritime traffic in the area increased, so Congress appropriated $3,500 for a lighthouse in 1848.
* Due to the poor condition and fire damage the funds were appropriated in 1888 to rebuild the station.
* In 1902 a pyramidal wooden bell tower and 1,000-pound fog bell was added.
* For many years, Wing’s Neck was deemed the most important lighthouses on the Atlantic Coast because of the heavy shipping traveling the Cape Cod Canal.
* When Cleveland Ledge Light was built Wings Neck was considered expendable.
* In 1945 Wings Neck was discontinued and went up for sale in 1947. Frank and Irene Flanagan bought the lighthouse; they lived in it until they died.
* The area around the lighthouse is a monitoring station for the Cape Cod Canal, with radar and a closed circuit television system.
* The Lighthouse is now a vacation rental.

Researched and written by Linda Herman, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.