Marblehead Light (MA)

Nov. 12, 2019

Marblehead Light, Marblehead, Massachusetts



Address: 4 Lighthouse Lane; Marblehead, MA 01945
Station Established: Oct.10, 1835
First Lit: April 20, 1896
Operational: Yes
Automated: Yes- 1960
Deactivated: N/A
Foundation Material: Concrete pile
Construction Material: Cast Iron
Tower Shape: Conical tower on dwelling roof
Markings: Military Brown square cast iron Skeletal & cylinder tower with black 
Relationship to Other Structures: Separate
Original Lens:
Tower Height: 105 feet
Range: – 7 miles
Original Optic: Sixth Order Fresnel lens 
Present Optic: 300 mm
Characteristics: Fixed white until 1922. Changed to a fixed Green in 1938
First Keeper: Ezekiel Darling
Current Use: Active aide to Navigation
Fog Signal: 2 blast every 20 seconds

Historical Information:

* On August 30, 1831 the citizens of Marblehead requested that a lighthouse be erected “ on the point of the Neck at the entrance to the harbor”. 
* Congress appropriated $4,501 for the Lighthouse on June 30, 1834. It was agreed that on the northern tip of Marblehead Neck was the most suitable location. The lighthouse was constructed and put into operation on Oct. 10, 1835
* A 23’ white tower and keepers cottage was attached by a covered walkway were built in the rear of a small fort.
* Because of all the cottages that were built on the island and around the tower. The houses obscured the tower and it could not be seen at sea.
* In 1893 a light was hoisted on the top of a tall most rear of the lighthouse. This bought time for a taller Lighthouse to be built.
* In 1893 the annual report of the Lighthouse Board made a case for a new, taller tower. An appropriation of $45,000 was requested for the construction of a brick tower of 100 feet high.
* Funds were appropriated and a contract was awarded in June 1895 for the building of a new lighthouse. But it was not to be a brick lighthouse. Instead a 105 foot cast iron skeleton was erected at a cost of $8,786.
* From 1895 –1896 the present 105‘ high cast iron skeletal tower with a Black lantern room was built.
* This light was lit April 20; 1896- it was a fixed white light. 
* In 1933 the lights characteristics were changed to a fixed red. And now it’s currently a fixed green.
* In 1960 Marblehead light was automated and the keeper's house was demolished.
* In 1993 the Lighthouse was sandblasted and repainted military brown.

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