Shining the Light on Lighthouses

A trip to Cape Cod is a trip into lighthouse history. Lighthouses span the coasts (and can even be found in the Midwest) but until rotating lenses were introduced, there was no way to really know which light house you were seeing from the water. The rotating lenses are what allows lighthouses to develop a unique flashing pattern that boats could read. But before that, Cape Cod developed a different solution: multiple lighthouses next to each other to create a recognizable light feature.

The original lighthouse appropriated at Chatham was built as two separate lighthouses, 70 feet apart. North of Chatham, at Eastham, three light houses were installed at Nauset Light Station. They were nicknamed the Three Sisters, as from the sea they resembled three women in white dresses and black hats. In 1923, the northern of the two Chatham lighthouses was moved to replace the Three Sisters. You can still visit the Three Sisters today; they have been relocated inland and are a short walk from from Nauset Light.

26-lg-6-20b
Chatham, late 1880s, via New England Lighthouses
IMG_0696
Chatham 2018
IMG_1746
Nauset, formerly the second light at Chatham, 2018
1493300631782.jpeg
The Three Sisters, via Nauset Light Preservation Society
IMG_1748
The Three Sisters 2018

IMG_1750

Sources and Further Reading:

I previously wrote about the Admiralty Head Lighthouse in Puget Sound here.

I will always detour for a lighthouse. The Midwest has them too! See:

The history of Chatham Light from New England Lighthouses

The website for the Nauset Light Preservation Society

The Three Sisters Lighthouses, Cape Cod National Seashore

IMG_1630
Sankaty Head Light, Nantucket
IMG_1227
East Chop Light, Oak Bluffs, MA
IMG_0770
Newport, RI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s