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Name: Highland Light  

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Also known as: Cape Cod Light

Nearest Town or City:
North Truro, Massachusetts, United States

Location: Cape Cod National Seashore.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont
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Managing Organization:
Cape Cod National Seashore.

Telephone: 508-487-1121

Highland (Cape Cod) Light was the first lighthouse on Cape Cod. In 1996 the lighthouse was moved 450 feet back from the edge of the eroding cliff. The lighthouse is on the Cape Cod National Seashore and is operated by the National Park Service. The active light is still maintained by the Coast Guard.

Tower Height: 66

Height of Focal Plane: 183

Characteristic and Range: Flashing white every five seconds.

Description of Tower: Conical white brick tower with black cast iron lantern.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1857 1.5 story wood keeper's house, generator shed.

Earlier Towers?
1797: 45-foot wooden tower; 1831: brick tower.

Date Established: 1797

Date Present Tower Built: 1857

Tower Moved?
yes (1996)

Date Automated: 1987

Optics: 1797: 24 lamps and reflectors; 1811: new Winslow Lewis patent lamps and reflectors; 1857: First order Fresnel lens; 1901: New first order Fresnel lens; c. early 1950s: Rotating aerobeacons; 1998: VRB-25.

Fog Signal: 1873: First class Daboll fog trumpet.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation, gift shop in keeper's house.

Open To Public? yes

The keeper's house now houses a gift shop with lighthouse-related items. Near the lighthouse station is the Highland House Museum of the Truro Historical Society. The museum has exhibits on the Pamet Indians native to the area, shipwreck mementos, early fishing and whaling gear and more. The museum is open June 1 to September 30 every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $3 per person; children under 12 are free. The lighthouse is open to the public from May 1 through October. There are guided tours of the lighthouse tower every day from 10 am to 5 pm. During summer the lighthouse is open for tours until sunset. Children under 51 inches tall are not allowed to climb the tower. Tickets are $3 per person. You can buy a combination ticket for the museum and lighthouse for $5. There is also an observation deck (free) near the edge of the 120-foot cliff.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: Keepers: Isaac Small (1797-1812), Constant Hopkins (1812-1817), John Grocier (or Grozier) (1817-c.1840), Jesse Holbrook (1840-1843), James Small (1843-1849 and 1853-1856), Warren Newcomb (1849-1850), Enoch Hamilton (1850-c.1853), Horace A. Hughes (1856-1859), John Kenney (1859-1861), Thomas R. Small (1861-1866), Hezekiah P Hughes (1866-1870), Thomas Lowe (1870-1872), William W. Goss (1872-1873), David F Loring (1873-1887), Amasa S Dyer (1887-1891), Stephen Rich (1891-1912), George A. Faulkner (1912-1915), Fred W. Tibbetts (1915-1935), William A. Joseph (1935-1947) First Assistants: James Small (1857-1859), T. R. Small (1859), Hugh Hopkins (1859-1861), Samuel Knowles (1861-1862), Henry Hutchings (1862-1865), John P. Grozier (1865-1867), Thomas Lowe (1868-1870), Peter Higgins (1870-1871), Samuel T. Eastman (1871-1873), David F. Loring (1873), Thomas R. Small (1873-1874), John Francis (1874-1875), Stephen S. Lewis (1875-1883), George Dolby (1883-1885, Philip R. Smith (1883-1886), Amasa S. Dyer (1886-1887), Frank Chapman (1887-1890), Thomas Ellis (1890-1891), Stephen D. Rich (1891), Michael J. Curran (1891 ), Edwin F. King (1891-1892), John B Carter (1892-1894), .Albert M Horte (1894 ), Russell B. Eastman (1900-1906), John R. Forrest (1906-1907), George A. Faulkner (1908-1912), Joseph Cabral (1912), F.W. Tibbetts (1912-1915), ? Cobb (1917-1923), George C. Smith (1923-1925), ? McAfee (1925-1926), William A. Joseph (c. 1923-1935), ? Howard (1935-? ), Charles F. Ellis (c. 1938-1944) Second Assistants: Thomas H Kenny (1857-1861), E. S. Harding (1861-1864), John C. Doane (1864-1865), Nath. P. Atwood (1865-1868), Jeremiah T. Stevens (1871-1872), George Allen (1872-1873), David F. Loring (1873), Thomas R. Small (1873), John Francis (1874), Stephen S. Lewis (1874-1875), E. Mayo (1875-1876), Thomas E Marchant (1876-1880), Cullen A Hughes (1880-1882), George W Crosby (1882), George Dolby (1882-1883), Philip R Smith (1883-1885), Amasa S. Dyer (1885-1886), John R. Smith (1886-1887), Thomas Ellis (1887-1890), Stephen D. Rich (1890-1891), William Merchant (1891), Edwin King Jr. (1891), John B. Carter (1891-1892), James Kingsley (1892-1893), John D. Snow (1893-1896), Russell B. Easman (1896-1900), Frank Lowe (1900), Oscar C.G. Bohm (1902), Ernest Small (1903-1905), John R Forrest (1905-1906), George A. Faulkner (1906-1908), J. L. Cabral (1908-1911), John Hansen (1912), F. W. Tibbett (1912), W. E. Wheeler (1912-1913), Horace Hamilton (1913-1914), ? Cobb (1914-1916), James Yates (1916-1917), ? Cochrane (1917-1920), G. C. Smith (1920-1923), William A Joseph (c. 1921-1923), C. D. Hill (1933?-1934), C. F. Ellis (1934-?), Anthony K. Souza (c. 1938-1939),William C. Dawe (1939-1942), Harvey C. Harris (1942), John Botello (c. 1942-1944) U.S. Coast Guard Officer in Charge: Alfred Viera (c. 1951-1953), Donald Ormsby (1953-1956), William E. Joseph (1957-1959), Elias J. Martinez (1959-1965), William J. McEachern (1965-?), George Bassett Jr. (1967-1968), Robert E. Holbert (1968-c.1970), A. G. "Sandy" Lyle (1978-1982), Patrick Prunty (?-1986). Others: Raymond Rich (substitute keeper 1904), Bernie Webber (Coast Guard, 1946-?), Charles Johnson (Coast Guard c. 1976), Chris Ordway (Coast Guard c, 1982).


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