Ever since 1838, there has been a lighthouse guarding the shore at Eastham, Massachusetts. Though the structure today has little resemblance to the original structure built in 1838, it still serves an important role.
The first Nausett Beach Light Station consisted of a group of three lights atop a 15-foot tall brick tower. Nicknamed The Three Sisters, it was replaced in 1892 by three separate 22-foot high wooden towers. By the early 20th Century, the coastline was again retreating and the lighthouse was dangerously close to the edge. To rectify the situation, two towers were sold and the third one was moved back from the shore, and attached to a brick foundation with a keeper’s house.
The present day Nausett Lighthouse—which is made of cast iron with a brick lining and painted red and white—originally stood in Chatham, and replaced the wood wood lighthouse in 1923. After again becoming too close to the edge of the cliff, this structure was moved one more time, across the road to its current location. Hopefully it will not need to move again any time soon!
There is a lot of wonderful maritime history imbedded in the lighthouse, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. And while many lighthouses are no longer in use, Nausett Light still guides fishing fleets and small recreational boaters along the shore.
Guests can take US-6 to reach the Nausett Lighthouse, about a half-hour drive from the Inn here in Barnstable. Park at the lot on Ocean View Drive, and take the path out to the lighthouse.
Check with us before leaving, and we’ll be happy to point out other interesting sites and places to stop along the way.