Cape Ann Lighthouse Tour

Six lighthouses have been built along the Cape Ann coastline to protect seafarers from rocky shores. Our tour will begin in Ipswich Bay and follow a southerly course around the Cape from Ipswich Bay to Gloucester Harbor.

Annisquam Harbor Lighthouse
White light flashing every 7.5 seconds with red sector
Annisquam light was erected in 1801 to mark the entrance to the Annisquam River. The river connected Ipswich Bay to Gloucester harbor following the construction of the Blynman Canal. Annisquam Harbor Lighthouse's wooden frame was replaced with the existing brick tower in 1867. The quaint light is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard and is easily accessible from the nearby village of Annisquam in Gloucester.

Straightsmouth Island Lighthouse
Green light flashing every six seconds
Straightsmouth Island Lighthouse was built in 1835 to mark the entrance to nearby Rockport Harbor. The relatively small lighthouse is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. However, Straightsmouth Island is owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society as a bird and wildlife sanctuary. The light is easily seen from the tip of Bearskin Neck in downtown Rockport.

Thacher Island Twin Lighthouses
White light flashing five times at 20 second intervals
Also known as Cape Ann Light Station, these twin lights are the only surviving multiple-lights on the coasts of the United States. The original 45-foot towers were constructed and lit in 1789 -- making them among the oldest of America's lighthouses. The stout 124 foot granite towers seen today replaced the original lights in 1861. The two stately towers were constructed within short distance of each other on the same island because it was thought that the twin lights would be more easily distinguishable by passing ships. However, that notion quickly faded as single lights were equipped with their own signature lighting sequence for identification. During summer months, the island is open to visitors and a small shuttle boat operates from nearby Rockport.

Eastern Point Lighthouse
White light flashing every 5 seconds
Eastern Point Lighthouse was erected on Gloucester's Eastern Point to mark the harbor entrance in 1832. In addition to the light is a large lighthouse station which continues to serve as housing for the U.S. Coast Guard. Eastern Point light is rather easily reached from downtown Gloucester by following Eastern Point Avenue to its end.

Ten Pound Island Lighthouse
Equal interval red light every 6 seconds
This quaint light is located on Ten Pound Island within Gloucester Harbor. The light was constructed in 1821 to mark the island and act a marker for navigating Gloucester's inner harbor. The island is easily visible from many locations along Gloucester's waterfront. Tiny Ten Pound Island -- so named for the amount of sheep pens (pounds) that it could hold -- boasts housing America's first coast guard station. One of the station's more famous occupants was artist Winslow Homer. The noted artist spent a year living at the light in 1880.

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