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.
White light flashing every 7.5 seconds with red
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.
Green light flashing every six
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
Thacher Island Twin
White light flashing five times at 20 second
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.
White light flashing every 5 seconds
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
Equal interval red light every 6 seconds
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.