Nobska Light

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Nobska Light
Nobska Light (March 2005)
Location Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Coordinates 41°30′56.7″N 70°39′18.5″W / 41.515750°N 70.655139°W / 41.515750; -70.655139
Year first constructed 1829
Year first lit 1876 (current tower)
Automated 1985
Foundation Natural Emplaced
Construction Iron with brick lining
Tower shape Cylindrical
Markings / pattern White with black lantern
Height 40 feet (12 m)
Focal height 87 feet (27 m)
Original lens Fifth-order Fresnel lens, 1876
Current lens Fourth-order Fresnel lens, 1888
Range White 13 nautical miles (24 km; 15 mi), Red 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi)
Characteristic Fl W, 6 sec. Red sector
Fog signal 2 blasts every 30s
Admiralty number J0456
ARLHS number USA-550
USCG number


Nobska Point Light Station
Nobska Light is located in Cape Cod
Nobska Light
Location Nobska Rd., Falmouth, Massachusetts
Coordinates 41°30′59″N 70°39′27″W / 41.51639°N 70.65750°W / 41.51639; -70.65750Coordinates: 41°30′59″N 70°39′27″W / 41.51639°N 70.65750°W / 41.51639; -70.65750
Area 2.1 acres (0.85 ha)
Built 1876
Architectural style Italianate, Other, Federal Revival
Governing body Federal
MPS Lighthouses of Massachusetts TR
NRHP Reference # 87001483[4]
Added to NRHP June 15, 1987

Nobska Light, or Nobsque Light, also known as Nobska Point Light is a lighthouse located at the division between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound in Woods Hole on the southwestern tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It overlooks Martha's Vineyard and Nonamessett Island. The light station was established in 1826, and the current tower dates to 1876. The light station was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Nobska Point Light Station in 1987.

Description and history[edit]

Nobska Light is set at the very southwestern tip of Cape Cod, separated from the shore by Nobska Road. The light station includes four buildings: the tower, the keeper's house, a radio beacon house, and a small oil house. The tower has a brick interior and a metal exterior, formed out of four rings of iron paneling, and rises to a height of 40 feet (12 m). The first three panels each have a single sash window with an Italianate surround, while the fourth level sports four porthole windows. The tower is topped by a ten-sided lantern house with an iron balcony and railing encircling it. A wood frame entry vestibule with gable roof projects toward the keeper's house. The oil house is a small brick structure with a gable roof, while the radio beacon house is a larger brick structure, also with a gable roof.[5]

The keeper's house was built in two stages, and was built to house both a keeper and an assistant. It is a 1-1/2 story Cape style wood frame house, whose older section was built in 1876; the other half was built c. 1900. A central single-story cross-gable wing extends toward the tower, with enclosed porches on either side.[5] The keeper's house currently serves as the residence for the Commanding Officer of United States Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England.

The light station was established in 1828, with the original light mounted on top of the keeper's house. In 1876 the present tower was built, along with one portion of the keeper's house and the oil house. In 1937 the radio beacon building was built, to house a radio link to the West Chop Light on Martha's Vineyard. In 1948 a steel radio tower and fog station were added. The light was automated in 1985.[5] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.[4]


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