Annisquam Harbor Light

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Annisquam Harbor Light
GloucesterMA AnnisquamLight 2.jpg
Annisquam Harbor Light is located in Massachusetts
Annisquam Harbor Light
Location Wigwam Pt., Gloucester, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°39′42.781″N 70°40′53.44″W / 42.66188361°N 70.6815111°W / 42.66188361; -70.6815111Coordinates: 42°39′42.781″N 70°40′53.44″W / 42.66188361°N 70.6815111°W / 42.66188361; -70.6815111
Year first constructed 1801
Year first lit 1898
Automated 1974
Foundation Stone
Construction Brick
Tower shape Cylindrical
Markings / pattern White with black lantern
Height 45-feet
Focal height 45 feet (14 m)
Original lens 5th order Fresnel lens
Current lens 7.5 inches (190 mm)
Range W 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi), R 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi)
Characteristic Fl W 7.5s with Red sector
Fog signal 19th century: Bell
1931: Horn, 2 every 60s
Admiralty number J0268
ARLHS number USA-015
USCG number

1-9615 [1] [2] [3]

Annisquam Harbor Light Station
Area 1.3 acres (0.53 ha)
Built 1801
MPS Lighthouses of Massachusetts TR
NRHP reference #


Added to NRHP June 15, 1987
Heritage place listed on the National Register of Historic Places Edit this on Wikidata

Annisquam Harbor Light Station is a historic lighthouse on Wigwam Point in the Annisquam neighborhood of Gloucester, Massachusetts. It can be viewed from nearby Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester. It lies on the Annisquam River[5] and is one of the four oldest lighthouses to surround the Gloucester peninsula as well as; Eastern Point Light, Ten Pound Island Light, and Thacher Island Light.[6]


The first light station, a 40-foot (12 m) wooden tower, was established in 1801, after Congress gathered $2000 in April for the completion.[7] The original building was 32 feet (9.8 m) tall, made of wood with a light resting 40 feet above the water. The building fell into disrepair and, in 1851, was replaced by an octagonal wooden tower of the same height. The original lighthouse keeper's house was repaired and, with alterations, has remained to this day; its floor plan resembles those at Race Point Light and Straitsmouth Island Light. It is a two-story, gabled roofed, wood-framed building.[8] In 1869, a covered walkway was built between the house and the tower.

In 1897, the current brick lighthouse was built on the same foundation as the previous two constructions. Some time after 1900, the covered walkway, added in 1867,[9] to the keeper's house was replaced by an uncovered wooden footbridge.

The second Annisquam Harbor Light which was replaced in 1897

In 1931, a foghorn was installed, but until 1949, it was used only from October 15 to May 15 to spare summer residents the noise.,[10] but was activated in the summer of 1949 only during day hours.[9] The lighthouse's fourth-order Fresnel lens and foghorn[6] was automated in 1974, and became occupied by the Coast Guard.[11] The fog signal was first removed by the Coast Guard, but after complaints by fishermen and local boaters, it was re-activated and eventually automated as well. In August 2000 Matty Nally and his crew completed the replacement of 3,000 bricks in efforts of restoration.[11]

The interior of the lighthouse is equipped with a circular cast-iron staircase that leads to the top.[8] The lighthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, and is one of the oldest lighthouses in Massachusetts.[8]

The original wooden keeper's house from 1801 is still used as a housing for United States Coast Guard personnel who manage the site. In 2000, a major restoration of the tower was conducted by the Coast Guard.[3] In 2008, the building made an appearance, supposedly as a lighthouse in Maine, in the film remake The Women (starring Meg Ryan).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2009. p. 79.
  2. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Massachusetts". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office.
  3. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ (2009-12-14). "Lighthouses of the United States: Northern Massachusetts". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  4. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  5. ^ "New England Lighthouses". New England Lighthouses.
  6. ^ a b "USCG".
  7. ^ "New England Lighthouses". New England Lighthouses.
  8. ^ a b c "NPS".
  9. ^ a b "New England Lighthoues".
  10. ^ Jeremy D'Entremont: Annisquam Light. New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide. (retrieved 23 October 2008)
  11. ^ a b "New England Lighthouses".