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Chatham Light
Chatham, Massachusetts

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Average Rating: 
Lighthouse Rating
 8.0 (1 review)

Recommended By: 100% of reviewers


General Information
Date Established: 1808
Date Present Tower Built: 1877
Date Automated: 1982
Height of Tower: 48 ft.
Height of Focal Plane: 80 ft.

Location

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Open to Public?: No, except by special arrangement or during open houses only

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Description
The first set of lights on the site was a pair of 43 foot wooden towers. Two towers were erected to distiguish the site from the single light at Highland to the north. In 1841, two new towers were built of brick to replace the decaying wooden towers. These two lights were used until 1877, when they were replaced by two brick-lined cast iron towers, since the sea was eroding the cliff the 1841 towers were sitting on. By 1881, both of the old towers would be claimed by the sea. In 1923, the north tower was moved to Nauset to replace the "Three Sisters". The base of the old north tower is still visible if you visit this light.

Good viewing is possible as this lighthouse is in Chatham village and is accessible via surface streets. Parking may be available across the street. This is an active United States Coast Guard Station.

Directions: Take Route 28 to the roundabout in Chatham, and drive east on Main Street to the junction with Shore Road. Stay on Main Street when it makes a sharp right turn at Shore Road, then drive south about one-half mile. Lighthouse is on the right, opposite overlook parking lot.

Additional information from minots_ledger:

In 1808 officials decided to build a double light near the busy channel leading to Chatham Harbor. The original towers were made of wood and were built on a sandy ridge. Erosion made reconstruction necessary in 1836. In 1877, the lights built in 1836 were replaced by two cast-iron, 48-foot towers built on the opposite side of the harbor they were originally built on. These two towers had fourth-order Fresnel lenses. In 1923, one of these towers was dismantled and rebuilt at Nauset Beach in Chatham to replace the Three Sisters Light, which had consisted of three beacons. The remaining tower of Chatham Light was automated in 1982 and is now illuminated by a modern optic. Its light is visible from 30 miles away.

This is an active Coast Guard station. The lighthouse is not open to the public except by special arrangement and during open house dates. For information on group tours offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, call (508) 430-0628.


Submitted by: oceanview Date of last review: Mon Oct 23, 2006 Views: 3314

Author
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makgambit

Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 16
Review Date: Mon Oct 23, 2006 Would you recommend the lighthouse? Yes | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Can see it really well
Cons: Usually not open to the public

It is so easy to get to. Plus a huge parking lot right in front across the street. The beach across the street is nice too except for the huge flight of stairs.
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