Thursday, 4 June 2009

Lighthouses of the Cape Cod National Seashore

[Neither Budleigh nor Brewster have their own lighthouse, but you won’t go far in Cape Cod without seeing these historic structures, as our correspondent Byron Cain writes]:

Everyone dreaming of Cape Cod thinks of magnificent beaches and picturesque lighthouses. Many of our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast guests http://www.brewsterbythesea.com/ ask about the history and location of the lighthouses that grace the National Seashore http://www.nps.gov/caco/historyculture/index.htm and a short history is at this link http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2007/11/park-history-how-national-seashores-came-be

Two recent pictures of the Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse in Truro http://www.capecodlight.org/ and the Provincetown Wood End lighthouse http://www.lighthouse.cc/woodend/index.html are shown at the top of this post.

Cape Cod http://www.capecodchamber.org/what-to-do has had over twenty lighthouses operating along its shores over the past 200 years and today seven still operate and several other decommissioned lights stand along the coastline.

We recently had a darling young German couple stay with us and by the end of their week long stay they had decided that they wanted to get married on Cape Cod and envisioned their elopement in front of a lighthouse.We have many elopements at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast but this was the first request to have the ceremony near a lighthouse. They decided upon the Highland Light in North Truro We planned a picnic lunch complete with chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, french bread, cheeses and fruit. What a wonderful surprise when the custodian of the lighthouse offered the couple an inside peek and the photographer was able to get a great shot of the newly married couple atop the lighthouse.

During the 19th century heydey of lighthouses, keepers were needed to tend the kerosene in the lamps.After the Cape Cod Canal opened in 1914, ships traveling from Europe to Boston were able to bypass the Cape's outer shore. The number of shipwrecks declined dramatically and that coupled with 20 century technology made many light houses obsolete. By 1960s most of the remaining lighthouses were automated and no longer needed keepers.

Today, many of the lighthouses that remain are open during the summer for tourists to see. Each has it's own unique character and is well worth a visit:

Race Point Light House, Provincetown

Wood End Light, Provincetown

Long Point Light, Provincetown

Highland Light, North Truro

Nauset Light, Eastham

Three Sisters Light, Eastham

We love to visit the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham http://www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/visitorcenters.htm which is a great place to plan your adventures on Cape Cod

Chatham Light

Monomy Point Light, Chatham

Nobska Light, Woods Hole

We love to visit the Salt Pond Visitor Center which is a great place to plan your Cape Cod adventure. Happy exploring!

© Byron Cain 2009

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