Ipswich Range Lights

The Ipswich Range Lights are a pair of range lights on Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts.[1][2] They have a long and varied story. They were first built as two brick towers, 542 feet (165 m) apart on a more or less east–west line in 1838. The movement of the sands led to shifting of the towers and by 1881 the rear tower, Ipswich Rear Range Light, was badly cracked. It was replaced by a cast-iron tower, while by 1867 the front light, Ipswich Front Range Light, had been replaced by a movable wood structure that could be shifted as the channel shifted. The front light was discontinued in 1932 and the rear light was replaced in 1938 with a skeleton tower. It, or its replacement, is still in service today. The 1881 cast-iron rear tower was loaded on a barge and shipped to Edgartown, Massachusetts, where it replaced the Edgartown Harbor Light that had been destroyed in the Hurricane of 1938.[1]

Ipswich Range Lights
LocationIpswich, US
Coordinates42°41′07″N 70°45′58″W / 42.6852°N 70.7662°W / 42.6852; -70.7662
Constructed1838 Edit this on Wikidata
Ipswich Range Rear Light Edit this at Wikidata
Ipswich Rear Range Light 1838 tower.JPG
1838 rear tower
Coordinates42°41′6.9″N 70°45′58.2″W / 42.685250°N 70.766167°W / 42.685250; -70.766167Coordinates: 42°41′6.9″N 70°45′58.2″W / 42.685250°N 70.766167°W / 42.685250; -70.766167
ConstructionOriginal, Brick
1881, cast iron
1939, steel
Height6 m (20 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
MarkingsWhite/white/Daymark NR
First lit1939 (current skeleton tower)
Focal height30 feet (9.1 m)
Range5 nmi (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicOriginal, fixed
Soon thereafter, revolving
Current, occulting white, 4 seconds
Ipswich Range Front Light Edit this at Wikidata
Constructed1838 Edit this on Wikidata
ConstructionOriginal, Brick
Later, wood
Height29 ft (8.8 m) Edit this on Wikidata
ShapeOriginal, conical
Later, shanty
Markingswhite Edit this on Wikidata
Deactivated1932 Edit this on Wikidata

The modern light tower, located on the site of the Ipswich Range Rear Light as described above, is shown on Coast Guard lists and NOAA charts as Ipswich Light.[2] It displays a white light which occults once every 4 seconds.

The 1881 rear tower.


  1. ^ a b "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Massachusetts". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 2009-08-08. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01.
  2. ^ a b Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2009. p. 76.