Plymouth Light, also known as Gurnet Light, is a historic lighthouse located on Gurnet Point at the entrance to Plymouth Bay in the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts.[2][3][4] The light is accessible only by passing through the town of Duxbury, which lies to the north.[5] The tower is located inside the earthworks of Fort Andrew, which existed in the Civil War, War of 1812, and Revolutionary War.[6]

Plymouth Light
LocationPlymouth, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°0′13.3″N 70°36′2.2″W / 42.003694°N 70.600611°W / 42.003694; -70.600611
Constructed1768 Edit this on Wikidata
ConstructionCedar shingle
Height10 m (33 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
ShapeOctagonal pyramidal
MarkingsWhite with black lantern and red roof
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place Edit this on Wikidata
Fog signalHORN: 2 every 15s
First lit1843 (current structure)
Focal height102 feet (31 m)
Lens4th order Fresnel lens (original), 3.9 inches (100 mm) (current)
Rangewhite:17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi) & red:15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi)
CharacteristicFl W (3) 10s with R sector
Plymouth Light Station
Nearest cityDuxbury, Massachusetts
Arealess than one acre
MPSLighthouses of Massachusetts TR (AD)
NRHP reference No.77000655[1]
Added to NRHPMarch 08, 1977

The original lighthouse was built in 1768, burned down and rebuilt in 1801, when the single light became a pair, and rebuilt again in 1842, again as a pair. The light gradually lost importance as Plymouth Harbor silted up and lost most of its traffic. Then, when the Cape Cod Canal opened in 1914, there was a significant increase in vessel traffic past the light. The northeast tower was torn down and the remaining tower upgraded from a sixth order Fresnel lens to one of the fourth order. The fourth order lens is now on display at the Lifesaving Museum in Hull, Massachusetts. The light is the oldest wooden lighthouse in the United States. The light was relocated approximately 140 feet (43 m) to the north in December 1998 because of beach erosion; this placed it within the earthworks of Fort Andrew.[4] The property and the Duxbury Pier Light, in open water 2.3 nmi (4.3 km; 2.6 mi) to the SW are both managed by Project Gurnet and Bug Lights, Inc.[7]

The site is also known for being staffed by America's first female lighthouse keeper.[8]

The actual light is 102 feet (31 m) above Mean High Water. Its white light is visible for 17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi); its red sector, which covers Mary Ann Rocks, is visible 15 nautical miles (28 km; 17 mi).

Plymouth Light was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Plymouth Light Station on March 8, 1977.[1]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Massachusetts". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 2009-09-06. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01.
  3. ^ United States Coast Guard (2009). Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey. p. 104.
  4. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ (2009-09-06). "Lighthouses of the United States: Northern Massachusetts". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  5. ^ National Park Service: Inventory listing for PLYMOUTH (GURNET) LIGHT
  6. ^ "Massachusetts - Fort Andrew and Gurnet Fort". American Forts Network. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  7. ^ Project Gurnet and Bug Lights, Inc. (2009-09-06). "Keep the Lights Burning".
  8. ^ "US to give away free lighthouses as GPS makes them unnecessary". 26 May 2023. Retrieved 26 May 2023.

External links edit