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Iconic Cape Cod Lighthouses Played a Crucial Role in Maritime Safety

Cape Cod has a rich maritime history, and its coastline is dotted with numerous lighthouses. Here's an overview of the history of lighthouses on Cape Cod:

  1. Highland Light (Cape Cod Light) - 1797:
    • Highland Light, also known as Cape Cod Light, is one of the oldest lighthouses on Cape Cod. It was first lit in 1797 to guide ships around the dangerous coastline. Originally, it stood 500 feet from the edge of the cliff, but due to erosion, it was moved back in 1996.
  2. Chatham Lighthouse - 1808:
    • Chatham Lighthouse was established in 1808 to guide ships around the dangerous sandbars off Chatham. The original lighthouse was replaced in 1877 with the current cast-iron tower. The light station also includes twin keeper's houses.
  3. Stage Harbor Lighthouse - 1880:
    • Also known as Harding's Beach Lighthouse, Stage Harbor Lighthouse was first lit in 1880. It is a small cast-iron tower located in Chatham. The lighthouse is not open to the public, but it can be viewed from Harding's Beach.
  4. Nauset Light - 1877:
    • Nauset Light, originally one of the twin towers at the Chatham Light station, was moved to Eastham in 1923 due to erosion. The distinctive red and white tower is a popular symbol of Cape Cod and is open to the public seasonally.
  5. Race Point Lighthouse - 1816:
    • Located at the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown, Race Point Lighthouse was established in 1816. The current tower was built in 1876. It played a crucial role in guiding vessels through the waters around the Cape.
  6. Wood End Lighthouse - 1872:
    • Wood End Lighthouse is also situated in Provincetown and was first lit in 1872. It marked the entrance to Provincetown Harbor and was an important aid to navigation.
  7. Three Sisters of Nauset - 1838:
    • The Three Sisters were a trio of wooden lighthouses located in Eastham. Built in 1838, these lighthouses were eventually decommissioned, but they have been preserved and relocated to a park in Eastham.
  8. Monomoy Point Lighthouse - 1823:
    • Established on Monomoy Island in 1823, this lighthouse played a role in guiding ships through the dangerous waters off Chatham. It was eventually decommissioned in 1923.

These lighthouses, among others on Cape Cod, have played a crucial role in ensuring the safety of maritime traffic and have become iconic symbols of the region. Many of them are open to the public, allowing visitors to explore and learn about Cape Cod's maritime history.

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