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Name: Great Point Light  

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Also known as: Nantucket Light

Nearest Town or City:
Nantucket, Massachusetts, United States

Location: Northeast point of Nantucket Island, in Nantucket Sound.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont

Managing Organization:
Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

Telephone: 508-228-5646


A severe storm in March 1984 destroyed the 1818 Great Point Lighthouse. A replica of the lighthouse was built 300 yards west of the previous site, paid for by over $1 million in federal funds. The new lighthouse was dedicated on September 7, 1986. It is owned by the Coast Guard and is an active aid to navigation; it is leased to the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge.

Tower Height: 60

Height of Focal Plane: 71

Characteristic and Range: Flashing white every five seconds.

Description of Tower: White conical concrete and plastic tower with black lantern.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
None (keeper's house burned down in 1966).

Earlier Towers?
1784: Wooden tower, destroyed by fire in 1816; 1818: 60-foot stone tower.

Date Established: 1784

Date Present Tower Built: 1986 (9/7/1986)

Date Automated: c. 1950s

Optics: c. 1838: 14 lamps and reflectors; 1857: Third order Fresnel lens; now 190 mm, solar powered. The Fresnel lens is on display at the Nantucket Lifesaving Museum.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? Grounds only.

Nantucket is accessible via ferry from Hyannis on Cape Cod. The Steamship Authority runs year-round car and passenger ferries; for information call the Hyannis terminal at (508) 771-4000. For vehicle reservations call (508) 477-8600. Hy-Line cruises runs a passenger only ferry from May through October; they also have a high-speed ferry. For information call (508) 778-2600, or you can request a brochure by faxing your name and address to (508) 775-2662. Great Point is part of the Coaskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. Tours are offered by the Trustees of Reservations; call (508) 228-6799. There are also guided tours of the island available from Ara's Tours (including all three lighthouses), call (508) 228-1951.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: Paul Pinkham (1784-1799); George Swain (1799-1812?); Jonathan Coffin (1812?-?); George Bunker (c. 1817); Obed Bunker (c. 1829); Caleb Cushman (c. 1835-1839); Aaron Folger (c. 1840s); Oliver C. Gardner (1846-1854); Obed Bunker II (1854-1861); G. F. Coggeshall (1861-1867); W. S. Allen (1867-1886); Charles F. Swain (1886-1890); Isaac Hamblin (1890-1891); Amasa S. Dyer (1891-1897); Joseph W. Nickerson (1897-1903); Judah Berry (1903-1904); Alfred A. Howard (1904-1906); Frederick E. Tarr (1906-1909); Richard F. Dixon (1909-1911); Milton Gunderson (1911); Thomas J. Kelly (1911-1914); ? Thomas (1914-1919); ? Scharff (1919-1921); ? Carew (1921-1924); ? Dobbins (1924-1926); Theodore L. Chase (1926-1932); William L. Anderson (1932-1935); Frank. A. Grieder (1935-1937); Archford Haskins (1937-1944); Antone S. Sylvia (Coast Guard, 1944-?); Nicholas E. Norton (Coast Guard, c. 1940s). Assistants: W. S. Allen (1857-1867); John M. Lamb (1867-1872, 1884-1889,1890-1894); Edward G. Coffin (1872-1880); Reuben R. Hobbs (1880-1881); George W. Folger (1881-1884); Benjamin M. Fisher (1884); William D. Appleton (1889-1890); Isaac Hamblin (1894-1895); Alonzo D. Fisher (1895-1897); Michael Campbell (1897); Edward D. Small (1897-1899); George W. Jaques (1899); Harry L. Cook (1899-1901); Marcus E. Howes (1901-1902); Joseph W. Nickerson (1902-1903); Alfred H. Mauton (1904); Roland G. Ryder (1904); Frank Verce (1904); Warren A. Ellis (1907-1908); Richard F. Dixon (1908-1909); Andrew Tullock (1909-1910); James H. Dennis (1910-1912); Henry C. Towle (1912-?); C. L. Turner (1920); E. D. Smith (1920-1923); ? Dobbins (1923-1924); Fred Leighton (1925-?); Ralph Norwood (1929); Otis E. Walsh (c. 1931); Roy Murphy (1935); Octave Ponsart (c. 1933-1936); John Taylor (1936-?).


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