U.S. Coast Guard
The 1844 lighthouse at Long Island Head was the first cast iron lighthouse in the nation. The present (1901) lighthouse was built in a new location to make room for the enlargement of Long Island's Fort Strong.
Tower Height: 52
Height of Focal Plane: 120
Characteristic and Range: Flashing white every 2.5 seconds.
Description of Tower: White conical brick tower with black cast iron lantern.
This light is operational
1819: 23-foot stone tower; 1844: 34-foot cast iron tower; 1880: new cast iron tower.
Date Established: 1819
Date Present Tower Built: 1901
Date Deactivated: 1982-1985
Date Automated: 1929
Optics: c. 1858: Fourth order Fresnel lens; now 250 mm, solar powered.
Current Use: Active aid to navigation.
Open To Public? No.
Long Island Head Light can be seen from some spots along the shores of Winthrop and East Boston, but it is best seen by boat. Several cruises in the area pass the lighthouse; contact the following organizations for information: Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands, (781) 740-4290; The Boston Harbor Explorers, (617) 479-1871; Boston Harbor Cruises, (617) 227-4321; Bay State Cruise Company, (617) 457-1428.
Listed on the
National Register of Historic Places
Keepers: Jonathan Lawrence (1819-1825, died in service); Charles Beck (1825-c.1850); George Henchman (c. 1850-1857); Richard Nichols (1857); John H. Litchfield (1857-1861); John Spear (1861-1864); Pliny B. Small (1864-1881); Thomas H. Lyndon (1881-1894); John B. Carter (1894-1906); Edwin Tarr (1906-1918, died in service).