Highland Light Station

[photo]
Highland Light Station
Photo by Jeremy D'Entremont, www.lighthouse.cc
Highland Light Station, also known as Cape Cod Light, is located on Outer Cape Cod within Cape Cod National Seashore in North Truro. Established in 1797 as the 20th light station in the United States, the original 45-foot tall wooden tower and keeper's dwelling were built more than 500 feet from the edge of a 125-foot tall clay cliff. A new brick lighthouse was erected near the original tower in 1831. The present 66-foot tall brick light tower, keeper's house and generator shed replaced the previous structures in 1857. An enclosed walkway connects the tower and the one-and-one-half-story, L-shaped, Queen Anne style keeper's dwelling.

[photo]
Highland Light Station
Photo by Jeremy D'Entremont, www.lighthouse.cc

In 1901, the Lighthouse Board installed a new first-order Fresnel lens in Highland Light. The light became the most powerful light on the East Coast in 1932 when it was electrified. Replaced by modern aerobeacons in the early 1950s, the Fresnel lens was removed from the lantern and suffered extensive damage in the process. Highland Light Station underwent automation in 1986. Erosion of the steep cliff throughout the years brought the present light station around 100 feet from the cliff's edge by the early 1990s. Using funds raised by the Truro Historical Society combined with state and Federal grants, Highland Light Station was successfully moved 450 feet back to safer ground. After the 18-day move, the light was relit on November 3, 1996, and is an active aid to navigation. In the summer of 1998, the Truro Historical Society began managing Highland Light and opened it to visitors. The keeper's house features a gift shop and museum exhibits; volunteers provide tours of the tower.

Highland Light Station is located on Highland Rd. in North Truro. Traveling north on Rte. 6, take the "Cape Cod/Highland Rd." exit; turn right onto Highland Rd. and follow to the Highland Lighthouse area. Highland Light Station is situated on grounds owned by the National Park Service as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore and is managed by the Truro Historical Society. The grounds are open all year and the lighthouse is open May-October. A trip to the light station allows the visitor to enjoy the Interpretive Center, watch a 10-minute video and climb the lighthouse tower for a small fee. For further information, visit the Truro Historical Society's website or call 508-487-1121.

Comments or Questions

SD