Last Visited: April, 2002
For many years the twin lights at Baker's Island had sufficed to guide vessels into Salem Harbor, but it was decided that another light was needed to help mariners find their way into the crowded inner harbor. The 23-foot tall (including the lantern) brick lighthouse was built for $3,000 and first lighted in January 1871. A fifth order Fresnel lens exhibited a fixed red light from the tower.
In 1906 the light was changed to a fourth order lens with a flashing red light. In 1910 it was classified as a harbor light and received a sixth order lens, reverting to a fixed red light.
The light was electrified in the 1970s and switched once again back to a flashing red light.
It was deactivated in 1977 and ownership went to the National Park Service in 1979. In 1983 the Friends of Salem Maritime had Derby Wharf Light relighted as a private aid to navigation with a solar-powered optic, flashing red every six seconds. The National Park again renovated the lighthouse in 1989.
New England Lighthouses - A Virtual Guide
The lighthouse itself is closed but the surrounding wharf is open to the public.
Nearest Address: 180 Derby St, Salem, MA
- Take Route 128 to exit 25A.
- At the end of the ramp turn onto Route 114 east towards Salem.
- Go about 2.7 miles for the exit for Bridge St.
- At the traffic circle take the second exit and stay on Bridge St (also route 107 North)
- In 0.3 turn right onto Winter St. (Route 1A).
- Stay on Route 1A for 0.3 miles and turn left onto Derby St. Find parking nearby and walk out to the lighthouse.
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