Nauset Quick Facts
Year Station Established: 1837
Is the Light operational? Yes
Year Light First Lit: 1877
Year Automated: 1952
Tower Height: 89 ft.
Original Optic: 4th Order, Fresnel
Present Optic: DCB-224
Existing Keepers Quarters? Yes
Year Constructed: 1875
Number of Stories: 1.5
Architectural Style: Gothic
Construction Materials: Wood
(12 photos, 344KB total download)
Last Visited: August, 2000
Nauset Light was constructed in 1877 and was originally one of two lights in Chatham. It was moved to Eastham in 1923 to replace the Three Sisters of Nauset, three small wood lighthouses that had been decommissioned. They have since been relocated to a small field about 1,000 feet (300 m) west of the Nauset Light.
The light was automated and the keeper's house was sold in 1955. Due to coastal erosion, by the early 1990s Nauset Light was less than 50 feet (15 m) from the edge of the 70-foot (21 m) cliff on which it stood. In 1993, the Coast Guard proposed decommissioning the light. There was a great public outcry. The non-profit Nauset Light Preservation Society was formed and funded and, in 1995, leased the lighthouse from the Coast Guard. It arranged the light's relocation in November 1996 to a location 336 feet (102 m) west of the original one. The move was accomplished successfully by International Chimney Corporation, which had previously moved the larger Highland Light a similar distance.
In 1998, Mary Daubenspeck, who had owned the keeper's house since 1955, agreed to donate it to the National Park Service with the right to live in it for 25 years. It was agreed that the house would be moved from its original location, then only 23 feet from the edge of the cliff, to a new location near the relocated tower. This was accomplished in October, 1998. At about the same time, the Coast Guard gave the tower to the National Park Service and the Nauset Light Preservation Society agreed to maintain it as a private aid to navigation.
The lighthouse is the logo for Cape Cod Potato Chips. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 as Nauset Beach Light.
The tower is open each year for Sunday tours July through October as well as a few dates in May and June.
Nearest Address: 125 Nauset Light Beach Rd, Eastham, MA
- From the south take Route 6 north into Eastham.
- At the National Seashore Visitors Center take a right onto Nauset Road.
- Follow Nauset Road for about 1.5 miles and take a right onto Atlantic Ave.
- Take Atlantic Ave to the end and take a left on Ocean View Drive.
- This will take you to the beach parking lot at Nauset Light. Park your car there.
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