Chatham Lighthouse Bicentennial
For two centuries, Chatham Lighthouse, located on the tip of the “elbow” of Cape Cod, has protected mariners navigating around one of New England’s most treacherous coastal shoals. The town of Chatham is celebrating the Bicentennial of Chatham Lighthouse with exhibits at the town hall and library during the summer.
The active lighthouse at the Coast Guard station will be 200-years old on Oct 7, 2008 and a Lighthouse Lecture by Jeremy D’Entremont at the Chatham Community Center is scheduled for Oct 5th.
Public tours of the Lighthouse Tower are scheduled on the following Open House dates: July 9, 16, 23, 30 – August 6, 13, 20, 27 – Sep 3, 17 – Oct 1, 15 and Dec 31, 2008. Admission is free and the Tower is open to the public from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
In 1808, two 40-foot high octagonal wood framed Towers were constructed 70-feet apart on James Head, a 50-foot high bluff. Both twin Lights were First Lit on Oct 7, 1808 and exhibited a Fixed White Light illuminated by 6 whale Oil Lamps with 8.5-inch reflectors and green glass lenses.
The “Twin Lighthouses” had three functions: Range Lights marking the safe channel for navigation entering Chatham Harbor, to guide maritime commerce, en route to Nantucket Sound, around the shifting shoreline and shoals of Chatham, and to distinguish Chatham Light from Cape Cod Light.
The current conical cast-iron Lighthouse was built in 1877 and First Lit on September 6, 1877. In 1923, nine years after the opening of the Cape Cod Canal redirected the main shipping from around the outer Cape and the Sounds, the North Light Tower was moved to Nauset Beach to replace the “Three Sisters” Lighthouses.
The remaining South Light Tower was refitted with a new Fourth-order rotating Fresnel lens and exhibited four white flashes every 30 seconds. Currently, Chatham Light exhibits two white flashes every 10 seconds illuminated by a DCB-224 Aerobeacon 80-feet high above sea level to visible range of 24 nautical miles at sea.
For more Lighthouse information and photos, please click on the photo of this post.
Google Map of Chatham Lighthouse
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