On July 16, 2009, Ken Salazar, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, approved the National Park Service’s recommendation to transfer the ownership of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse to the town of Rockport and Thacher Island Association, a nonprofit preservation association who currently preserves and maintains the Twin lighthouses on Thacher Island off the coast of Rockport, Massachusetts.
The 37-foot high brick Lighthouse actively guards the entrance to Rockport Harbor. The historic Lighthouse structure will be restored and preserved by the Thacher Island Association. If Thacher Island Association is unable to raise money for lighthouse maintenance then the ownership of the Lighthouse will be returned to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Since the Massachusetts Audubon Society owns and protects Straitsmouth Island as a seabird and wildlife sanctuary, access is restricted to the Thacher Island Town Committee.
With no boat docking to the 1.8-acre Lighthouse property, the public has no access to the Lighthouse and island. The North Tower of the Twin Lights on nearby Thacher Island is open to the public and Camping on Thacher Island is available from June through October by calling the keeper at (617) 599-2590 for reservations.
Straitsmouth Island Light and the Twin Lights are best viewed by boat or a Lighthouse Cruise.
For historic, Lighthouse Cruises, and travel information about Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse and the Twin Lights, please click on the photos in this post.
Related Past Posts:
Related News Source:
Rockport takes stewardship of historic lighthouse, July 17, 2009
In other New England Lighthouse news, America’s third oldest light station, Beavertail Lighthouse, is currently under restoration. For more information about the restoration of Beavertail Lighthouse, please visit these links:
- Beavertail Lighthouse, America’s third oldest, under restoration by Jeremy D’Entremont, July 24, 2009
- Beavertail Light, America’s 3rd oldest lighthouse, July 23, 2009
Like this post?
Share this with others…
Tweet This Post
Posted by Debbie Dolphin on July 25, 2009
On July 10th, the General Services Administration, acting as the federal realtors for the National Park Service and the Coast Guard, officially began the ownership transfer process of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse.
Currently, the Lighthouse is available to nonprofit organizations, local or state governments, or a federal agency able to maintain the historic Lighthouse treasure which is an active aid to navigation approaching Rockport Harbor.
Interested groups have two months to submit their Letters of Interest by the September 8th deadline. If the National Park Service is unable to determine who can best preserve and maintain the Lighthouse during the application process, the property may be auctioned to the public online.
According to the news report, Paul St. Germain, the president of the Thacher Island Association and director of the Sandy Bay Historical Society, claimed he was unaware that the Coast Guard wanted to excess the Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse. Ironically, Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse was listed on the NHLPA 2008 PROGRAM Notices of Availability which was issued last fall and Paul St. Germain is involved in the preservation and maintenance of Cape Ann Lights located on Thacher Island which is located nearby Straitsmouth Island.
By 1820, the Granite Quarries expanded and surpassed Rockports’ fishing industry and a Lighthouse was needed to guide the sailing ships transporting the famous Rockport Granite. In 1835, a 19-foot high brick Lighthouse was built and exhibited a Fixed White light to guide mariners into Rockport Harbor.
The current 37-foot high White Cylindrical Brick Lighthouse was built in 1896 and currently exhibits a Flashing Green Light every 6-seconds illuminated by solar-powered 250mm optic 46-feet above sea level to a visible range of 6 nautical miles.
The Lighthouse was automated in 1967 and during the same year, Frederic Gibbs donated the island to the Massachusetts Audubon Society as a wildlife bird sanctuary. The 1878 1 1/2-story wood-frame Keeper’s house was abandoned and left to the birds, the elements, and vandals. The Keeper’s house is in a severe state of deterioration.
The new owners of Straitsmouth Island Light may need to comply with Audubon regulations in operating the Lighthouse on Audubon land.
For more information about the Lighthouse, please click on the photo of this post.
Google Map of Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse
Related News Source:
Straitsmouth beacon up for grabs