Nauset Lighthouse stands against a solid blue sky

Cape Cod’s Shifting Sands

The main image above depicts Nauset Lighthouse at Nauset Light Beach on Cape Cod.  While employed to warn shipping of the coast, they themselves are exposed to danger as history can testify; shifting sands.

The lighthouse you see here, was originally built some 336 yards (c.100m) further east from its present location. Erosion of the sand cliffs meant that the lighthouse itself was in danger of becoming a victim of the Atlantic Ocean, so, along with the keeper’s house, it was moved in 1998. A retreat from the advancing ocean.

The long strand of Lighthouse Beach, Cape Cod
Nauset Light Beach & Sand Cliffs

Heading directly back in land from the beach and lighthouse, one comes across three more lighthouses incongruously nestled among trees. Again, these lighthouses bear testimony to the power of the ocean, for it is these older lights that once provided a guide to ships along these shores.


Two of three Sister's Lighhouses near Nauset Lighthouse
The Sisters of Nauset Lighthouses

Three lighthouses were originally commissioned in 1837 and stood until 1890 to provide a guide to shipping. However, erosion of the sea cliffs meant that they were in danger of collapsing into the ocean below. Replacement wooden houses were built of the same design and erected 30 feet (c.9m) further west, while the old lenses were salvaged from the original structures.

Ongoing erosion meant that just 20 years later the northernmost light was just 8 feet from the edge of the receding cliff. In 1911 the lights were moved back again and soon just the one light was used as an operational beacon, though by 1918 this operational beacon was decommissioned and replaced by the Nauset Lighthouse.

In 1975 the National Parks Service moved the three “Sisters” to their present site where they were reconfigured according to their original layout on the coast.

Now I think it is time to put my own feet up and thank The Wife for the last of these images.

The Lighthouse at Lighthouse Beach, Cape Cod
Lighthouse & Bench



Thanks to Wikipedia for information used to pull this post together.



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