Critical for the safety of merchant mariners that transport goods and materials by sea, construction of lighthouses along the Atlantic coast began. With only four acres on Nobska purchased by the U.S. government in 1828, a wooden structure that incorporated keeper’s quarters was constructed and officially became the first lighthouse built on the site.
Named for French physicist Augustin Fresnel, the first Fresnel lens was installed later in 1841. These massive glass lenses are cleverly designed to gather light from a source, concentrate it and emit a beam with a range of many nautical miles. It was reported in 1845 using ten oil lamps which consumed 339 gallons annually.
The wooden light structure operated for 38 years and was replaced in 1876 by the present, 40-foot tall cast iron lighthouse, which was manufactured in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The Nobska Point Lighthouse was operated by the U.S. Lighthouse Service for 111 years, until 1939, when the Service was merged with the U.S. Coast Guard.
In 2014, the Coast Guard advertised for bidders to assume responsibility for the lighthouse, tower, and land surrounding the structures. The Town of Falmouth became the successful happy bidder with the understanding that the property would continue to belong to the government and as public property, must always remain open to the public for free.
Come see how lighthouse keepers of the past lived, explore the grounds, and take in amazing views. Tours include access to the very top of the tower, access via a three-story spiral staircase, then a ladder up to the fourth story’s light and incredible view. The lighthouse keeper’s house is also often open for tours.
Also close to Woods Hole which houses the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, this small town truly comes to life with many restaurants, shops, galleries, museums, educational institutions and attractions, beautiful gardens and panoramic summer views. This exquisite environment is something you shouldn’t miss if you want to relax and get lost in the natures amusement.