Also Known As the "Cape Cod Light";
My Replica of the Highland Lighthouse comes with your choice of:
The Base Price Includes:
Options available for the Highland Lighthouse are:
Highland Lighthouse in Truro is the site of the first lighthouse on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The original 45 foot tall wooden tower was built in 1797. The original illuminant was a “Spider Lamp”, a simple pan of oil with multiple wicks. To differentiate between Highland and the Boston Light to the north, an eclipser mechanism was installed that rotated around the lamp obstructing it for 30 of every 80 seconds. In 1812 the spider lamp and eclipser were replaced with the newly patented Winslow Lewis Lamps and Reflectors after renovating the tower to accept the new equipment. The wooden tower was replaced with a 35 foot round brick tower in 1833. In 1840 a new cast iron lantern and set of lamps and reflectors were installed by I.W.P. Lewis who had to substantially rebuild the tower. Erosion of the 150 foot high cliff the lighthouse is situated on has been an ongoing problem. By 1857 the second tower was in danger of collapse and was replaced with the current, third tower. This new light was built 66 feet tall from brick and attached to a new Queen Anne style wood frame keeper’s house by an enclosed walkway. This tower was also equipped with a first order Fresnel lens as a replacement to the 15 whale oil lamps previously in use. The 1833 tower and keeper’s house were dismantled upon completion of the new station. Over the years the illuminant continued to be changed as improvements came to the light house service. Whale oil gave way to lard oil in 1860 and then to kerosene. In 1899 the fixed optic was considered obsolete and the original first order lens was replaced with a newer revolving first order lens. Floating on a bed of Mercury, the lens rotation was caused by a clockwork mechanism powered by gravity fed weights. The new lens had all “bull’s eye” prisms which focused the light into a flashing pattern. Electricity was installed in 1932 (replacing kerosene) and the Fresnel lens was replaced by two 4 bulb aero beacons in 1945. A single 2 bulb aero beacon was installed in 1986 when the lighthouse was automated. The erosion that had doomed the 1833 tower has been persistent and by the early 1990’s only a bit more than 100 feet remained between the existing tower and the cliff edge. Members of the Truro Historical Society undertook a campaign to save the light and combining fundraising and government grants raised the 1.5 million dollars necessary to move the light station. The contract was awarded to the International Chimney Corporation of Buffalo, NY and the move was completed August 5th, 1996. The light station was relocated 450 feet further inland to a parcel donated by the Town of Truro and the Truro Golf Commission. The Highland lighthouse was re-lit in its new location on November 3rd 1996. One of the goals of the Truro Historical Society and the National Park Service was to open the tower for visitors to climb to the top. To accommodate that goal the US Coast Guard replaced the large aero beacon with a smaller modern optic. The new optic was located higher in the lantern room so it would be above the visitor’s heads and not pose a safety concern.
The Highland Lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It remains an active aid to navigation owned by the US National Park Service as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The optic is maintained by the US Coast Guard and displays a flashing white light every 5 seconds, visible for 24 nautical miles.
June 2001 Issue, Restoration at Historic Highland Light By Jeremy D'Entremont. "The distinctions held by Highland Light (also known as Cape Cod Light) in North Truro, Massachusetts, are many. It was the first lighthouse station on Cape Cod (1797). It was visited by naturalist Henry David Thoreau, who wrote about it in his book Cape Cod. And in 1996 the present (1857) tower became one of the small handful of lighthouses that have been moved out of danger from threatening erosion. It’s also one of the few New England lighthouses where visitors can visit inside the tower. A restoration completed in early May has left the lighthouse standing strong and looking its best." Please go to the Lighthouse Digest Magazine Archives for the full article. Lighthouse Digest magazine not only keeps the history of our lighthouses alive both in print and on line, but it is the best single source to keep current on all aspects of lighthouse preservation, news and events
The Highland Lighthouse is easily accessible and open to the public as part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Truro Historical Society operates an interpretive center in the Keeper’s house along with a gift shop and tours of the tower in season. They operate from May 1st to October 31st and summer hours are 10 AM to sunset. Public restrooms and ample parking are available. There is a separate fee to visit either the museum or lighthouse tower or a combination ticket for both.
Directions: On Cape Cod, travel north on US Route 6 to North Truro. Take the exit for “Cape Cod Light” turning right (eastbound) on Highland Road from the ramp. Continue to the end and turn right onto South Highland Road. Take your first left onto Highland Light Road and follow the signs for parking. Visitors with handicap permits are allowed to park close to the lighthouse.
Please visit the Truro Historical Society, Inc. web site for more information on the Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse & Highland House Museum.
For more photographs and history of the Highland Lighthouse, you can visit the:
For other area attractions and info, you can visit the:
Truro Chamber of Commerce Web Site