Historic Structures

Great Point Lighthouse, Nantucket Massachusetts

Date added: October 14, 2016 Categories: Massachusetts Lighthouse

An early name for Great Point was Sandy Point.

The first lighthouse at Great Point was erected by private enterprise and ceded to the u, S, Government in 1784* In November, 1816 the Light was entirely destroyed by fire and two years later the present stone edifice was completed, A Keeper's house was built close by with a covered passageway between the house and light for use in bad weather. This house and outbuildings were later burned, leaving only the Light now standing.

From 1867 to 1890 there were 43 shipwrecks within the jurisdiction of Great Point Light. As it was believed that one cause of this was that vessels mistook Great Point Light for the Cross Rip Lightship; a red, or danger, sector was added to the beam of the light to eliminate this danger.

In 1933 Keeper William L, Anderson took 350 visitors out to Great Point Light in his automobile which he had equipped with special balloon tires an innovation then, but a practice which is now very popular, especially with fishermen surf-casting for bluefish and bass in the rip at Great Point. The Base of the tower is 24 feet 2 inches in diameter. The distance to the top of the ventilator is 72 feet 8 inches. The tower is stone masonry with a cast iron light housing and observation deck.

The ground level is a maintenance space housing two diesel engines serving as generators, control panels, battery banks in hyphen and in circular space at base of tower; three semicircular niches and recessed window openings in walls of tower; spiral cast iron stairway, rope handrail; plaster walls and ceiling in Maintenance Building, painted brick in hyphen and tower; concrete floors; vertical board and batten door between Maintenance Building and hyphen.

The second level is a circular space, plate deck, segmental partition of vertical car siding at center, remains of door frame at stairway to third level; cast iron stairway, perforated treads, stringers in tendrill pattern.

The third level is circular space, plate deck; cast iron base of lighting apparatus at center, marked with plate labeled with raised letters, "L, SAUTTER & CLE, CONSTRUCTERS A PARIS"; vertical car siding walls; ladder built of steel rods to light housing level.

The Light housing level is a polygonal space of twelve equal sides with lighting apparatus at center, exterior observation platform at perimeter; light housing composed of iron plate curb, operational circular vents located in curb of alternate panels, hooded vents at exterior; fixed glass panes; panel of red stained glass at northwest interior corner of housing; perforated cast iron base, lens constructed in rings of glass prisms and lighting apparatus at center of housing, four struts and center ring support upper portion of lens; door to observation platform swings out; strap iron railings, pipe balusters with ball finials; deck of housing and platform formed of triangular plates; segmental domed ceiling of triangular plates painted white.