Friends of Nobska Light

Nobska Lighthouse

Restoration of Nobska Lighthouse

The “Friends of Nobska Light”was founded in 2015, when the United States Coast Guard made the decision to sell the property. Several organizations were interested in taking over the project, however, the cost of restoring the tower and adjacent buildings was daunting. As a result The “Friends of Nobska Light” was founded. The group of dedicated members have worked to raise the $4,000,000 needed to complete the task.

The hope is that the lighthouse will be a community resource.  The first floor of the houses will become a museum that will display maritime logs and artifacts and the tower will be open for tours. In addition, the grounds will be open for exploration and relaxation.

On September 7th the restoration commenced. The first phase will be the refurbishing of the tower itself. The tower now encircled with scaffolding and is completely shrouded with a protective covering to allow the workers to work regardless of the weather.  The surface will be sand blasted and painted. The windows have been taken out and will be repaired, painted and reinstalled. The tower is scheduled for completion in November. That will be in plenty of time for it to be decorated and host the “Holidays by the Sea” weekend caroling gathering.

For more information about this project:
www.friendsofnobska.org

Like them on facebook:
Facebook.com/NobskaLight

Friends of Nobska Light
P.O. Box
Falmouth, MA 02541

Originally called “Nobsque” Light, the Nobska Lighthouse is located at the entrance to Woods Hole Harbor. It was built  as a navigation guide for vessels traveling through the busy Vineyard Sound on their way to and from the neighboring islands and Buzzards Bay. The current structure, was constructed in 1876, is still active today. It was owned by the Coast Guard until 2015.

Nobska Lighthouse
Nobska Point Light

The original light was established in 1829 for approximately $2,250 but because of its faulty design, the structure put too much weight on the quarters below causing terrible leaks. The newly constructed tower stands 40 feet tall and is 87 feet above sea level. It was transported in four different sections to Falmouth from Chelsea, Massachusetts where it was actually put together. In addition to the tower, the keeper’s house, garage, storage shed, and oil house also remain intact from their late 19th century construction. More changes occurred to the lighthouse in 1888 when its fifth-order Fresnel lens was replaced with a more effective fourth-order Fresnel lens. The lighthouse itself is an iron structure with a brick lining. It is painted a classic Cape Cod white with the lantern or uppermost part of the structure, painted black.

Nobska Lighthouse Light
Nobska Lighthouse Light

Nobska has a flashing white light and red vector. This white light can be seen up to 17 miles away and is flashed every six seconds. A fog signal was incorporated into the structure in 1910 and is used when the visibility on the water drops below five miles because of fog or heavy weather. When this visibility drops, the signal lets out two strong, deep blasts every thirty seconds to warn nearby vessels. During the 19th century, one of the keeper’s duties was to record the number of vessels traveling past the lighthouse each day. It was such a busy waterway, that on one day in 1864, the vessel count was a whopping one hundred eighty eight, most of which were passing schooners.

Although the original lighthouse proved not to be architecturally sound, the first keeper, Peter Daggett, was praised for keeping the lighthouse in excellent condition during the years he was in charge.  Daggett was also remembered for being a quiet man but apparently made constant complaints about the low quality of the oil he received for the light. He remained keeper of Nobska until 1849.

Civilian keepers continued the serve at Nobska even after the merge with the Coast Guard in 1939. It wasn’t until 1973 that the Coast Guard officially took over the Nobska Light post. This occurred when Mr. Joseph Hindley Jr., the last civilian keeper of Nobska Light, retired. After that transition, the keeper’s house became the home to the Commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England until 2015. The lighthouse continues to be both a breathtaking historic tower and also a useful navigational aid for mariners.


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day sightseeing the lighthouses of Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.

Pilgrim Monument

Pilgrim Monument

Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum

By Mary Moran | Photos by Pat O’Connell

Pilgrim Monument
Pilgrim Monument

Built between 1907 and 1910, the Pilgrim Monument commemorates the first landing of the Pilgrims in the new world. The Mayflower carrying the Pilgrims from England, landed on November 21, 1620. The landing took place in what is now known as Provincetown Harbor.

Before sailing on to find a more suitable location for agriculture, they spent five weeks exploring Provincetown and the tip of Cape Cod. During this discovery period, they decided that the tip of this wind swept peninsula had sandy soil which is not good for growing crops and it was exposed to the harsh storms that come off the Atlantic. Therefore, they chose to moved on to a more sheltered location, in what is now known as, Plymouth Harbor. In Plymouth, the soil was rich and the contour of the land protected its inhabitants from storms.  Also, there were abundant trees to use as fire wood and to build houses and a fort. However, it was during these five weeks that they spent in Provincetown that the “Mayflower Compact” was first drawn up and signed. It was designed by architect William Thomas Sears, with the inspiration for the document coming from the Torre Del Mangia in Italy.

Pilgrim Monument top
Pilgrim Monument top

The Pilgrim Monument is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States. It is 252 feet tall. When the monument is open, visitors can climb the 116 interior steps to be rewarded with the breathtaking views of
Provincetown and Cape Cod. On a clear day one can see all the way to Sandwich and the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal.

To continue the celebration and remembrance of the first landing of the Mayflower, Provincetown holds an annual lighting of the Pilgrim Monument. This is when 3,100 “landing lights” are lit in a ceremony towards the end of November and shine nightly through January sixth, of the New Year.

At the foot of the Pilgrim Monument is the Provincetown Museum. It was constructed in 1910 and was the first building on Cape Cod to be built for the primary purpose of housing a museum. The intention of the museum builders was to educate the public about Pilgrim and American history and how Provincetown played an important role in our nation’s history. Some of the permanent exhibits focus on; the arrival of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims, Provincetown’s maritime history, the early history of the area’s theater presence, and the interesting account of the building of the Pilgrim Monument. Many other historical items and artifacts representing Provincetown’s rich and diverse past can be found throughout the museum.

The Provincetown Museum’s Mission:

  • “Commemorate the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims, culminating in their arrival and stay in Provincetown Harbor, and the signing of the Mayflower Compact.
  • Collect, preserve, interpret, research, exhibit, and publish archival historical materials and exhibit materials depicting important events of Provincetown History.
  • Maintain the Pilgrim Monument, buildings, and land to accommodate its libraries and
    collections.”

Originally found in 1892 as the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum is Cape Cod’s oldest non-profit organization and cultural institution.

OPEN DAILY FROM APRIL 1 ST – NOVEMBER 30 TH

For information on the 2017 lighting ceremony, and for general hours and admission, visit the website .

1 High Pole Hill Road
Provincetown, MA 02657
508-487- 1310


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring Cape Cod’s museums and history, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.


Mary Moran is a Falmouth native and knowledgable about Cape Cod. In addition to writing for the Palmer House Inn, she’s also frequently at the inn and available  to answer quest’s questions. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time exploring Falmouth’s coastal waterways.

Cape Cod Museum Trail – Sandwich Glass Museum

Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.

By Mary Moran

Photos by Pat O’Connell

Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.
Sandwich Glass Museum

The Sandwich Glass Museum, located in Cape Cod’s oldest town, showcases, Sandwich’s rich history. The museum focuses primarily on the glass industry and the major impact it had on Cape Cod and its residents. The museum is home to numerous period-piece glass exhibits and it is ever-changing. Special exhibits display glass work from both local and internationally-known glass artists. In addition, there is a working glass furnace where visitors can watch live glass blowing demonstrations every hour on the hour. From the Palmer House Inn, the Sandwich Glass Museum is about a thirty minute drive and is a perfect activity for a rainy day. Visiting the glass museum is a great way to explore what one of the other beautiful Cape Cod towns has to offer.

Glass Display at the Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.
Glass Display.

Sandwich Glass History

Boston & Sandwich Glass Company Sign at Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.
Boston & Sandwich Glass Company Sign.

Settled by the English in 1637 and incorporated in 1639, Sandwich was the first town to be established on Cape Cod. At the time, of its settlement, Sandwich was mainly an agricultural area. Its primary export was timber. The timber was sent to England. In 1825, a wealthy Boston merchant, by the name of Deming Jarves chose to build a glass company in Sandwich. He decided to establish the company in Sandwich because there was talk about potentially building a canal, which would provide easy and safe transport of the glassware to southern ports. The passage around the eastern coast of the Cape was traitorous to ships. He also chose Sandwich because of the large volume of timber available that could be used to fuel the furnaces that are necessary to create the glass. Thus, the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company was established. Jarves attracted glassblowers from the New England Glass Company and he also recruited English and Irish workers who were known for their craftsmanship in the art of glassworks. During this time, a new glass pressing process became popular, and Jarves incorporated the pressing technique into his production pieces. He was innovative and would end up holding patents for improvements made on the process. With improvements came business, and the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. continued to expand. In time, the entire community revolved around the glass company. By the 1850’s, the pressing process had been perfected, leaving no imperfections in the glassware. Now that their glass was flawless, the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. began mass-producing colored tableware.

Red Glass Display at the Sandwich Glass Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts, USA.
Red Glass Display.

Jarves left the company in 1858 over a dispute with the board of directors. From his loyal craftsmen he received a fair well gift of one- of-a- kind glassware engraved with the letter “J.” Original pieces from the set are on display at the museum.

After the Civil War, Midwestern glass companies took top spot against New England due to a more cost friendly pressed glass made from soda-lime which was less expensive than the pure quartz silica used at the Boston & Sandwich Glass Co. Also, the glass factories in the coal country of Pennsylvania used coal to fire their furnaces.

In 1888 the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company closed its doors and shut off the furnaces causing a great economic depression in the area. The economic decline subsequently forced many people to leave Sandwich in search of employment. By the 1920’s, the glass industry no longer existed in the town and all of the factory buildings were demolished.

In 1907, the Sandwich Historical Society was established. They began celebrating the great history of the glass industry in Sandwich.  In 1925 when its first glass exhibit was held , it was celebrated as; “A century of Sandwich Glass.” Today, the Sandwich Glass Museum’s mission is “to promote a broad understanding and appreciation of the Sandwich town history. A particular emphasis has been placed on the unique contribution of the glass industry to the local community, the region, the nation, and the world.”

More information on the Sandwich Glass Museum:

Sandwich Glass Museum
129 Main Street
Sandwich, MA 02563
Website 

More museums on the Cape Cod Museum Trail


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five
Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guestrooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring gardens on Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.


Mary Moran is a Falmouth native and knowledgable about Cape Cod. In addition to writing for the Palmer House Inn, she’s also frequently at the inn and available  to answer quest’s questions. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time exploring Falmouth’s coastal waterways.