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.

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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.

Lighthouses of Cape Cod

Many of our guests are lighthouse lovers. For them, Cape Cod and the islands are a wonderful treat. There are sixteen lighthouses on the Cape, five on Martha’s Vinyard and three on Nantucket. Each has its own unique story.

Nobska Lighthouse
Nobska Lighthouse 2010, Falmouth, Cape Cod

Falmouth’s own Nobska Light is located on a windy point in the village of Woods Hole. We frequently enjoy spending evenings there watching the sea, sea life, and ships sail. This Cape Cod lighthouse was first built in 1828 and rebuilt in 1876 as a 40-foot cast-iron tower lined with brick. In over 150 years of service this lighthouse has seen great storms and been a beacon for whaling ships, schooners and a multitude of commercial and cruising ships.  It is open to the public nine mornings a year. The tours are conducted by the Woods Hole Flotilla/US Coast Guard Auxiliary. There is parking area near the lighthouse, and the grounds are open to the public until dusk every day.

Nobska Lighthouse, Cape Cod
Map of Cape Cod and Nobska Lighthouse

Nobska Point Lighthouse, Public Viewings 2010 (Weather Permitting)

June 19 Saturday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
July 1 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
July 15 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
July 29 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 5 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 14 Saturday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Aug. 19 Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Dec. 4 Saturday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

REMEMBER: Children must be at least 6 years of age and 45 inches tall to enter. Shoes and shirts required. No food or drink.  No smoking in the lighthouse. Large bags are not allowed in the light room. Infants in carrying pouches not allowed in the lighthouse.

Official 2010 calendar

If you’re keen on a nautical theme to your lighthouse holiday our Herman Melville Room is cozy and decorated with original drawings of local whaling ships. The Richard Henry Dana Room features more of these beautiful drawings and boasts a king bed and whirlpool tub… for those who prefer a good soak at the end of a good day sightseeing.