Category Archives: Lighthouses

Marblehead Lighthouse (1896)

The first lighthouse to be constructed at the northern end of Marblehead Neck (called Lighthouse Point) was built in 1835. There was a 23-foot white tower and a brick keeper’s cottage, attached to the tower by a covered walkway. The original cottage was replaced by a wood-frame keeper’s house in 1878. In the 1870s, large summer houses were being built on Marblehead Neck, obscuring the lighthouse from being seen at sea. To deal with this situation, a light was hoisted to the top of a tall mast near the lighthouse in 1883. The original lighthouse was demolished and a taller tower was finally constructed, which was first illuminated on April 17, 1896. Instead of a brick tower, a 105-foot cast-iron skeleton tower was erected, the only lighthouse of its type in New England. The iron tower was most likely selected because it cost only $8,786, instead of the the $45,000 required for a brick tower. Chandler Hovey, a well-known yachtsman, purchased the land around the lighthouse and in 1948 donated it to the town for use as a park.

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