Sankaty Head Lighthouse, Siasconset

4.8
#2 of 16 in Historic Sites in Nantucket
The Sankaty Head Light is a lighthouse located on Nantucket island. It was built in 1850, was automated in 1965, and is still in operation. It is located at the easternmost point of the island, in the village of Siasconset. It was one of the first lighthouses in the United States to receive a Fresnel lens.
The shoals off the eastern coast of Nantucket had a long history as a hazard to navigation. The United States government decided in the 1840s that a prominent lighthouse should be erected to alert mariners to that hazard. Congress appropriated $12,000 for its construction in 1848, with additional funds totaling $8,000 in following years. The light went into service in February 1850. The tower is 60ft high; its lower portion is constructed of brick, and its upper part is granite. The light's turning mechanism was powered by a weight-driven brass clockwork,
A brick house was built next to the tower at the time of its construction to house the light keeper's family. In 1887 this house was torn down and a new structure was built. Renovations to the tower at the time included installation of a new lantern section, adding some 10ft to its height.
In 1933 the light was electrified, and the mechanical works to turn it were taken out of service. Its original lens was removed in 1950, and is now at the Nantucket Whaling Museum. The light was fully automated in 1965.
In 1987, the lighthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Sankaty Head Light. The Sconset Land Trust acquired the lighthouse in 2007, and had it moved away from the eroding bluff (approximately ) in October of that year.
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Sankaty Head Lighthouse Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
272 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • This lighthouse is stunning to see while visiting Nantucket. The beach is lovely around it too. There are some gorgeous views here.  more »
  • Beautiful views along the shore and nice place to walk. You can also get a nice view of the lighthouse as you drive into Sconset - there is a little place that you can pull over and take a photo if...  more »
Google
  • We came to see how the fabulous light house. It didn’t disappoint! Sconset is beautiful and worth the trip!
  • This was a beautiful scenic place to visit. The ride to get there is beautiful, too. You can't go inside the lighthouse, but it was a nice place to have a picnic.

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