Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse and Keeper’s House // 1896

In the early 1800s, Rockport’s growing granite trade paired with its already lucrative fishing industry proved necessary a lighthouse in Pigeon Cove. The government deemed Straitsmouth Island as an ideal location and in 1834, an original brick lighthouse was constructed. By 1843, the lighthouse was branded a “miserable brick tower” and a new tower was built in 1851. Decades later, the keeper’s house was deemed insufficient and a new Gothic home was built in 1877. Not surprisingly, the lighthouse was again rebuilt in 1896.

The lightkeeper remained at the island until the early 1930s when the light was automated. Later a local man was given a license to live at the keepers house, but could not disturb the light or sea birds.

After WWII, the island was deaccessioned by the government and sold to Glenn Wilson, a New Yorker for $3,000 and he later operated a small restaurant on the island.

The home saw multiple owners years later and eventually was threatened with demolition as it was open to the elements, birds, and vandals. The island was purchased by the Town of Rockport who, with funding from the @massaudubon rehabilitated the keepers house and in 2013, restored the lighthouse and painted it. It now stands proudly off the rocky coast and is open occasionally for tours and events!!

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