Rockport in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Straitsmouth Island was first sighted in 1614 by Captain John Smith. He also spotted nearby Thacher and Milk Islands and named all three the Turks' Heads.
Lighting the Way
Built in 1834, the island's first lighthouse was 19 feet tall. Its construction was spurred by the increasing number of ships sailing to Pigeon Cove for cargoes of stone from Rockport's burgeoning granite industry. Marking the entrance to Rockport Harbor, the light also warned mariners of the Dry Salvages reef and Avery's Ledge.
The U.S. Lighthouse Service operated the beacon from 1834 until 1915, when the Service was absorbed by the newly formed U.S. Coast Guard. In 1941, the island facilities were declared surplus by the federal government and sold to a private party. Eventually, Straitsmouth was bought by famed naval architect William Francis Gibbs, who designed the World War II Liberty ships as well as the liner SS United States. Upon Gibb's death in 1967, his family donated the island to the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Straitsmouth Light was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 15, 1987.
The United States of America donated this property to the town of Rockport for preservation and public use through the National Historic Lighthouse
Location. 42° 39.651′ N, 70° 36.849′ W. Marker is in Rockport, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is on Bearskin Neck east of Tuna Wharf Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located near the turnaround circle at the northeast end of Bearskin Neck, overlooking Rockport Harbor. Marker is at or near this postal address: 79 Bearskin Neck, Rockport MA 01966, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Stone Fort (a few steps from this marker); Cannon from the U.S.S. Constitution (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Town Wharves (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bear Skin Neck (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rockport World War I & II Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Harvey Park (approx. ¼ mile away); First Congregational Church of Rockport Steeple Rehabilitation (approx. 0.3 miles away); The First Settlers of Sandy Bay (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rockport.
Regarding Straitsmouth Island. National Register of Historic Places (1987)
Also see . . .
1. History of Straitsmouth Island Light, Rockport, Massachusetts.
When the English explorer Capt. John Smith visited the area around Cape Ann in 1614, he found an abundance of timber (Submitted on March 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse.
In the 1800s, the addition of Rockport’s growing granite trade to its already thriving fishing business conclusively proved that a lighthouse was necessary to guide ships to Pigeon Cove Pier, where the stone was loaded, and Straitsmouth Island was deemed the ideal location on Sandy Bay’s northeastern end. On June 30, 1834, $5,000 was appropriated, of which $4.091.29 was spent to construct the lighthouse, a nineteen-foot-tall brick tower, and an associated brick keeper’s dwelling. When Benjamin W. Andrews became the light’s first keeper in 1835, he was granted exemption from jury and military duty by an Act passed by the Massachusetts Commissioners on April 8, 1835 (Submitted on March 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse.
The relatively small lighthouse is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard but, the island itself is owned by the Massachusetts Audubon (Submitted on March 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Man-Made Features • Parks & Recreational Areas •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 27, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 56 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 27, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.