“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Orleans in Barnstable County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)

Pushed Back by the Sea

Pushed Back by the Sea Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 22, 2012
1. Pushed Back by the Sea Marker
Inscription. Both the lighthouse standing here and the cliff in front of you have had to give away to the power of the Atlantic Ocean.

The first lighthouses built here in 1838 were placed over 600 feet east of where you are standing now. As ocean waves ate away at the base of the cliffs, causing erosion rates averaging three feet per year, the original beacons had to be replaced with three wooden towers set father back from the edge.

In less than two decades, the cliffs approached the wooden lighthouses, so one of the towers was pulled further back and attached to the lighthouse keeper's house. In 1923, a cast-iron lighthouse - the current Nauset Light - was brought to the site from Chatham and set well back from the advancing shoreline.

The main photo shows Nauset Light as it stood in 1996, when less than 40 feet remained between the light and the eroding cliff edge. That year, the lighthouse moved again, across the road to its current site. Today Nauset Light is preserved and interpreted by the Nauset Light Preservation Society, a group of committed local people who keep this important story alive for visitors.
Erected by Cape Cod National Seashore.
Location. 41° 51.584′ N, 69° 57.148′ W. Marker is in Orleans

Pushed Back by the Sea Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 22, 2012
2. Pushed Back by the Sea Marker
The three beacons in Eastham differentiated them from the single light in Truro and the two lights in Chatham. The towers shown here, erected in 1892, were known as the "Three Sisters." They now stand 1/3 mile away off the Cable Road. A rotating Fresnel lens allowed Nauset Station to change to a single beacon in 1911. Notice the round brick foundation under the tower It can be seen on the beach in the main photo and is still sometimes visible at low tide.
, Massachusetts, in Barnstable County. Marker is at the intersection of Cable Road and Nauset Light Beach Rd on Cable Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Orleans MA 02653, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Long, Black Cable (a few steps from this marker); The Nauset Lights (within shouting distance of this marker); Three Sisters Lit the Way (approx. ¼ mile away); Doane Rock (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Life Savers (approx. 1.2 miles away); The Outermost House (approx. 1.2 miles away); Changing Beach (approx. 1.2 miles away); Workboat of the Marshes (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orleans.
Categories. LandmarksWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 17, 2013, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 416 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 17, 2013, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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