Annisquam Harbor Light Station is one of the oldest established lighthouses in Massachusetts and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse sits on Wigwam Point at the entrance of Annisquam River in Gloucester.
The original wooden lighthouse was built in 1801 to help mariners navigate around the Gloucester Peninsula and Annisquam River. George Day served as the lighthouse keeper from 1801 to 1850. The lighthouse was not very well-built. In 1843, I.W.P. Lewis, a civil engineer, inspected the lighthouse, keeper’s home, and oil storage shed. He noted a lot of rotting, cracks, and leaks throughout the buildings. Day decided to write to Congress to request repairs after Lewis provided the analysis.
Ultimately, Congress did see a need for a new lighthouse on Wigwam Point and the funds were secured. In 1897, a new brick tower was built which was far stronger than the previous lighthouse. The property contains remnants of the original light station complex, which was completed in 1814, including the keeper’s house and an oil house. A raised wooden walkway leads up to the 41-foot-tall, cylindrical tower, which is supported by a stone foundation. The tower is accessible via an enclosed brick passageway. The lighthouse guards mariners against dangerous obstacles such as the long sandbars and rocky shoreline along the Annisquam River.
In 1974, Annisquam Lighthouse was fully automated, and the last keeper left. The Coast Guard, on the other hand, kept the building and the surrounding 1.3 acres to house a Coast Guard family. Annisquam Harbor Light Station, which is owned by the United States Coast Guard, is still in use as a navigational aid and is not open to the public. It is visible from nearby Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester.
Looking for more great lighthouses nearby? Check out these 10 North Shore Massachusetts Lighthouses To Visit/Photograph. Also, explore the GoXplr Massachusetts Map at goxplr.com/map/massachusetts
- Originally constructed: 1801
- Current tower constructed: 1897
- First lit: 1898 (current structure)
- Construction: Brick
- Tower shape: Cylindrical
- Height: 45 feet (14 m)
- Focal height: 45 feet (14 m)
- Markings: White with black lantern
- Characteristic: White light flashing once every 7.5 seconds (Fl W 7.5s) with Red sector
- Range: White 14 nautical miles (26 km; 16 mi) & red 11 nautical miles (20 km; 13 mi)
- Status: Active – Private Aid
- NRHP number: 87001526
- Address: 45 Norwood Heights
- Town: Gloucester
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: Lat 42.66190 Lng -70.68107
- Parking notes: Annisquam Lighthouse is privately owned and there is no parking for the lighthouse. Norwood Heights is a private road as well. One of the best views of Annisquam Lighthouse is from Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester. There is a large parking lot and a fee is charged during summer months.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE