Bourne, Massachusetts

Nestled on the Wing’s Neck peninsula in Bourne, Massachusetts, Wing’s Neck Lighthouse stands as both a historic landmark and a sentinel of maritime safety.

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About This Location

Wing’s Neck Lighthouse: Guiding Light of Bourne

Nestled on the picturesque Wing’s Neck peninsula in Bourne, Massachusetts, Wing’s Neck Lighthouse stands as both a historic landmark and a sentinel of maritime safety. Perched at the western entrance to the Cape Cod Canal, this lighthouse has played a vital role in guiding vessels through the bustling waters of Buzzards Bay.

A Necessity Born of Industry

During the 19th century, with the thriving iron industry in Bourne and the neighboring regions, there was a notable surge in maritime traffic within Buzzards Bay. The geographical location of Wing’s Neck, a peninsula extending into Buzzards Bay, proved to be an ideal site for a lighthouse, essential for aiding navigation. In 1849, a sum of $3,500 was allocated for the construction of a lighthouse, leading to the official establishment of the Wing’s Neck Light Station.

The original lighthouse took the form of a wooden hexagonal structure perched atop the keeper's dwelling. This tower's light was positioned 38 feet above ground level and 50 feet above the water's surface. Edward Doty Lawrence assumed the role of the inaugural lighthouse keeper, diligently serving until 1854. John Maxim succeeded him, faithfully serving for nearly 11 years until his unfortunate demise at the Battle of Gettysburg. Subsequently, Lawrence was reinstated as the keeper and continued his responsibilities until 1887. However, during Lawrence’s tenure, the keeper's dwelling faced substantial structural challenges due to the weight of the tower pressing upon its roof.

A New Era: The Present Lighthouse

The original lighthouse's poor architecture led to a new lighthouse being urgently needed to replace it. In 1889, the current Wing’s Neck Lighthouse and keeper's house were erected, becoming the only intact wood-frame lighthouse and keeper’s house from that era connected by a covered walkway. The lighthouse stands 32 feet tall and boasts a hexagonal shape, painted white with a black lantern. Its focal height reaches 38 feet.

Wing’s Neck Lighthouse played a pivotal role in guiding marine traffic through Buzzards Bay and safely through the Cape Cod Canal, which opened in 1914.

By 1943, advancements in technology rendered the lighthouse obsolete. In 1947, the state sold the lighthouse and its surrounding land to Frank and Irene Flanagan. The Flanagans cherished the property, living there contentedly until Irene's passing in 1999.

A Heritage Honored

On June 15, 1987, Wing’s Neck Lighthouse earned a well-deserved spot in the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition is a testament to its historical significance and enduring architectural beauty, acknowledging its role as one of the most significant lighthouses on the Atlantic Coast. It's reference number is 87001503.

Preservation and Legacy

The keeper's cottage underwent a comprehensive renovation in 2003 and is now available for weekly rentals year-round. Since October 2012, the cottage has been listed on Airbnb, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience its historical charm. You can check out the lighthouse's website for more info about bookings

Viewing the Lighthouse

While the best views of Wing’s Neck Lighthouse are from the ocean, accessible by boat, visitors can also catch a glimpse from the mainland. Wing’s Neck Road in Pocasset leads to a vantage point where the lighthouse can be seen at the end of the peninsula. Although public access to Wing’s Neck is restricted, a view of the lighthouse is possible from the gates. A small roundabout provides a convenient spot for parking, allowing all who visit to admire the enduring beauty of Wing’s Neck Lighthouse.

Location Features

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1 Lighthouse Lane, Pocasset, Bourne, Massachusetts

GPS Coordinates:
41.680250, -70.661222
Directions to location:
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Directions to parking area:
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Parking Notes:
Wings Neck Lighthouse is private and so is the neighborhood it is located within. Visitors can drive to the gates at the end of Wings Neck Road and see the lighthouse from there. Please respect the rules and do not enter the lighthouse property.


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