Straitsmouth Island

Straitsmouth Island (HM26CZ)

Location: Rockport, MA 01966 Essex County
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Country: United States of America
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N 42° 39.651', W 70° 36.849'

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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.

Changing Ownership

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

Preservation Act. This program is administered by the National Park Service.
HM NumberHM26CZ
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 at 10:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)19T E 367710 N 4724416
Decimal Degrees42.66085000, -70.61415000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 39.651', W 70° 36.849'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 39' 39.06" N, 70° 36' 50.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)978, 508
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 68-98 Bearskin Neck, Rockport MA 01966, US
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