Photo Credit: © 2009
Highland Lighthouse 1857Open daily mid-May until
Gift Shop 10am-6pm
There is a $4
dollar fee to climb the lighthouse. Children MUST be 48 inches tall.
discounts available in season. Off season by appointment on a donation basis.
Phone/Fax 508-487-1121 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
see map for directions from
oldest lighthouse, locally known as the Highland Light, is officially
named "Cape Cod Light" on the NOAA nautical chart for the region.
It sits perched 120 feet above the ocean in the Highlands of Truro. Its beam
shines 174 ft. above sea level to give mariners warning of the treacherous
sandbars off this shore. The Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse is a major
attraction for visitors to Cape Cod.
The Cape Cod
Highland Lighthouse Upgrades
The Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse was
built in 1797, rebuilt in 1853, and replaced in the same location with the
current structure in 1857. The first illumination was fueled with whale oil,
then subsequently, lard, kerosene, and finally, electricity. In 1901 a new,
more powerful lens was installed. This "First Order" Fresnel lens greatly
extended the seaward reach of the beam of light, flashing one half-second flash
every 5 seconds. In 1932 the light was electrified. During the 1950s this
Fresnel Lens was replaced by a four-way beacon. In 1986 the Highland Light was
automated with a 2-way beacon, using the same signature.
Thank you to our sponsors of the
Annual Road Race on May 26, 2012.
The Highlands of Truro
have been steadily eroding since 1797. When Thoreau visited Highland
Light in the 1850's, he wrote in "Cape Cod" about the extensive erosion
of the cliffs fronting the lighthouse. In 1990 only 128 feet of the original
500 foot setback remained. Then concerned citizens of the Town of Truro
took action. After years of fund-raising, which included contributions from the
citizens of Truro and many visitors from all over the world, the lighthouse was
moved to its present site.
Cape Cod Highland
In July of 1996, when the Highland Light was
only 100 feet away from the edge of the cliff, the lighthouse was moved to its
present location. The International Chimney Company of Buffalo, New York
lifted the 430 ton lighthouse, and pushed it on steel "I" beams, lubricated
with Ivory Soap, 453 feet to a safer location. The $1.54 million dollar cost
was shared among the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States
Coast Guard, the National Park Service, and the Truro Historical
The Cape Cod Highland
Lighthouse is owned by the Cape Cod National Seashore and is managed by
Highland Museum and Lighthouse, Inc., a private non-profit organization.
The light is maintained by the United States Coast Guard, and continues to
function as a primary aid to navigation.
Accessibility At Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse
There is limited handicap parking at the
lighthouse. Anyone that is unable to climb the lighthouse stairs is welcome to
come into the base of the lighthouse and also view the video part of the
lighthouse tour at no charge. The 10 minute video (accessible through the gift
shop entrance) includes a history of the lighthouse, the moving of the
lighthouse in time lapse photography and the relighting of the light. A one
hour long version of the video is available in the gift shop.