Did You Know? (Eastern Point Light)

waves crashing on rocks of Magnolia with Eastern Point Light in the distance

Photo by E.J. Lefavour

That Eastern Point Light, a 30 foot high stone lighthouse erected at a cost of $2,450 to help fishermen and others entering Gloucester Harbor, was first lighted on January 1, 1832?  The new lighthouse’s ten lamps showed a fixed white light and were fueled by whale oil. The first keeper was Samuel Wonson, who was paid an annual salary of $400.

With the arrival of the railroad in Gloucester in 1847 the fishing business exploded into one of the world’s largest, and Eastern Point Light assumed new importance.

A whistling buoy was installed near Eastern Point in 1883 to provide additional warning and guidance to the harbor. Some of the summer residents objected to their summer quietude being shattered.

Because of the complaints of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, a well-known local writer who claimed she suffered from a “nervous ailment,” the United States Secretary of the Navy ordered the buoy removed from May to October. Later Ms. Phelps was married to the Reverend Herbert Ward and the Boston Record reported, “Since her marriage Mrs. Ward is much better, and the officer who had to remove the buoy has put it back with the assurance that next summer he will have no orders to disturb it.”

The third and present Eastern Point Light was built in 1890 on the old foundation of the 1832 tower. The 36-foot brick lighthouse was attached to the keeper’s house by a covered walkway.

The station is closed to the public, but there is a parking lot nearby and the breakwater next to the lighthouse is open all year, with good views of the lighthouse. There are “private road” signs posted in the Eastern Point neighborhood, but visitors are permitted to drive to the lighthouse.  (http://www.lighthouse.cc/easternpoint/index.html)

This photo of Eastern Point Light was taken from the beautiful rocky shoreline of Magnolia.

I want to apologize to Joey and GMG readers for being so sketchy in my posts recently.  I am in the final push to get the Did You Know? book to the printer next week, so have been in the weeds a bit. 

E.J. Lefavour



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