Ipswich Light

 IIpswich Light and Steep Hill, 1934 Alice M. Curtis/ ©Fredrik D. Bodin
Many Ipswich residents and beach goers who come to the gallery are unaware of Ipswich Light and its interesting history. The first Ipswich Light was built on Crane Beach in 1838 to guide ships to the mouth of the Ipswich River. It was actually two towers, called a range light (like Rockport’s Thacher Island Light). This was replaced in 1881 by a 45 foot tall cast iron structure, very similar to Gloucester’s own Ten Pound Island Light (erected the same year). In 1881, Ipswich Light stood 82 feet from Ipswich Bay. By 1911, it was 1,090 feet inland. In addition, drifting sand covered the lighthouse to the extent that personnel had to enter through a third story window. In 1939, the Coast Guard floated the lighthouse by barge to Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. It now guards the entrance to Edgartown Harbor, bearing the plaque: Formerly Ipswich Light. Today’s Ipswich Light is a 29 foot tall sand dune resistant skeleton tower.

Ipswich Light, Crane Beach, 1934 Alice M. Curtis/ ©Fredrik D. Bodin
Photographs printed from the original 4×5 inch negatives in my darkroom. Images # A8845-056 and A8845-053
Note: I was asked today if any of the photos on my posts are for sale. Yes they are! The post from 9/14/11 resulted in the Brooklyn Bridge going to Oklahoma, and last week’s post (Cape Ann – a Farming Town) resulted in a purchase for a descendent of a Cape Ann farming family.
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930


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