A huge shout out to Thacher Island Association and president Paul St. Germain for winning an Essex National Heritage Area partnership grant to restore the elevated pedestrian lighthouse walkway on Straitsmouth Island.
Paul St. Germain writes, “We will restore the original C 1850, 220-foot granite and wooden timber walkway to provide safe and easy access for the public to visit the lighthouse from the keeper house. This walkway has been there since 1854 and was destroyed sometime in the 1930’s. Besides its usefulness it has also been an iconic signature of the island’s profile for over 80 years.”
Facts about Straitsmouth Island Light Station
- First lighthouse was established in 1835 to mark the entrance to Rockport Harbor.
- The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1851 and again in 1896.
- A 6th order Fresnel lens was installed in the lantern in 1857.
- The current Victorian styled keeper house was built in 1878 similar to the one on Thacher Island.
- In 1932 the light was converted from white to green.
- Coast Guard moved the station to shore at Gap Head and sold the island to private parties in 1934.
- Coast Guard continues to maintain the light as an official aid to navigation today. In 1967 the island (except for the lighthouse) was donated to Massachusetts Audubon Society who maintains it as a wildlife sanctuary.
- Straitsmouth Island was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
- In 2010 the lighthouse and 1.8 acres of land was given to the Town of Rockport by the coast guard.
- In 2014 the Town of Rockport signed a long term 30 year lease with Mass Audubon for the use of the keeper and oil houses.