Ten Pound Island Light (1821)

Ten Pound Island Light Station was established in 1821 to safely guide mariners into Gloucester’s inner harbor. During the summer of 1880, American artist Winslow Homer stayed with the lighthouse keeper on the island. Homer produced about 50 paintings of Gloucester Harbor during his stay. Ten Pound Island Light is evident in some of the paintings and can also be seen in some of the works by Gloucester artist Fitz Hugh Lane. The present conical cast-iron tower replaced the original stone tower in 1881. Resting on a brick foundation, the tower is 30 feet tall and topped with a fifth-order lantern. Other associated buildings include a granite oil house (1821) and a keeper’s dwelling. Ten Pound Island Light Station was decommissioned in 1956. The original Fresnel lens was removed from the lantern and is currently on display at the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine. The Lighthouse Preservation Society based in Newburyport, Massachusetts initiated the restoration of Ten Pound Island Light in the late 1980s. At the completion of the project, the modern optic was installed atop the tower and relit as a Federal aid to navigation on August 7, 1989. Although the keeper’s dwelling lies in ruins, the oil house underwent restoration in 1995. Today, Ten Pound Island Light continues to operate as an active aid to navigation.


No public access to interior of lighthouse.

Site Notes & Advisories:

The island is owned by the City of Gloucester, which maintains walking paths to the lighthouse. The island is open to private boaters, however landing is difficult due to the lack of a landing facility. The light station can be viewed by boat or from several points along the Gloucester waterfront. Ten Pound Island Light is owned and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard as a Federal aid to navigation and is closed to the public.

Photo credit: Jeff Folger, Vistaphotography www.vistaphotography.com


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