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Name: Three Sisters of Nauset  

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Nearest Town or City:
Eastham, Massachusetts, United States

Location: Cable Road, near Nauset Light Beach.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: David Turner
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Managing Organization:
Cape Cod National Seashore

Telephone: 508-255-3421


Between 1838 and 1911 three lighthouses were in use at this location. By 1911 the cliff had eroded to within eight feet of the northernmost tower. The Bureau of Lighthouses finally decided to change Nauset to a single light. Two of the lighthouses were removed and the center one was moved back, given a white light flashing three times each ten seconds (a tribute to the Three Sisters) and attached to the keeper's house. In 1918 the defunct towers were bought for $3.50 by the Cummings family of Attleboro, Massachusetts, and incorporated into a summer cottage on Cable Road. The lighthouses each contained an upper and lower bedroom. The cottage was later used as a dance studio. By 1923 the remaining Sister was in poor condition. Meanwhile, Chatham Light was changed from a twin to a single light station. The discontinued twin from Chatham was dismantled, transported to Eastham and installed on a concrete foundation. (See Nauset Light.) The last of the Sisters passed into private hands and became the cupola of a residence known as "The Beacon." By 1975 the National Park Service had purchased the Three Sisters towers. The towers were reunited in their original configuration on Cable Road about 1,800 feet from Nauset Light. The $509,000 restoration was finished in 1989. The National Park site is now open to the public with rangers offering tours from spring to fall.

Tower Height: 29

Description of Tower: Three white, conical wooden towers.

This light is not operational

Earlier Towers?
1838: Three short brick towers.

Date Established: 1838

Date Present Tower Built: 1892

Date Deactivated: 1923

Optics: 1856: Sixth order Fresnel lenses; 1873: Fourth order Fresnel lenses.

Current Use: Attraction at National Seashore.

Open To Public? Yes.

To reach the parking lot near Nauset Light and Nauset Light Beach, follow the signs from Route 6 in Eastham. The Three Sisters can be reached via a short walking trail from the parking lot. For hour-long ranger-led tours of the Three Sisters (summer only), meet at the Nauset Light Beach parking lot in Eastham, Sundays and Tuesdays at 5 p.m.

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