One evening, not so long ago, I got an itch to go exploring. I’d heard that there were several lighthouses within driving distance of where I was staying, so I looked up one of the closest ones, and made a bee-line to it. After driving for about 45 min to Gloucester (/ˈɡlɒstər/) which is situated on Cape Ann in Essex County. I got on Main Street, and using Google Maps on my old android, got on Sayward Street and made my way to East Main, which twisted along for a few minutes before turning into Eastern Point Road. Beside Niles Beach there are some excellent examples of New England architecture. Though there is a private access road, so you need to drive a bit slower, finally reaching Eastern Point Boulevard that goes by Lighthouse Cove, and Eastern Point Yacht Club, where every sunset they fire off a miniature cannon filled with fireworks and lower Old Glory.
After passing the Yacht club, I finally drove into the parking lot for the Lighthouse. The sun was already behind the clouds as I got out of my rental, and started walking along the rocky beach to see the light house from the breakwater. Glorious colours painted against the clouds as the last of the sunlight was sent towards earth.
The vessels in the harbor gently swayed back and forth as the ocean waves came rolling in. Sea Gulls dove and rose above the ripples with their raucous cries, while the air was filled with that wondrous odor that is the salty Atlantic ocean.
As I walked along the rocky path that lead to the breakwater, I saw some rather pretty Beach Roses.
After the rocky path, there were a few bigger rocks and then I climbed onto the breakwater.
The Dog Bar Breakwater was built by the Army Corps of Engineers, in 1894 construction was begun and by 1905 it was completed. It rises above the sea at about 7.5 feet, built out of giant granite blocks, each weighing in at 12-13 tons, with a width of approximately 10 feet, it stretches out approximately 2250 feet from Eastern Point into Gloucester bay . On the end that juts out into Gloucester Bay, there is an automated light set up to deter anyone from crashing onto the breakwater.
The light station was originally planned in 1829, and was completed on Jan 1, 1832, after several ships had crashed against it’s rocky shores. In 1847 the fishing town experienced a boom, when the railroad was extended nearby. A new light was installed in 1848, and years later Winslow Homer painted and lived in the lighthouse. Later in 1890 the third and final structure, that you see today, was built on the foundation of the 1832 tower. The tower stands 36 feet tall, featuring an enclosed walkway to the residence. The grounds today include the 1890 tower, the 1879 two-story keepers quarters, and walkway, an oil house and bell tower. It is now operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, and is not open to the public for tours. In the nearby Cape Ann Historical Museum you can view the Fresnel Lens that was used in years gone by. The light is automated, flashing a bright white light every five seconds, and is staffed by U.S.C.G. units.
After watching the sunset, I left feeling more at peace and glad I’d taken the time to come out here and shoot some photos. Until next time.
All Rights Reserved. Images © Andrew Christiansen. LostOnAnAdventure.com