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Name: Plymouth Light   Map it!

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Also known as: Gurnet Light

Nearest Town or City:
Duxbury, Massachusetts, United States

Location: Gurnet Point, Plymouth Bay.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont
Related Photos

Managing Organization:
Project Gurnet and Bug Lights, Inc.


Contact Address Information:
P.O. Box 2167
Massachusetts, 02331, United States

The 1769 lights were the first twin lights in North America. When the first keeper, John Thomas, died in 1776, his wife Hannah became America's first woman lighthouse keeper. A cannonball fired by a British frigate is said to have pierced the lighthouse building during the American Revolution. In 1924 the northeast light was discontinued, ending 155 years of twin lights at the site. In 1998 the remaining lighthouse was moved 140 feet away from the eroding bluff. In 1999, the lighthouse was leased to Project Gurnet and Bug Lights, Inc.

Tower Height: 34

Height of Focal Plane: 102

Characteristic and Range: Three white flashes every 30 seconds with a red sector.

Description of Tower: Octagonal, pyramidal white wood tower with black and red cast iron lantern.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1963 one story ranch-style keeper's house.

Earlier Towers?
1768-69 : House with two lanterns on roof (first

Date Established: 1769

Date Present Tower Built: 1843

Tower Moved?

Date Automated: 1986

Optics: 1871: Fourth order Fresnel lens (now at Hull Lifesaving Museum in Hull, MA); now 190 mm, solar powered. The Fresnel lens is now on display at the Hull Lifesaving Museum. Call (781) 925-5433 for more information.

Fog Signal: Daboll fog trumpet; now automatic fog horn with one blast every 15 seconds.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? No.

The area of Duxbury known as the Gurnet is open to residents only, so Plymouth Light is best seen by boat. The Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands offer occasional cruises with views of the lighthouse; call (617) 781-4290 for details. Some of the cruises offered by Capt. John Boats in Plymouth include views of the lighthouse. Call (800) 242-2469 or email for information. The cruises leave from the State Pier next to the Mayflower II. The lighthouse may be opened to the public for a one-day open house during Duxbury's Opening of the Bay festival in late May; check with Project Gurnet and Bug Lights for details.

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: John Thomas (1769-1776); Hannah Thomas (1776-c.1790); John Thomas (son, 1790-1812); Joseph Burges [Burgess ?] (1812-1851); Thomas Treble (1851-); William Sears, Milton Reamy, Edward S. Gorham, Henry L. Pingree; ? Higgins (c. 1904); Frank Allen Davis (1929-1946); BM1 William Miller (Coast Guard officer in charge c. 1957); BMC Earle B. Ashby (c. 1951); Al Readdy (Coast Guard, 1951); Lorne Bair (Coast Guard, 1979-1980); Joseph Robicheau (Coast Guard, December 1984 to March 1987).


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