Eastham, Massachusetts, April 2013
Tours of the Tower 2013
Our 2013 tour schedule begins Sunday, May 12 on Mother's Day. We will then be open for tours every Sunday through October 27 as well as Wednesdays in July and August. Click here to view the dates and times the tower will be open.
We have 35 tour dates this year, hope to see you at one of them.
Full Moon Tour 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012, from 6:30pm - 8:30pm.
On the full moon night of Monday October 29 bring a flashlight and meet us at the Nauset Light Beach parking lot, off Cable Road in Eastham for our annual Full Moon Tour of Nauset Light. Let us show you the magic of full moon at Nauset Light.
If you can't attend the Full Moon tour we still have Sunday afternoon tours on October 14, 21 & 28, 1:00pm - 4:00pm.
NLPS Wins ''Keepers of the Light'' Award
On April 28th, the American Lighthouse Federation presented Nauset Light Preservation Society with the 2012 ''Keeper of the Light'' Award. At the A.L.F. annual Awards Gala held this year at the Sheraton in Eastham, MA. NLPS was one of only two lighthouse organizations honored this year with the American Lighthouse Federation's ''Keeper of the Light'' Award.
To quote the American Lighthouse Federation:
''The American Lighthouse Foundation's Keeper of the Light Award is designed to honor those individuals from the national lighthouse community who have contributed in a significant manner to the preservation of America's lighthouses and their rich heritage.''
With photos and excerpts from our video/DVD ''Rescued'' being projected onto a screen in the background, ALF's Executive Director Bob Trapani recounted to the over 110 members and representatives of lighthouse organizations with stewardship responsibilities for over 22 lighthouses the story of how NLPS had saved Nauset Lighthouse from destruction, moved it to its present location, and now operates, maintains, and interprets it to the public.
He concluded his remarks with the following:
''In recognition of the organization's indispensable role in the rescuing of Nauset Light from the brink of extinction and its continuing efforts as the steward of this historic landmark, we present the American Lighthouse Foundation's Keeper of the Light Award to the Nauset Light Preservation Society.''
Click here for more on the American Lighthouse Foundation and the full text of the speech.
Left Photo, Eric Davis, President American Lighthouse Federation; Shirley Sabin, NLPS Secretary; David Gray, NLPS President; Carl Ericson, NLPS Treasurer; Bud Griffin, NLPS Board member; and Bob Trapani, Executive Director ALF.
Right Photo: The 2012 American Lighthouse Foundation ''Keeper of the Light'' Award
Our New Video: "Nauset Light and the NLPS"
A new video about Nauset Light was filmed and edited by Chris Szwedo, owner of Szwedo Productions, a company that makes a variety of high quality documentaries and videos for corporate training. Chris is a volunteer with Nauset Light Preservation Society. Many thanks to Chris and also to Dave Gray for his narration.
View the 5 minute video on the home page. Click the forward triangle to play and the four arrow icon (next to "vimeo") to see full screen. The video is also on view in the oil house during tour hours.
With deep regret the Nauset Light Preservation Society announces the death of Pam Nobili of Eastham, Mass. on May 31, 2011.
Nearly 20 years ago, Pam Nobili and her husband, Conrad, were deeply involved in the effort to save Nauset Lighthouse, which was endangered by severe erosion of the nearby coastal bank. Through their actions, along with other concerned citizens of Eastham and Cape Cod, the Nauset Light Preservation Society was formed, and sufficient funds were collected to pay to move the Lighthouse, Keeper's House, and Oil House to a safer location from 1996 to 1998. The Nauset Light Preservation Society has operated and maintained the lighthouse since the move, and Pam continued to play a significant role: for many years Pam operated NLPS' extremely successful gift shop, which provided a large share of the funds collected for the move and for future operations and maintenance; she served as the Society's President for several years and most recently she was the Society's Treasurer. Pam came to be known as "Mrs. Lighthouse" for all her efforts and for her constant presence at the light.
We shall all miss Pam Nobili's charm and good humor and her devotion to the cause of the Nauset Light Preservation Society.
Visiting hours will be at the Nickerson Funeral Home, 77 Eldredge Park Way in Orleans on Wednesday, June 15, 2011, from 3 to 6 p.m. Remembrances will begin at 4:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Nauset Light Preservation Society, P.O. Box 941, Eastham, MA 02642.
Wayside Exhibit Installation
Over the past year, a sub-committee of NLPS board members has been working on the design and creation of a wayside exhibit at Nauset Light. The lengthy process has been completed and the exhibit was installed at the lighthouse on March 31, 2011.
The grounds of the lighthouse are open daily year round allowing the public to visit the site, even when the tower is not open for tours. The new exhibit helps visitors understand the effect of erosion that over the years has made it necessary to move the lighthouse and other structures away from the cliff to save them from the ravages of the sea.
New Stairs to Nauset Light Beach
Good news! The park has installed the new stairs to Nauset Light Beach just in time for the summer season. Hopefully, they will last for a number of years before they are once again taken by the sea. See the March 2010 Update below to view the demise of the previous stairs.
Nauset Light tours began on Mother's Day and will continue until the end of October. Click here to view the dates and times.
The park has added a new feature to its www.nps.gov/caco website - cell phone interpretation of a number of sites within Cape Cod National Seashore. To listen to the segment for Nauset Light, dial 508-718-6054 on your cell phone, and when directed, select #7 for a ninety-second message about the Nauset Light Station and its history.
We are looking forward to a busy and successful season. Plan a trip to the light when we are open, climb the tower, and then enjoy viewing our exhibit in the restored oil house.
Thank you for your continued interest and support.
Winter Storm Report
The winter has been a difficult one with serious erosion occurring all along Cape Cod National Seashore. At least four major storms with high winds and lasting several days have pounded the shoreline. A full moon resulting in higher than normal tides added to the fury.
The stairs at Marconi Beach in Wellfleet (photo 1) and Eastham's Nauset Light Beach near the lighthouse (photos 2 & 3), as well as part of the walkway at Coast Guard Beach, were washed away during the last storm of Friday, February 26 to Monday, March 1, 2010. In addition, the bicycle bridge connecting the bicycle path from Salt Pond Visitor Center to Coast Guard Beach was washed over. It is now unsafe and must be replaced.
Nauset Light was moved in 1996 because it was less than 35 feet from the edge of the cliff. Immediately after the move, a 4'' x 4'' post was put in the ground marking where the center of the light once was. Due to the continuing erosion of the shoreline during the last 13-1/2 years, the post is now a foot or less from the edge of the cliff. It is expected that it will disappear soon.
As can be seen in the last photo, had the lighthouse not been moved, it would have been dismantled and taken away long ago. Thanks to the many members, friends, and supporters of the Nauset Light Preservation Society who contributed funds to move it, Nauset Light is safely away from the edge of the cliff and is still shining brightly. Ongoing support of NLPS is crucial to its ability to keep the lighthouse lit and maintained.
The Nauset Light Video, now on DVD!
RESCUED The Story of Nauset Light has been re-released on DVD. The thirty minute video is the story of the history and relocation of Nauset Light, and is a "must have" for all lighthouse lovers. Produced in 1998, Greg O'Brien wrote the text and Chuck Kraemer did the narration. (NTSC, region free, also available on VHS tape)
Get your copy now. Send a check for $16.95 plus $3.00 shipping to:
Nauset Light Preservation Society
P. O. Box 941
Eastham, MA 02642.
Make your checks payable to Nauset Light Preservation Society. Please specify DVD disc or VHS tape.
Questions? Send an e-mail or phone us at 508-240-2612.
Oil House Exhibit
The oil house has been totally renovated inside and out, and the exhibit is open for viewing during our regularly scheduled tours. The interior space is small, but the display panels contain lots of pertinent information and depict the three areas that have generated the most public interest - the erosion story, the lighthouse keepers and their families, and the move of the tower and oil house in November 1996.
The renovation and exhibit were made possible through the generous donations of family and friends in memory of Kay Bryant Cannoni, Daniel K. Kohlmeier, and Conrad Nobili.
Oil House News
Restoration of the exterior of the oil house has been completed, and we are now in the process of designing an exhibit area in the interior. Space is limited, but our plan is to include several subjects that are of the most interest to our visitors.
A sub-committee has met with a designer, and we have a working plan. Since the building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the National Park Service, we are prohibited from attaching anything to the walls. Therefore, a simple wood, self-supporting structure is in the process of being built. All photos and artifacts will be hung from or included within the structure.
We would like to display some lighthouse artifacts, but, unfortunately, NLPS does not own many. If any of our members or supporters have artifacts; i.e., keeper's tools, instruments, lanterns, oil cans, journals, log books, or anything else used at lighthouses or by the keepers and would be willing to donate them to NLPS, please contact us. Proper credit will be given to all donors.
When completed, the oil house will be open during all scheduled lighthouse tours.
Season's Greetings from Eastham
We have had a very busy fall at Nauset Light. With the new slate roof completed on the oil house, work continued on the restoration of the exterior. The brick was re-pointed and painted white and the trim its original gray. Replicas of the cupola and door were reproduced and installed. A new threshold completed the restoration. A sub-committee is meeting to investigate ways to set up a small museum inside.
The full moon tour on October 12 brought 127 enthusiastic visitors to the light. The weather and moon cooperated to make it a very successful event.
On December 5, under the direction of Richard Ryder along with several helpers, the 1984 era 1,000 watt, $280 incandescent bulbs in the DCB 2-24 aero beacons in the lighthouse were converted to 400 watt metal halide bulbs. The new bulbs are readily available, cost $20 or so each, and put out 30,000 lumens. They give off a brighter light than the bulbs we have been using and are rated to last at least two years. There will be a significant savings in electricity and bulb replacement costs.
On December 6, the annual wreath hanging was held, enhancing the light for the holidays. Season's Greetings to all and best wishes in the New Year.
This Oil House
Restoration of the oil house began in September 2007 with the replacement of the slate roof. The old slate was removed with as much as possible being salvaged for reinstallation. Several rotted beams and the wood sheathing were replaced followed by the installation of the old and new slate with new copper nails. A crew of five NLPS members became very adept at measuring, laying out, cutting, drilling holes, and installing the slate on the roof. It was hard work with a professional-looking result. A very satisfying job for those involved. After much historical research, a new cupola and door have been designed and will be constructed by a professional builder.
While the oil house was under the ownership of the Coast Guard, it was painted white, so the exterior brick has been restored to that time period. Now that restoration is nearing completion, plans are moving forward to create a small museum in the oil house, which would be open to the public during tours.
In February, the fire crew from the park, assisted by a number of volunteers, cleared brush and dead trees from the site. The view has been greatly enhanced and is in keeping with the historical time period.
Top Left Photo, the restoration crew, left to right: David Gray, Shirley Sabin, Betsy Richards, Richard Ryder, Sherm Lovering
Full MoonTour Success
The Full Moon Tour was a success! We had 166 visitors, who generously contributed to our donation box.
Unfortunately, it was not a bright moonlit night all evening, but we did see the moon rise. It was visible for a short time before going behind clouds, and then it popped out again for another few minutes. Nobody seemed to mind and everyone had a great time.
This was the public's first opportunity to be in the lighthouse at night, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Our plans are to do the tour again next year, so perhaps some of you can come and join the fun. We will keep you posted.
The three-day Northeaster, April 16-19, 2007, with astronomically high tides, took its toll at Nauset Light Beach. Unfortunately, during the night high tide early Thursday morning, the stairs succumbed to the relentless pounding of the surf and undercutting of the bank. They broke away. At this time, it is unknown how many feet of bank were lost, but the erosion appears to be significant.
The post marking the center of where Nauset Light stood before it was moved in 1996 is now only a little more than two feet from the edge of the cliff, which appears to be severely undercut below. The post could be claimed by the sea at any time. We're thankful it is just a post marking the spot that is about to go over the edge and not the lighthouse itself. The tower is safely across the road. We appreciate your continued interest in Nauset Light and welcome your support. Your generosity keeps the light operating and open to the public.
On February 20 and March 1, 2007, volunteers from Nauset Light Preservation Society and Friends of Cape Cod National Seashore assisted David Crary, Jr., and his National Park Service fire crew with cutting and clearing the grounds of Nauset Light. Dead trees and invasive brush were cleared. The much-needed enhancement has opened up the view of the tower, as well as the view of the ocean from the lighthouse grounds. We hope you enjoy the new improvements.
We are deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of our most ardent supporter, Conrad Nobili, on October 25, 2006. Conrad, along with his wife, Pam, our present treasurer, was instrumental in the formation of the Nauset Light Preservation Society in 1993. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
Election of officers was held during our November board meeting. New officers are Sarah Mumford, President; Richard Ryder, Vice President; Shirley Sabin, Clerk; Pamela Nobili, Treasurer. We extend our heartfelt thanks to retiring president, Bud Griffin for his hard work, dedication and support.
Thanks to the expertise of our past president, Richard Ryder, Nauset Light has a new outside door to replace the one made of black-painted plywood that was installed by the Coast Guard many years ago. The new door is also plywood and is temporary, but it is a big improvement. Eventually we hope to replace it with an authentic copy of an original door. In the meantime, we will enjoy the results of Richard's fine effort.
Painting the Tower, part 2
Despite unexpected delays due to hurricanes and a Northeaster, the painting of the light has been completed.
The vinyl envelope that covered the tower to contain overspray from the paint made it difficult to document the progress, so we have very few photographs of the project. Just before the painting was totally completed, the storms arrived, and the force of the high winds tore away the vinyl. That was an impressive sight, but it canceled our planned "unveiling". J. Goodison Co. finished the final touch-ups on October 27, 2005, and the tower looks magnificent once more.
Future plans include replacing the exterior door of the tower with an authentic replica of the original, painting the interior of the light and restoring the oil house.
Thank you for your interest and continued support.
Painting the Tower, part 1
The repainting of the tower has finally begun. After many months, the paperwork was completed, proposals received, a contractor selected and final details put in place.
J. Goodison Co., Inc. of East Providence, RI, is the contractor, and work began on September 15, 2005. The scope of the project includes sealing and resurfacing the deck, repairing and replacing the railing as needed, and prepping, caulking and painting the exterior of the tower. The project is expected to take two to three weeks, depending upon the weather.
Scaffolding has been erected, and the tower is now totally encased in vinyl. Although the vinyl will prevent visitors from following the day-to-day progress, it will keep the area cleaner and prevent the paint from blowing onto neighboring surfaces. All workers will follow required safety procedures and wear proper protection.
The lighthouse will continue to be open for tours on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. until October 30.
The blizzard of 2005
The blizzard of January 22-23, 2005, paralyzed Cape Cod with hurricane-force winds and more than three feet of snow. In some places, drifts were six feet or higher. Nauset Light weathered the storm well, but there was considerable erosion of the coastal bank. The storm hit during the time of a full moon, which resulted in an astronomically high tide. This caused several feet of the bank to wash away. This photo, taken on January 24, shows the aftermath of the erosion. Note the concrete blocks on the beach. They were part of the foundation of a building that once stood on top of the bank.
2004 in review
In 2001, Richard Ryder was elected President of the Nauset Light Preservation Society. He has been outstanding during his three-year tenure. Richard's biggest accomplishment was drafting and overseeing the formation of the Partnership Agreement with the National Park Service. Superintendent Maria Burks and Richard Ryder officially signed the Agreement on May 24, 2004. Richard retired as president in October 2004.
We were deeply saddened by the death of our treasurer, George Abbott, in August 2004. George served as treasurer since 1993, the year NLPS was organized. His passing represents a tremendous loss to his family, the Society and the Town of Eastham.
The annual meeting of the Nauset Light Preservation Society was held on September 29, 2004. New officers for 2005 were elected: President - Bud Griffin, Vice President - Sara Mumford, Clerk - Richard Ryder, Treasurer - Pam Nobili. We thank them for agreeing to lead the group as we continue our mission of maintaining the light, keeping it lit and making Nauset Light accessible to the public.
Our tour schedule for 2005 has been set. In addition to our usual Sunday tours, the light will be open on Wednesday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. during the month of July. Please note that parking fees may apply for all afternoon tours.
Would you like to be more active in NLPS? Volunteer to help with the tours. We have a dedicated group, but we are always happy to welcome more. Some people volunteer only once during a season, and others more often, depending upon when they are available. It's fun, it's easy and we provide the necessary historical information. You may audit tours as often as you like. Interested? Send us an e-mail or give us a call at 508-240-2612.
Now that the Partnership Agreement is in place, we can move forward with our most pressing project - painting the tower. A subcommittee is actively working to obtain approval from the park to solicit bids and award a contract as soon as possible.
We look forward to seeing many of you during our 2005 season.
Partnership Agreement signed
On May 24, 2004, the long-awaited Partnership Agreement between the Nauset Light Preservation Society and the National Park Service was signed. NLPS president Richard Ryder and Cape Cod National Seashore superintendent Maria Burks affixed their signatures to the agreement. It will be in effect for five years, after which time, the agreement will be subject to renewal. Past presidents Hawkins Conrad and Pam Nobili were among those attending the signing.
Under the agreement, NLPS operates Nauset Light as a private aid to navigation, and is responsible for all utilities, repair and maintenance associated with the tower and the oil house. The terms of the agreement prohibit the society from operating a gift shop on National Seashore property, so our sources of income are limited to memberships in NLPS, memorial gifts and donations. The lighthouse tours are still free, but we do accept contributions from our visitors. We thank you for your continued generous support.
Once again, the enormous power of the ocean was evident on Sunday, December 7, 2003. A three-day Northeaster consisting of snow, rain and high winds roared through New England. These photos were taken at the top of the stairs leading to Nauset Light Beach at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, one-half hour before high tide. The battering of the bank continued for several more hours. The resulting erosion is evident in the photos taken three days later.
The Winter Beach
The 2002-2003 winter season began with a severe Northeaster in November. Since then, there have been at least two more Northeasters, with the latest one on January 4. The result has been extensive erosion all along the outer bank, including Nauset Light beach.
Many of our visitors are familiar with the summer beach, but most have never seen the ocean during a severe storm. The photos show how powerful and dangerous the ocean becomes when the height of the storm strikes at high tide. The waves pound against the bottom of the cliff and gouge out large amounts of sand that is carried out to sea. The sand above the gouged area becomes unstable and falls down the cliff to the beach.
Although the top of the bank is severely undercut, it generally has grass, shrubs or trees growing on it, so several days or weeks may pass before it, too, breaks off and falls onto the beach. Eventually, the sand smoothes itself out and the bank looks like it did before. The only difference is that the cliff can be as little as a few feet or as much as twenty feet inland from where it was before the storm.
The photos were taken at high tide on January 4, 2003. One photo shows the waves climbing up the cliff, and the other, the undercut bank. The red and white stake is where Nauset Light stood before the lighthouse was moved in 1996. When installed, the stake was 30-35 feet from the edge of the cliff and now it is only 3-4 feet away. Had the lighthouse not been moved, it would have long ago been removed from the site. Thanks to the generosity of all our many friends and supporters, Nauset Light is safe and remains an important part of Eastham's maritime history.
You Were There...
We have something new for all our friends who have U.S. Lighthouse Society passports - a Nauset Light stamp. When you come, bring along your passport, and you can officially record your visit.
We're looking forward to another busy and successful season. See you at the light!
50,000 Lighthouse Lovers
Thanks to everyone who has surfed to www.nausetlight.org over the years. We've just had visitor number 50,000 to our web site since it was created in 1996!
Build your own Nauset Light
What's the diameter of Nauset Light? We now have a measured drawing of the tower posted, with helpful dimensions for model builders. Thanks to Hawkins Conrad for his accurate measurements and illustration.
NLPS Update archives page
NLPS Update photos © 2000-2010 Shirley Sabin. Not for use without permission.