Nobska Lighthouse

About Nobska Lighthouse

The first Nobska Light was built in 1828, as a simple Cape Cod style house with an octagonal lantern room on the roof. This was replaced in 1876 with a 40-foot cast-iron tower. Although the Coast Guard was to take over lighthouse operations in all of New England as of 1939, civilian keepers remained at Nobska for several decades. In 1972, the last civilian lighthouse keeper retired and was replaced by active-duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel.

The lighthouse was automated in 1985 and the Keeper's House became the home of the Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard South East Sector New England. Shortly thereafter (1987),  Nobska Light Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2013, the last Commander to live at Nobska moved out and in 2014, the Coast Guard announced its decision to deaccession Nobska Light Station. A well-attended community meeting was held and a high level of interestwas expressed in preserving the iconic landmark for public use and enjoyment; subsequently, the nonprofit Friends of Nobska Light was formed to figure out how to accomplish this mission. Working with the Falmouth Board of Selectmen, the Friends created a plan, which was approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Since then, the Friends have been securing funding and overseeing the transformation from a home and lighthouse to a publicly accessible museum about the maritime history of the area. To spread the word and attract support, the Friends seasonally offer public tours of the lighthouse.

An automated white light flashes steadily every six seconds as a red section appears on the eastern side to warn mariners about the dangerous areas known as the Hedge Fence and the L’Hommedieu Shoals south of the Cape.

Across the road from the lighthouse is a small grassy area that offers spectacular views of Vineyard Sound. For the adventurous climber, paths lead down the embankment to the jetties below, a popular spot for fishing. It was from this point that the Wampanoag embarked on canoe for the islands.

Nobska Point is on Nobska Road, reached by Church Street from Woods Hole Road or from Oyster Pond Road along the shore. Limited parking is available.