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Thacher Island Twin Lights
Rockport, Massachusetts
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Jeremy D'Entremont
Location: Thacher Island, off east coast of Cape Ann; Nearest town: Rockport
North Light: 42 38 24 N, 70 34 30 W MapQuest Link
South Light: 42 38 12 N, 70 34 30 W MapQuest Link

Accessibility: Members of the Thacher Island Association may visit the island on Saturday mornings at 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 a.m. from June through the summer (weather permitting) aboard the Thacher Island launch. There's also a trip on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. It's a 30-minute ride to the island. The launch leaves from the town dock next to the Sandy Bay Yacht Club.

You must make reservations in advance by calling 617-599-2590. The Thacher Island launch accommodates 10 passengers. Visitors taking part in the tours are invited to climb the north tower.

You can also visit using your own boat or kayak, but keep in mind that there is no dock on the island, only the ramp used for the Association's launch. Only small rowboats and kayaks are allowed to land on the ramp. Two guest moorings are available about 50 yards offshore. If you'd like to use one of these moorings, you must call in advance at 617-599-2590. Bring a dinghy to land on the ramp.

The Ocean Reporter Private Launch Service can get you to the island; call 978-502-5994 for information.

For more information about visiting the island, visit the Thacher Island Association site.

A small campground (July to mid-September, small nightly fee) is available on the island. You must reserve by calling 617-599-2590. Click here for details.

Station established: 1771; Present lighthouses built: 1861
North light deactivated 1932, relighted as a private aid in 1989
South light automated 1980
Construction material: Granite.
Height of both towers: 124 feet. Height of focal plane: 166 feet
Optics: First-order Fresnel lenses (1861); Present optics:VRB-25, solar powered (south light), 200 mm (north light)
lenses
The VRB-25 in the south light (left) and the 200 mm optic in the north light
Characteristic: Flashing red every five seconds (south light); fixed yellow (north light)
Fog signal: Two blasts every sixty seconds
Other buildings still standing: 1816 keeper's house, assistant keeper's house, fog signal building, boathouse, oil house
The south light is an active Coast Guard aid to navigation. The north light is managed by the Town of Rockport and the
Thacher Island Association
P.O. Box 73
Rockport, MA 01966
The northern part of the island is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuge
Related sites:
Rockport, Massachusetts
Rockport Travel Guide
Thacher Island page on the "Whales and Wolves" site
Alexander Parris Digital Project
Previous lighthouse: Eastern Point Light
Next lighthouse: Straitsmouth Island Light
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