Previous Light:
Sandy Neck Light
Next Lighthouse:
Duxbury Pier

Plymouth (Gurnet) Lighthouse

plymouth light

Plymouth, Massachusetts
Built in 1768



Location:

On the end of the Gurnet Peninsula in Plymouth Harbor. Public access very limited.

Latitude: 42° 00' 13" N
Longitude: 70° 36' 02" W

 

Historic Stories:

Plymouth Light was originally constructed in 1768 with twin lights and was the first station built with two towers in the nation. It is the oldest wooden lighthouse today in the United States.

During the Revolution, a fort was built on the “Gurnet” near the lighthouse.

plymouth twin lights

Plymouth Twin Lights, 1768 Construction
Courtesy US Coast Guard

When a battle ensued between the Colonials at the fort and British Frigate the Niger, Plymouth Light was hit with a cannonball and later rebuilt. Later that year, the first Keeper, John Thomas, was called to serve in the Revolutionary War, leaving his wife Hannah to tend the lighthouse. He died of smallpox while serving, and thus Hannah became the first woman Keeper in the nation to take over the duties at the light.

In 1778, the ship General Arnold was caught in a blizzard and ran aground near the light. Seventy-two crew members died from exposure to the freezing winds and water before the rest of the crew could be rescued.

Plymouth Light was moved back about 140 feet in 1997 just in time before it would have toppled into the water from much erosion over the years.

 

New England Lighthouses

 

Places to Visit Nearby:

Plymouth is New England’s oldest and most historic town dating back to when the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Visitors will find plenty of historic narrated tours like the Plymouth Plantation Museum, or even ghost tours, and you can use the Plymouth Rock Trolley for a different touring experience. There are many fine beaches, specialty shops, and all kinds of recreational activities to enjoy here.

As one of the most famous towns in America, Plymouth has many attractions like its museums for visitors to learn about America's beginnings, and you can walk up to the National Monument to the Forefathers, which is the largest solid granite monument in the US.

For those who enjoy tasting at wineries, you'll find three in the Plymouth area, the 1620 Winery, the Plymouth Bay Winery, and the Plymouth Colony Winery.

Plymouth Harbor Cruises has tours in Plymouth Harbor on a Mississippi style paddle wheeler.

You can take the Provincetown Ferry from Plymouth to Provincetown and back to enjoy the many galleries, museums, and nightlife Provincetown has to offer, or use the ferry to go deep-sea fishing.

 

 

Contact Info:
Project Gurnet and Bug Lights, Inc.
P.O. Box 2167
Duxbury, MA 02331

 

Back to Top