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Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point lighthouse

Nantucket, Massachusetts
Built in 1746


At the end of Easton Street, located on the Coast Guard base marking the entrance to Nantucket Harbor.

Latitude: 41° 17' 21" N
Longitude: 70° 05' 25" W


Historic Stories:

early Brant Point light engraving
Brant Point Engraving
Courtesy US Coast Guard

With the increasing whaling industry and whaling fleet on the island itself, Brant Point Light was built in 1746 to guide vessels into and around the inner harbor.

Brant Point Lighthouse claims several distinctions: it is the site of the second oldest lighthouse built in America (1746), after Boston Light (1716) and it is also the lowest light in New England at merely 26 feet above sea level.

It has the distinction of being the most often rebuilt, nine times rebuilt, starting with the light being destroyed by fires and storms and replaced five times from 1758 to 1788. These lights were primarily lanterns on platforms that were somewhat effective.


Early Range Lights
Courtesy US Coast Guard

In its early days in the 1850's, the location was part of a series of range light systems around the beacon named as the Nantucket Harbor Range lights.

Over the years with storms eroding the sandy area, the range lights were removed, and Brant Point light was rebult again and moved.

The present Brant Point Light was built about 600 feet from its predecessor in 1901.

early photo Brandt Point light

Early Brant Point Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

In 1983, the entire Brant Point Station complex was renovated by the Coast Guard, and in 2000, another overhaul of the lighthouse was completed.

Currently the lighthouse is wrapped in the American flag.

Brant Point light with American Flag cover



About 45 miles south of Nantucket Island, the Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria and the Swedish ocean liner Stockholm collided in a heavy fog. Fifty-one passengers and crew were killed in the collision, which ripped a great hole in the broad side of the Italian vessel. However, due to the fact it became the center of the greatest coordinated rescue effort between other steamships, local fishermen, and lifesavers in the region, miraculously about 1,660 passengers survived and were successfully rescued in what could have been a more tragic calamity.

Note: If you’re interested in more details regarding this famous story, select the link "Andrea Doria Rescue" Blog at the top of the page to be directed to my Lighthouse Stories section.


Places to Visit Nearby:

Nantucket offers miles of town maintained bike paths, pristine beaches, historic Victorian homes, and beautiful harbors for visitors to enjoy. It is an extremely quiet area and doesn’t even have a stop sign on the island, and visitors can use the Nantucket Transit Authority (The WAVE) to get around. All three lighthouses on Nantucket are accessible by land. There are various festivals and special events to enjoy, including at the end of April, where there are over 3 million daffodils blooming across the area.

Departing from the ferry in Nantucket Harbor, cobblestone streets align the area and becon tourists to explore the specialty shops, galleries, and museums nearby.

cobblestone streets on Nantucket Island

The island offers miles of town maintained bike paths, beaches, historic Victorian homes, and beautiful harbors for visitors to enjoy. There are plenty of windswept beaches for families and thrill seekers to enjoy. Those with families tend to gravitate towards the gentle surf of the north shore beaches, like Brant Point with the iconic Brant Point Lighthouse, or Jetties Beach, which is a family beach accessible by an easy bike ride, or the NRTA shuttle bus. Many of these beaches are easy walks from downtown Nantucket.

The grounds and beach around Brant Point lighthouse are open year round.

The sandy beach area provides a quiet place to relax and enjoy views of Nantucket Harbor.

ferry by brandt point light

Ferry in Nantucket Harbor by Brant Point Light

The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. It provides educational programs and exhibits for visitors.

The Nantucket Whaling Museum coordinated by the Nantucket Historical Association, contains a major collection of all artifacts involving the whaling industry in the 19th century.

original fresnel lens at Nanatucket Whaling Museum One of these artifacts is the original first order Fresnel lens used at Sankaty Head lighthouse.

The Nantucket Shipwreck and Life Saving Museum, provides lots of info and artifacts about rescues and shipwrecks that occured in Nantucket's history, along with plenty of lifesaving artifacts, tools, and memorabilia.

Nantucket windmill, the oldest structure About a mile from the ferry dock on Nantucket Island, there is the Old Mill, which is the oldest functioning wooden windmill in the United States, and is still used to grind corn.



The lighthouse grounds are open year round, and the lighthouse is located a short distance from the ferry dock at the end of Easton Street, marking the entrance to Nantucket Harbor. Specialty shops and restaurants are only a few hundred feet away from the lighthouse.

fishing boat coming in by Brant Point light


Contact Info:
U.S. Coast Guard Station
Brant Point
Phone: (508) 228-0398



Ferries to Nantucket Island

fishing by Brant Point light

The ferries listed below provide services to get to the island of Nantucket from either the mainland or between the islands.


Hy-Line Cruises
Hyannis-Oak Bluffs ferry; also Nantucket-Oak Bluffs ferry.
220 Ocean Street Dock
Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601
Information: (508) 778-2600
Oak Bluffs (508) 693-0112
Hyannis-Nantucket ferry (508) 778-2602


Steamship Authority
Ferries to both islands
Vehicle Reservations Call: (508) 477-8600
Office Hours or (508) 693-9130
Fast Ferry Reservations: (508) 495-FAST (3278)
Woods Hole: (508) 548-3788
Vineyard Haven: (508) 693-0367
Oak Bluffs: (508) 693-0125
Hyannis: (508) 771-4000
Nantucket: (508) 228-0262


Freedom Cruise Line
Ferry from Harwich Port Mass. to Nantucket
702 Main Street - Route 28
Harwich Port, Massachusetts 02646
(508) 432-8999


Nantucket Island Tours

Guided tours around Nantucket Island

10 Washington St.
Nantucket, MA 02554
Phone: (508)228-0334


Books to Explore

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available from bookstores in paperback, hardcover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

The Rise and Demise of the Largest Sailing Ships:
Stories of the Six and Seven-Masted Coal Schooners of New England

In the early 1900s, New England shipbuilders constructed the world’s largest sailing ships amid social and political reforms. These giants of sail were the ten original six-masted coal schooners and one colossal seven-masted vessel, built to carry massive quantities of coal and building supplies, and measured longer than a football field! Most of these giants would anchor themselves in Nantucket Harbor to ride out storms.

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, contains the true stories of each of these eleven ships including competitions, accidents, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.



Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides lots of special human interest and historical stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of additional indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours in the area, with contact info to plan your trips.


Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions in southern New England





New England Lighthouses: Famous Shipwrecks, Rescues & Other Tales

This image-rich book contains over 50 stories of famous shipwrecks and rescues around New England lighthouses, and also tales of hauntings.

Included are more details and imagery in the story of the coordinated rescue of survivors of the Andrea Doria. You'll also learn about lightships stationed on the Nantucket Shoals around the islands. There is also the tragic story of the collision between the Nantucket Lightship LV-117 and the RMS Olympic.

You'll find this book and my lighthouse tourism books from the publisher Schiffer Books, or in many fine bookstores like Barnes and Noble.


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