Previous Light:
Deer Island
Next Lighthouse:
Derby Wharf

Marblehead Lighthouse

Marblehead lighthouse

Marblehead, Massachusetts
First Built in 1838, then 1896



Inside Chandler Hovey Park, or Lighthouse Point, at the northern end of Marblehead Neck. Grounds are open year round.

Latitude: 42° 30' 18" N
Longitude: 70° 50' 00" W


Historic Stories:

Marblehead Harbor is situated between the main peninsula of the town and Marblehead Neck, a separate peninsula extending to the east. The neck is connected to the rest of the town by a long sand bar, now a causeway.

The first lighthouse was built at the tip of Marblehead Neck in 1838. This initial lighthouse structure was no higher than many of the houses of the local townsfolk.

marblehead light 1838
1838 Construction
Courtesy US Coast Guard

Ezekiel Darling as its first keeper. He was a former gunner on the U.S.S. Constitution, and was wounded in the War of 1812, but never received any pension as he was considered disfigured, but not disabled. By 1860, Darling was about 70 and almost blind, and was forced to retire after 25 years as keeper.

Jane Martin, a Marblehead native, who became the only woman lighthouse keeper on the entire East Coast at the time, replaced him. She stayed on until 1872.

A few years earlier, Ephraim Brown, who was the Marblehead Neck landowner, passed away. His death caused his land to be divided up and populated with large summer cottages from the affluent community.

Over the years, as the height of these summer cottages for the affluent in the region grew, many complaints were filed from mariners who couldn’t see the lighthouse over these many larger buildings that were surrounding the area around the lighthouse.

early Marblehead light 1896 construction
1896 Construction
Courtesy US Coast Guard


After many years of these petitions, the present tall skeletal tower was built in 1896 at 130 feet above sea level. 

It is the only lighthouse of its type in New England.

During the hurricane of 1938 which passed through, when the power to the lighthouse went out, Keeper Marden connected his car battery to the lighthouse wiring to keep the light working all night until local power was restored the next morning.



Places to Visit:

Marblehead, like Beverly in the North Shore, is a very affluent community with quaint shops and restaurants, beautifully decorated 18th century homes, many parks, and plenty of community events.

harbor of Marblehead, MA Marblehead attracts many sailboats from around the world offering many sailing events.

Scenic rides along the coastline go past picturesque marinas.

The lighthouse grounds are open year round in Chandler Hovey Park, also known as Lighthouse Point, on Marblehead Neck. You can walk around the lighthouse or picnic nearby. Marble Head lightouse in Chandler Hover Park

Visit the Marblehead Museum to view artifacts and architecture centuries old.




Contact Info:
Marblehead Rotary Club

The lighthouse is currently licensed to the Marblehead Rotary Club and, although the park is open year round, the lighthouse is only open to the public by special arrangement only.


Local Boat Tours For Visitors

Boat cruise mentioned below may pass by Marblehead Light during specific lighthouse cruises, as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, and other types of excursions.

Mahi Mahi Cruises & Charters
Among daily cruises in Salem harbor, they provide specialized lighthouse cruises as part of their Early Summer Lighthouse Cruise and the Lighthouse Fall Foliage and Chowda Cruise.
P.O. Box 3063
Salem, MA
Phone: (800) 992-MAHI (6244)



New Book Just Published Summer 2023!

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

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

Available in paperback, hard cover, and as an eBook for all devices.

my ebook on apple books

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!

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed these mighty ships. These true stories include competitions, battling destructive storms, acts of heroism, and their final voyages.

Click for larger video here.



My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore, and tours.

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions in southern New England





Back to Top