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Scituate Lighthouse

Scituate lighthouse

Scituate, Massachusetts
Built in 1811



Marking the entrance to Scituate Harbor at Cedar Point. Grounds around the tower are open to the public year round.

Latitude: 42° 12' 18" N
Longitude: 70° 42' 57" W


Historic Stories:

Scituate’s first Keeper was Simeon Bates in 1811.

early Scituate light
Early Scituate Light
Courtesy US Coast Guard

He and his wife had nine children living at the lighthouse where two of his daughters became heroic figures in the area.


The Army of Two

During the War of 1812, in 1814, Abigail and Rebecca Bates were called the "army of two" for "preventing a British Naval Force from sacking the town by playing a fife and drum," deceiving the commander of the British warship into thinking the Americans were massing an army.

They received, in their later years, pensions from Congress in recognition of their heroism. Years later, some locals claimed to have seen the ghosts of the daughters and heard strange music playing by the lighthouse.

Note: For more details about this famous event, select the "Army of Two" Blog link at top of the page to be directed to Lighthouse Stories section.


During a blizzard that occurred on March 16, 1956, the Italian freighter Etrusco ran aground near the lighthouse and could not be removed until the following December. It became quite a tourist attraction.

Due to its close proximity to sea level, the lighthouse has been prone to many storms where it becomes isolated by the over wash from huge storm surges created, which would sometimes breach the seawall. Scituate light close to sea level

Over the years the structure and surrounding buildings have been prone to some damage by rocks, boulders, and debris thrown around the area during various fierce storms.

Recently the Blizzard of Dec 26, 2010 caused the most damage to the lighthouse, tunnels, and cottage, and flooded many neighboring homes. During the February 7 Blizzard in 2013, the Keeper, Bob Gallaghar (previously a teacher), who also tended the light in the 2010 blizzard, was urged by the Police Chief of Scituate to leave the lighthouse and head inland for safety (which he obliged), as the surge breached the seawall again and caused more damage to the lighthouse, buildings, and many homes nearby.

Scituate Lighthouse is still the oldest complete lighthouse, in regards to the lighthouse itself and the lightkeeper's cottage (keeper's quarters) in the country.

Beginning in 2022, a two million dollar restoration project on the lighthouse began, with the lantern room removed later on in the fall. As of late 2023, restoration efforts are still underway.



Places to Visit:

beach area around Scituate light Grounds around the tower are open to the public year round, with a beach nearby and jetty of rocks to climb.

There is a nice walk along the breakwater jetty for views of Scituate Lighthouse from the water. There is ample parking to enjoy the day at the beach by the lighthouse, or visitors can drive along several miles of shoreline and enjoy some of Scituate’s other beaches and oceanfront recreational activities. The area around the lighthouse is a favorite for many artists to paint and enjoy, and many locals are members of the Scituate Art Association.

Scituate is mid-sized seacoast town with specialty shops and restaurants visitors can enjoy. Each year the town puts on Scituate Heritage Days in early August to celebrate the town’s history, with lots of events and entertainment. Scituate also boasts as having one of the best golf courses in America called the Widows Walk Golf Course.

For the history buffs, visit the Maritime and Irish Mossing Museum, where you can learn about lifesaving stations and artifacts, information on the Portland Gale of 1898, and the life of being a sea captain.

Heading northward into Hull, The Hull Lifesaving Museum, provides maritime exhibits, educational workshops and tours, and open water rowing competitions for young adults. The museum is housed in the former Point Allerton US Lifesaving Station, which was built in 1889.


Contact Info:
Scituate Historical Society
P. O. Box 276,
Scituate Massachusetts 02066
Phone: (781) 545-1083


Driving Directions:


Local Boat Tour

This sailing cruise may pass by Scituate Lighthouse.

Peace and Quiet Sailing Charters
May pass by the lighthouse, depending on wind direction. Always call first.


Books to Explore

book of the rise and demise of the largest sailing ships

To order a signed paperback copy:

Available also 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!

This book, balanced with plenty of color and vintage images, showcases the historical accounts that followed each of these mighty 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, published by Schiffer Publishing, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions and tours you can explore.

In the book you'll find local stories from all lighthouses in the Boston area and South Shore region, including more details about the "Army of Two."

Look inside!

book about lighthouses and local coastal atttractions in southern New England




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