Scenic USA - Massachusetts

Annisquam Lighthouse

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Annisquam Light - Massachusetts

Photo by Jack Ryan
Jack's Zenfolio Gallery

  Massachusetts, with an intricate coastline and its famous "bared and bended" Cape Cod arm, has "earned" its nickname, the Bay State. One of the stateís many bays is the center for the oldest seafaring town (Gloucester) on the northeast coast. Also occupying this coastal promontory is Gloucesterís early rival, Annisquam, found on Ipswich Bay. Beginning in 1631, the small village of Annisquam quickly grew into a prosperous fishing and shipbuilding town. Here on Cape Ann, the Annisquam River seconds as a marvelous shelter from an angry Atlantic, connecting Ipswich Bay to the Gloucester Harbor. The saltwater estuary almost severs Cape Ann from the mainland; and the final cut, called the Blynman Canal, was completed in 1640. This maritime shortcut shaves off a few hours of travel time between Gloucester and Annisquam.
  Active seafaring towns tend to closely guard their livelihoods, and Annisquam is no exception. To protect mariners from running aground on the dangerous Squam Bar, locals petitioned the government to appropriate funds for a lighthouse in 1801. Two successive wooden lighthouse towers lasted nearly a century and were finally replaced by a Federal-style tower in 1897. The masonry structure went through the usual lighthouse upgrades and was automated in 1974. Serious structural repairs were completed in August of 2000, replacing support beams and nearly 3000 bricks.
  Some of the most colorful stories came from Wigwam Point during an era when lighthouses needed light-keepers. Here at the Annisquam Lighthouse lingering tales of sea serpents and daring sea rescues livened the days of mundane chores and lighthouse maintenance. Braving heavy seas, high winds, and winter ice, the light-keeper kept the lens polished and wound the mechanism that rotated the lens, ensuring the light would broadcast its beam into the Atlantic. This was a romantic period, creating a fascinating look into lighthouse history.

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