Scenic USA - Massachusetts

Nobska Lighthouse

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Nobska Lighthouse - Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     How often do you hear about someone staying on at their job long after they've lost it? Well ... in this interesting case at Woods Hole, Cape Cod, the Nobska lightkeeper stayed on for an additional 33 years. Even though the Coast Guard assumed management of the lighthouse in 1939 when the lighthouse was automated, Guard personnel didn't arrive until 1973. When Joseph Hindley retired in 1972, he was presumed to be the last civilian lightkeeper in all of New England, serving at the Nobska Lighthouse since 1928.
     Although its not the original, this lighthouse dates back to 1876. Supporting a bustling whaling fleet out of the deep harbor at Woods Hole in the early 19th century, Nobska Point was an obvious location for a lighthouse. Nobska Light Station - Woods Hole, Massachusetts The original, built for just over 2000 dollars in a typical Cape Cod style, succumbed to winds, corrosion and the moist Atlantic air after 50 years.
     Woods Hole is a village in Falmouth, one of the more popular stops for tourism on Cape Cod. The small fishing and shipbuilding community dates back to 1690, originally going by the Native name Suckanesset. Today, Woods Hole is also a stepping off point to the island jewel of Massachusetts, Martha's Vineyard. Just five miles off the southern coast of Massachusetts, the ferry service can make the crossing to Martha's Vineyard in just a half hour. Other ferry services, including high speed, make connections from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Hyannis, where vacationers head to the enchanting Island of Nantucket.

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