Highland Light (A.K.A Cape Cod Light)

The following was written by Henry David Thoreau in 1865:
“THIS LIGHT-HOUSE, known to mariners as the Cape Cod or Highland Light,
is one of our “primary sea-coast lights,” and is usually the first seen by
those approaching the entrance of Massachusetts Bay from Europe.”

“It was said in 1794 that more vessels were cast away on the east shore of
Truro than anywhere in Barnstable County. Notwithstanding that this light-house has
since been erected, after almost every storm we read of one or more vessels
wrecked here, and sometimes more than a dozen wrecks
are visible from this point at one time.

“Truro was settled in the year 1700 as Dangerfield. This was a very appropriate name, for I afterward read on a monument in the graveyard, near Pamet River, the following inscription:

to the memory of
57 citizens of Truro,
who were lost in seven
vessels, which
foundered at sea in
the memorable gale
of Oct. 3d, 1841

During the summer of 1996, the lighthouse was moved back from the eroding cliffs in an effort to save it from falling into the sea.  The move itself was an elaborate production where the tower was lifted onto a wheeled platform that rested on a pre-constructed railway.  The tower was then pushed, ever so slowly, down the rails to the new site.  To keep the old brick tower from crumbling, it was encased in a “girdle”  of strong cable and heavy planks during the move.


View from the top of Highland Light

For more photos and information about museum and lighthouse tours,
visit:   http://trurohistorical.org/

The National Park Service (Cape Cod National Seashore)
has interesting information about the Highland area at:


Another interesting page about the history of the Highland Light
can be found at: