Digest>Archives> Jul/Aug 2013

Cape Cod Potato Chips Steps Forward for Nauset Light

By Timothy Harrison


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Thanks to funding by the Cape Cod Potato Chip Company, the iconic Nauset Lighthouse on Cape Cod, in Eastham, Massachusetts has received a new coat of paint. The work was done in conjunction with the all-volunteer Nauset Light Preservation Society.

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An image of Nauset Lighthouse has appeared on packages of the kettle cooked Cape Cod Potato Chips since the company was founded in 1980 by Steve Bernard and almost from its beginning the company has been involved in promoting the historic preservation of lighthouses. In the mid-1900s the staff of Lighthouse Digest was invited on a cruise to Boston Lighthouse with Steve Bernard when he and his company, Cape Cod Potato Chips, first started to promote lighthouse preservation.

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The scope of the work done this past May included cleaning the tower and removing rust, caulking around the lantern room windows, and painting the entire tower with a fresh coat of paint in its distinctive red, white, and black colors.

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The tower at Nauset Lighthouse was originally built in 1877 as one of the twin lights of the Chatham Lighthouse Station. In 1923, one of those twin towers was moved from Chatham to replace the last of the operating Three Sisters Lighthouses. Nauset Lighthouse was painted all white with a black lantern room until the early 1940s when the upper red band was added. In 1996 the Nauset Lighthouse was moved to prevent it from toppling over the eroding bluff, and the keeper’s house was moved in 1998.

Nauset Lighthouse was last painted in 2006 and at that time the tower was also sand-blasted. But the elements can be very hard on cast iron towers that are exposed to the ocean’s salt air and wind. Jeff Newell, Senior Process Specialist for Cape Cod Potato Chip Company, said, “The Nauset Light is part of the fabric of the Cape Cod community and it means a lot to us and our employees that we’re able to preserve this piece of our heritage. In addition to providing funding, we’re also planning to work with the Nauset Light Preservation Society to help coordinate volunteer opportunities so that we can be involved with the ongoing lighthouse maintenance projects.”

Cape Cod Potato Chips, now part of the Snyder-Lance family of snack foods, operates a processing plant in nearby Hyannis, Massachusetts. Through its web site, www.CapeCodChips.com you can order their potato chips with the Nauset Lighthouse image as well as a variety of products such as coffee mugs, hats, tee-shirts and more that all feature an image of the Nauset Lighthouse on them.

To learn more about Nauset Lighthouse and the dates that the lighthouse is open for public tours, go to www.NausetLight.org. If you do visit Nauset Lighthouse, you will also want to visit the nearby and now restored Three Sisters lighthouse towers that were once the Nauset Lighthouse Station.

Nauset Lighthouse is shown here during its recent repainting project with paint crews hard at work - and then the newly painted beautiful tower. (Photographs courtesy Shirley Sabin, Nauset Light Preservation Society.)

This story appeared in the Jul/Aug 2013 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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