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Name: Newburyport Harbor Light   Map it!

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Also known as: Plum Island Light

Nearest Town or City:
Newburyport, Massachusetts, United States

Location: Northern end of Plum Island, Ipswich Bay, entrance to Newburyport Harbor/Merrimack River.

Click to enlarge: Photo   
Photo: Jeremy D'Entremont
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Managing Organization:
Friends of Plum Island Light

Contact Address Information:
P.O. Box 381
Massachusetts, 01950, United States

Plum Island was a popular 19th century resort served by steamships and a trolley line. In 1996 the lighthouse was leased by the Coast Guard to the Friends of Plum Island Light. On May 10, 2003, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the city of Newburyport; the city now leases the lighthouse to the Friends of Plum Island Light. The Coast Guard refurbished the lighthouse in 1994 and the Friends have continued to restore the interior.

Tower Height: 45

Height of Focal Plane: 50

Characteristic and Range: Occulting green light with two eclipses each 15 seconds.

Description of Tower: White, conical wood tower with black cast iron lantern room.

This light is operational

Other Buildings?
1872 two story wood Victorian keeper's house,

Earlier Towers?
1788: Two small wooden lighthouses on moveable foundations; 1838: Two new octagonal towers on moveable foundations; 1855: Small tower called the

Date Established: 1788

Date Present Tower Built: 1898

Date Automated: 1951

Optics: 1856: Fourth order Fresnel lens, still in use.

Current Use: Active aid to navigation.

Open To Public? Grounds only; tower open occasionally.

The Friends of Plum Island Light sometimes open the tower to the public on summer weekends. See for the scehdule.

The lighthouse is located within the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, at the northern end of Plum Island. North on MA Route 1A: About 2.5 miles north of the Parker River Bridge in Newbury, you will come to Newbury's first traffic signal. Turn right at Ocean Avenue, marked with a "Plum Island" sign at the southeast corner. Turn right again onto the Plum Island Turnpike, marked with a "Plum Island - Parker River Refuge" sign. After crossing the bridge to Plum Island, take the second left and follow all the way to the end; the lighthouse will be on your left. From Newburyport: Follow Water Street onto the connecting Plum Island Turnpike. Cross the bridge to Plum Island; take your second left and follow to the end.

Mapquest URL: Click here to get a map to this lighthouse!

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Keepers: Abner Lowell (1789-1815); Lewis Lowell (1815-1823); Joseph Lowell (1823-1825); Captain Chandler (1825-1833?); Phineas George (1833-1839, 1849-1857); T. S. Greenwood (circa 1840s); Abner Lowell (temporary, 1849); Franklin Carleton (1857-1861); Solomon Parks (1861-1864); John Putnam (1864-1866); Joseph Lowell (1866-1870); Henry Hunt (1870-1882); Phelix Doyle (1882-1889); Matthew Barrett (1889-1893); Edwin F. Hunt (1893-1896); Elliot C. Hadley (1896-1905); Arthur W. Woods (1905-1923); Captain Howard (1923-1924); George E. Kezer (1924-1933); Harry Dobbins USCG (c. 1939); Edgar Wallace USCG (c. 1945)

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