History of Nobska Light Station


  • 1829 – First lighthouse on Nobska Point at the confluence of Vineyard and Nantucket Sounds
  • 1876 – New Keeper's House and a 40' tall cast iron lighthouse tower built 
  • 1888– Fresnel Lens upgraded to a fourth-order lens that is still in place today 
  • 1905 – Second Keeper's House built and later joined to the first house
  • 1919 – Fresnel lens electrified to replace whale oil and kerosene 
  • 1939 – U.S. Lighthouse Service merged with the U.S. Coast Guard
  • 1972 – The last civilian lighthouse keeper retired and was replaced by active-duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel
  • 1985 – The lighthouse was automated. The Keeper's House became the home of the Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard  South East Sector New England
  • 1987 – Nobska Light Station added to the National Register of Historic Places
  • 2013 – Last Commander to live at Nobska moved out and the Coast Guard determined that the House needed too much work for the next Commander to move in
  • 2017 – Town of Falmouth and the Friends of Nobska Light awarded responsibility for Nobska 

Story of the Friends of Nobska Light


In 2014, the U.S Coast Guard's announced its decision to deaccession Nobska Light Station. A well-attended community meeting was held to assess interest in preserving the iconic landmark for public use and enjoyment. Falmouth Historical Society, Woods Hole Historical Museum, Woods Hole Community Association, and Highfield Hall & Gardens participated, along with numerous individuals to form Friends of Nobska Light to figure out how to accomplish this mission. Together with the Falmouth Board of Selectmen a plan was devised and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Friends began securing funding and overseeing the transformation from a home and lighthouse to a publicly accessible museum about the maritime history of the area.

Check out our terrific video about Nobska!