News Release

National Park Service to host a Highland Light rededication ceremony on May 3

Highland Light and the Keepers House

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News Release Date: April 17, 2024

Contact: Linzy French, 508-957-0710

WELLFLEET, Mass.– On Friday, May 3, Cape Cod National Seashore and its park partner, Eastern National, will host a public ceremony to unveil the recently restored Highland Light in Truro. The ceremony will take place at 10 am at the lighthouse and will include remarks from park superintendent Jen Flynn, as well as sentiments from Kevin Kissling, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern National.

During the recent rehabilitation project, venting was reestablished, masonry was repaired, and a new breathable coating was applied. The work was completed under contract by Henry General Contractors, Inc. in the spring of 2022.

The rehabilitation of Highland Light followed several years of analysis by staff from the National Park Service Historic Architecture, Conservation, and Engineering (HACE) team, who determined that accelerated deterioration of the lighthouse—evidenced by exterior cracks, spalling bricks, and corrosion—was due to excessive moisture caused by changes to the tower’s ventilation system. Ventilation was a critical design element of the 1857 lighthouse. Three rings of masonry walls and air space in the lower tower area facilitated air being drawn up toward the vent at the top of the lighthouse. When the lighthouse was relocated back from the eroding cliff in 1996, these air spaces were filled with a cement-like material to provide stability during the move. This action, combined with layers of non-breathable coatings applied to the exterior over time, significantly reduced venting, promoting excessive moisture, and causing deterioration to the masonry tower and corrosion to its metal components.

Highland Light, also known as Cape Cod Light, is located in North Truro. Commissioned by George Washington and established in 1797 as the 20th light station in the United States, the original 45-foot-tall wooden tower and keeper's dwelling were built more than 500 feet from the edge of a 125-foot-tall clay cliff. The present 66-foot-tall brick light tower, keeper's house, and generator shed replaced the previous structures in 1857. Today, the keeper's house features museum exhibits and a gift shop. A dedicated staff provides tours of the tower through park partner Eastern National.
Preserving forty miles of pristine sandy beaches, marshes, ponds, lighthouses, and cultural landscapes, Cape Cod National Seashore offers a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past and continuing ways of life. Today, it endures as a resource for discovering historical, natural, and recreational treasures. 

Last updated: April 17, 2024

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