Vacation In Provincetown Ma
After dropping the kids off for two weeks of summer camp, my wife and I spontaneously decided to take off of work, reschedule appointments and head off to vacation in Provincetown MA for a few days.
Our first stop was Hyannis to visit blogger friend ConcordPastor, then off to Province town for the lions share of the trip.
The ride through the dunes of Truro, the town before PTown was spectacular.
We stayed at the Brass Key Guesthouse. The accommodations and property is beautiful!
The steeple or cupola [above] at the town library was spectacular even under construction.
Some of the architecture on Commercial Street is spectacular. The photo above and below of the Unitarian Church has great details and an impressive steeple overlooking the ocean.
Towering over the streets of downtown Province town is the Pilgrim Monument.
The Pilgrim Monument, made entirely of granite from Stonington, Maine, and, at 252 feet, the tallest all-granite structure in the United States,
It is an often overlooked fact that the Pilgrims actually spent five weeks considering Cape Cod as their home before deciding, instead, to sail across Cape Cod Bay, where they found a more protected area for settlement at Plymouth.
Long Point Light House
Part of our vacation in Provincetown MA was a picnic out at long point beach at the light house. The entire time that we were there we were blessed by the company of four Gray Seals.
The approach to long beach… beautiful!
Long Point Light is situated at the very tip of Cape Cod. By 1818, a settlement began to develop at Long Point, based upon fishing and salt manufacture. As the importance of Province town grew, it was decided that a lighthouse was needed to mark the entrance to the harbor.
The original structure was constructed in 1826, and lamp first lit in 1827. The site consisted of a keeper’s house with a lantern room on the roof. The original oil lamp was upgraded in 1856 to a sixth-order Fresnel lens.
The original station was increasingly threatened by erosion – pilings which supported the structure and protected it were decaying. In 1875, the original structure was replaced with a new keeper’s house and 38-foot brick tower (originally painted brown – it has since been repainted white) with a fifth-order Fresnel lens.
In 1952, the site was automated. In 1982, the site received a 300 mm optic and solar panels to power the station. The keeper’s house and fog building were razed. Only the tower and oil house remain. The light remains an active aid to navigation.
Cool Light House Facts:
Station established: 1826;
Current lighthouse tower built: 1875;
Construction material: Brick
Tower height: 38 feet;
Height of focal plane: 36 feet
Original optic: Fifth order Fresnel;
Present optic: 300mm (solar powered)
Characteristic: Fixed green;
Fog signal: One blast every 15 seconds
Accessibility: The grounds are open to the public, but the lighthouse is not. Long Point is accessible in summer from Province town via a boat shuttle run by Flyer’s.
The lighthouse can also be reached after a long strenuous hike across a breakwater to Wood End, then across sand to Long Point.
An interesting side note on lighthouse Fresnel lenses:
In 1822, Augustine Fresnel, a French Physicist, invented a system of lenses and prisms that magnified and focused as much as 85% of the light from a single source. these were specifically designed for lighthouses.
Fresnel Lenses were introduced to American light house in 1855. There are approximately six orders of lenses from 1 to 6.
First order lenses were the largest – six feet in diameter and 18 feet high. These were used primarily as ‘land-fall’ lights, being visible from up to 24 miles at sea. Fourth, fifth and sixth order lenses were used on harbors, lakes and rivers.
Lenses were made in France, and later in England, and then shipped around the world where they were assembled atop tall towers.
Over time, lenses were made to rotate with bulls-eye panels creating a flash. Colored panels or colored windows on the lantern room have been used to create distinct identifying patterns for different lighthouses.
~ concord carpenter