Historic Lighthouses of the Eastern United States

Since the first official lighthouse was built in 1716 in Boston, Massachusetts, these structures have served as a beacon to navigate sea-weary sailors home safely through the harbors to the eastern shore of the United States. These historical monuments represent a nostalgic romanticism of the days of old. Three of these lighthouses compete for the oldest built in the Eastern United States, depending on the point of view of whom is asked.

Claiming the title of the first lighthouse which was officially built is the The Boston Light on Little Brewster Island in Massachusetts. The original structure was constructed in 1716, but required repairs in 1783 after it was damaged during the Revolutionary War.

The Sandy Hook Lighthouse in New Jersey has been argued as the oldest lighthouse built which still stands as it was originally constructed. The building was designed and built in 1764.

Although the St. Augustine Lighthouse was officially named a lighthouse during the 1820’s, its history goes back much further. It originated as a light station in 1586. Then in 1683, it was enclosed in stone as a more permanent structure. It was not until the early 1820’s that it was converted into the lighthouse as it stands today.

Regardless of which lighthouse holds claim to the title of the “oldest,” all three of these structures have served sailors throughout the years as a guide to safe harbor. All can still be toured and visited today for lighthouse enthusiasts to gaze upon.

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