Long Point Lighthouse is located near Provincetown, MA. This lonely lighthouse sits at the outermost curl of Cape Cod, and is almost the sole surviving structure at the location of what was once a thriving settlement. During the mid-nineteenth century, as many as 200 souls lived and worked along the sandy spit known as Long Point. However, during the Civil War the active community was abandoned after the Confederate warship Alabama was spotted in the waters off the Cape. Provincetown authorities hastily commissioned a pair of earthworks at Long Point as protection for the harbor town. No enemy ever materialized and local residents dubbed the twin embankments: "Fort Useless" and "Fort Harmless".
In 1827 the first light at Long Point was placed in a six-sided, wood-frame tower on the roof of the keepers dwelling which stood on piles. These piles were set eight feet in the sand and protected by 1,800 tons of granite blocks.
The light was relocated in 1875 to the top of the thirty-eight foot square brick tower pictured. The tower was originally attached to the keepers dwelling which has been demolished. In 1927 a fifth-order Fresnel lens replaced the lamps and reflectors used earlier. The fifth-order lens eventually was replaced by a modern optic. In 1952 the light was automated, and in 1981 solar panels were installed. At the time of my visit the lighthouse was active and remains so as of the time of this writing.