The charming history of Eastham’s ‘Three Sisters’ lighthouses
Finally, in 1975, after 57 years of separation, the Three Sisters were reunited. After purchasing the Twin Lights Cottage in 1965, the National Park Service purchased the third tower and relocated it between its sisters on Cable Road. Burke explains that the lighthouses are no longer connected to cottages and have been reverted to their original orientation. He notes that “the distance between them and the angles at which they lie are correct.” During the 1980s, the Three Sisters underwent restoration, and in 1989, they were opened to the public for tours.
Ranger-guided tours, operated by the Cape Cod National Seashore, are free and run throughout July and August on Tuesday and Sunday evenings at 5 p.m. The lighthouses are currently undergoing restoration, but the tour schedule will not be interrupted. The one-hour, half-mile tour teaches visitors about the history of the Three Sisters and their importance to the area. Visitors are allowed to enter and climb the middle tower to see its lantern, and a series of small exhibits are on display on the wheelchair-accessible ground floor.
For adventurous visitors, the foundation of the original middle sister is occasionally visible on Nauset Light Beach at very low tides. “That foundation shows up every couple of years and has for a really long time,” says Burke. Lucky beachgoers may catch a glimpse of this foundation, and can look up at Nauset Light, which now occupies the Three Sisters’ original place on the cliffs.
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