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 Provincetown 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 settlement at Long Point consisted of over two hundred people at its height. The settlement was centered around the lighthouse, and also consisted of a school and windmills for pumping seawater in salt production. The settlement largely disappeared during the 1850's, primarily due to the discovery of salt deposits near Syracuse, NY.
During the Civil War, a pair of forts were built at Long Point. Dubbed "Fort Useless" and "Fort Harmless" (or "Fort Ridiculous", depending on the source) by the locals, the forts never fired a shot in anger.
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).
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. The Cape Cod Chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF) is licensed by the Coast Guard to perform maintenance. In 2006, the light received a fresh coat of paint from volunteers of the ALF.
Directions: The lighthouse is not open to the public, but the surrounding grounds are open. Follow State Route 6 to Provincetown. The light can be seen from a distance from the Pilgrim's Monument or Macmillan's Wharf.