Standing as a glimpse into America’s colonial past, the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse has been a lifesaver along the treacherous shores of New Hampshire’s Atlantic coast for centuries. Today visitors are able to view this historic complex and learn about the tales and alleged hauntings that have taken place at the old lighthouse.
History of the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
The original lighthouse was one of eleven constructed along young America’s coastlines to serve as a guiding light to sailors and passerby. In fact it is located alongside the old Revolutionary War fortress, Fort Constitution. In 1771, the wooden beacon was illuminated by a several copper oil lamps. Over the next hundred years the face of the lighthouse changed. New structures were erected as advances and budgetary allowances improved. Yet all of them eventually succumb to the fate of time and engineering progresses.
Left towering above the harbor today stands the structure that was completed in 1878. The new lighthouse was made from a sturdy cast iron and brick that has been durable enough to withstand the strong winds and harsh winters of New England. It is 48′ tall adorned with a stable green light that cascades up to 12 miles in the distance. It was not until 1925 that the lighthouse had electricity and was maintained by workers until 1960, when the U.S. Coast Guard automated it. As you can see in the photos above two other buildings are still available for visitation at the site. The 1872 Light Keeper’s Station and the 1903 Oil House give tourists a feel for life at a lighthouse decades ago.
Even though many people visit the lighthouse each year, ghosts of its past are said to roam the grounds. Several paranormal investigations have been conducted at the site over the last few years. Documentary episodes have even been made at the location.
Visiting the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse
You can visit the only lighthouse that stands along New Hampshire’s 18-mile Atlantic coast! For more information about hours and location please visit http://www.portsmouthharborlighthouse.org/open-houses-tours/. Also check out the map below for a precise location of the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.
Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!