When it was built in 1797, the Highland Light (or Cape Cod Light) in Truro was more than 500 feet from the cliff. When it was rebuilt in 1853 it was to better serve the more than 1,200 ships per fortnight that sailed past.
But by 1996, the hungry sea had devoured enough coastline to bring the lighthouse to within 120 feet from the cliff — nearly too close to bear up under the machinery needed to move it. Over the course of 18 days that year, the 430-ton lighthouse was excavated and inched back 450 feet, in hopes that it’ll take the sea at least another 150 years to chew its way westward.
Its original location is now a watery 150 feet offshore.
Tours of this, the oldest and tallest light on the Cape, include a peek into the keeper’s house and a quick video.