A handful of lighthouses have been moved around the Cape like castles on a chess board for the past few hundred years. Nauset Light in Eastham is one of them.
It was one of a set of twin lights, built of cast iron with a brick lining in Chatham in 1877. In 1923, the 48-foot tower was moved to Eastham to replace a decaying wooden structure. At the time, its location 200 feet from the edge of the cliff must have seemed perfectly safe.
In 1996, however, coastal erosion had eaten away 165 feet of that safety buffer. It took 3 days to move the structure 300 feet back. Two years later, the keeper’s house was moved back as well. In the Blizzard of 2013, a section of the steps down to the beach were swept out to sea, replaced in 2015.