Bass River Lighthouse is located on Nantucket Sound to the east of the mouth of the Bass River in West Dennis, Massachusetts.
Prior to the lighthouse’s construction in 1855, Warren Crowell kept a lantern burning in his West Dennis attic window to help guide local mariners crossing the sound. The white wooden keeper’s house featured a 44-foot high iron lantern room on its pitched roof. Crowell logically became the first keeper of the fifth-order Fresnel lens, which displayed a solid white light.
Bass River Light was deactivated in 1914 after the Cape Cod Canal opened and boat traffic was largely diverted from Nantucket Sound to Buzzards Bay. The light was removed, and the lighthouse was sold to residents who expanded the property and used it as a summer home. The property became the Lighthouse Inn in 1939 and has since been expanded.
Officially designated West Dennis Light, the lighthouse was relit on National Lighthouse Day, August 7, 1989, the 200th anniversary of the US Lighthouse Service, now the US Coast Guard. An automated light flashes white every six seconds and is in use May 1st through November 1st when the Lighthouse Inn and restaurant are open. According to the Lighthouse Inn the West Dennis Light is the only lighthouse that is privately owned and operated that is officially recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as the West Dennis Light.
Located in West Dennis off Route 28 on Lighthouse Inn Road, visitors are welcome.
Photo credits: The photo of the West Dennis Light / Lighthouse Inn is courtesy of the Lighthouse Inn and used here with their permission.