Bass River Lighthouse
Before the Bass River Lighthouse was installed in West Dennis, Massachusetts, the only way ships could find the shoreline was by the light of Warren Crowell’s oil-burning lantern. His fellow residents and ship captains routinely donated fractions of their income so he could secure oil for the light. When the Bass River Lighthouse replaced this communal system of ship traffic control in 1855, it marked a historic moment. Come learn about this notable building and all the transitions it has undergone since its initial service to this local fishing community.
After ending its function as a lighthouse, the Bass River Lighthouse was converted into a seaside inn, the Lighthouse Inn, which it remains today. Stay for a night at the historic inn or visit for a meal with a view of Nantucket Sound.
Appreciate the industrious design of this traditional Cape Cod-style institution. The south-facing property contains what was once the light keeper’s house, on top of which the Fresnel lamp was built and lit. The light keeper maintained his residence here throughout the year, as someone was needed to ensure that the light worked continuously. Though the light had been deactivated for many years following the lighthouse’s sale to the Stone family, today it is back in operation during the Lighthouse Inn’s open season.
Follow the scenic vistas and vast horizons that make this location one of the prettiest to visit in Cape Cod. Look out over the harbor to watch the continuing boat traffic.
Walking around the former lighthouse premises is free, although access to the bedrooms inside the Bass River Lighthouse Inn is limited to guests of the inn. To get here, walk or drive 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) southeast of South Yarmouth until you reach the southern shore. Arrive hungry and christen your trip with a lobster roll from the inn or nearby restaurants. Enjoy your meal amid this gorgeous scenery of New England.