In 1977, a postcard with the lighthouse on it was launched with other Earth mementos aboard the Voyager 2.
Photo by Benjamin Williamson
It may now be one of New England’s most famous lighthouses, but the U.S. Lighthouse Board took almost 80 years to approve this beacon’s construction. Mariners had argued since the early 19th century that this stretch of coast was unsafe to navigate, but the board maintained there were plenty of lighthouses nearby and no need for another. Even after the wreck of a storied ship, in 1842, it took another 32 years before President Rutherford B. Hayes allocated funds for construction. The 41-foot tower was finally finished in 1879, and it has garnered lots of attention since, not least from tourists. The lighthouse made newspapers across the country in 1967, by way of wire photos of the keeper’s son crossing to the mainland in a pulley-drawn box, suspended on a cable over the surf and meant for supplies rather than people. In 1977, a postcard with the lighthouse on it was launched with other Earth mementos aboard the Voyager 2. It’s still floating around out there among those original navigational aids: the stars.
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