Cape Cod National Seashore | Race Point

Race Point Light

Race Point Light, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Race Point Light, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

“Race” refers to the strong currents around the peninsula on which the first lighthouse was built in 1816. The lighthouse that stands today, flashing white every 10 seconds, was built in 1876. It is a 40-foot-high cylindrical tower of cast iron and brick. The complex around it includes the keeper’s house of 1874-76, the fog signal building of 1888 (originally a whistle, but converted in 1962 to a horn), and the oil house. Before electrification in 1957, the lamp burned kerosene oil. It was automated in 1972. The Cape Cod Chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation leased the station in 1995. Volunteers under Jim Walker began a restoration project in 1996 that has rejuvenated the landmark. Solar panels were installed in 2003 and a wind turbine was added in 2007. The keeper’s house was opened to paying guests in 1997, yielding needed revenue. The whistle house, too, has been opened to guests.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.