The current lighthouse — a 38-foot-high tapering brick tower whose green beacon flashes a welcome to Provincetown Harbor every four seconds — was constructed in 1876. Today, only the nearby oil house remains of a larger complex that once existed around the tower, including a keeper’s house, a fog bell enclosure almost as tall as the lighthouse, and a boat house.
These were sold off in 1952, after the light was automated. Today, the lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard but licensed to the American Lighthouse Foundation, which cares for it. In the annual Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla each September, some 300 participants raise money for local groups involved in AIDS care, women’s health and youth services. The first swim, a kind of aquatic AIDS Walk, was organized in 1988 by Jay Critchley and Walter McLean. The Long Point lighthouse serves as the backdrop for the beginning of this festive event.