Easy Does It, Sandy Neck Lighthouse Wreath Installed
By: James Kinsella
They came, they saw, they hoisted.
And by 11 AM this past Saturday, members of the Sandy Neck Lighthouse Restoration Committee had hung a large Christmas wreath on the lighthouse for all of Barnstable Village and Barnstable Harbor to see.
This is the third Christmas season that committee members have hung the wreath from the historic lighthouse, built in 1857 near the tip of the six-mile-long barrier beach that shields Barnstable Harbor from Cape Cod Bay.
The lighthouse was decommissioned by the government in 1931 and its top removed. In recent years, however, the restoration committee has been able to replicate the original top and place the new top on the lighthouse. The light was relit in 2007.
Although the lighthouse is in private ownership, the family who owns the property has allowed the committee to restore and maintain the lighthouse. About 8:30 AM, committee members got into two trucks for the 30-minute trip down Sandy Neck’s northern beach and then over an interior road to the lighthouse, perched on a slight bluff near Sandy Neck’s southern beach.
After checking on the solar battery that powers the lighthouse’s Fresnel lens—Sandy Neck is off the electric grid—members retrieved the wreath from the nearby oil house (which also has been restored by the committee), placed a red bow on the wreath, and pulled the wreath by ropes to near the top of the 40-foot-tall lighthouse.
Paul DeVeau of Marstons Mills and David Snowden and Dale Thacher of Yarmouth, perched on the round walkway outside the glass room housing the lens, adjusted the wreath’s position as others called out positioning advice from down on the south-facing beach. When the wreath was positioned just right, the trio descended the lighthouse’s spiraling iron steps back to the sandy bluff.
Participants in Saturday’s expedition included James Walker of Hyannis, chairman of the Cape Cod Chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, and his wife, Sylvia; brothers William Crocker of Marstons Mills and David Crocker of Mashpee; Robert Dusseault of East Sandwich; and Avelino “Vivi” Lopes of Marstons Mills.
Back at the Sandy Neck Beach parking lot, they got out to head their separate ways. “Merry Christmas,” they said.
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