It’s worth the trip!

Since the Light Station is on an island, it takes some planning to visit us. We’ve gathered all the information you need to get to the island and some basic travel logistics on the Travel Information page.

As you come down the hill towards the light station, you will see four buildings — the trim, red-roofed Keeper’s House, the white Light Tower with its black bonnet, the old red brick Oil House and the Bell House, which projects over the rocks at the very tip of the point. You will also see the bell — it is no longer in the bell house, but on the left of the walkway as you approach the buildings.

The Keeper’s House and the Light Tower are open to the public in the summer. Click here to see current days and hours. The Bell House and Oil House are presently closed pending restoration.

In the Keeper’s House, you will find historical displays, a small art gallery, mementos, natural history information, souvenirs and a friendly manager. You can also get lots of information about the light station, and a map of the trails.

The Keeper’s House also offers visitors an oceanside porch with rocking chairs, bottled water for purchase, a small “gift shop” and a public restroom.

For much of the summer, we have tower tours — our tower guides will answer your questions about the history of the light station and life on the island.

On a short path to the right of the oil house is a shaded bench overlooking the harbor which makes a wonderful picnic area.

The Keeper’s House

The Keeper's HouseThe keeper’s house was built in 1872 and was home to lighthouse keepers and their families for about 100 years. At one time it was home to the Chandler family, with eleven children — though not all the children were living there at the same time.

The restored rooms downstairs (parlor, dining room and kitchen), are now open to the public for several weeks during the summer, with historical displays and art by local artists. You can also pick up note cards, postcards, prints, T-shirts and other mementos of your visit. The downstairs rooms are available for special events such as weddings, family reunions, classes and celebrations. There is a fully equipped warming kitchen that can be used for catered events.

There is an oceanside porch with wonderful ocean views, a perfect place to watch the boat traffic entering and leaving the harbor through the Western Way, or to watch the sunset on a summer evening.

The upstairs rooms in the keeper’s house were originally two large bedrooms, a bathroom, a tiny office, and a large attic, which was also used as a bedroom. It must have been crowded during the Chandler years! The upstairs rooms have been converted into a comfortable apartment, with bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom, available for weekly rental during the summer months. Rent The Keeper’s House Apartment

The Light Tower

The Light TowerFirst lit up in August 1872, the light tower is about 35 feet high and is capped with a square iron platform and a cupola or bonnet that holds the light. The light was originally a 4th order Fresnel lens. The keeper placed an oil lamp inside the lens in the evening and was responsible for keeping the light going all night long, in all kinds of weather. The Fresnel lens was removed by the Coast Guard in the 1970s and has been replaced at least twice since then. The present LED light was installed in 2017.

Inside the tower, flights of metal steps (30 steps) climb to the Watch Room, where the keeper could keep watch on stormy nights. Our friendly tower guides will accompany visitors who wish to climb the tower, and who are able to do so. There is no hand rail on the stairs. From the Watch Room a short ladder leads up to the lantern room.

The Oil House

The Oil HouseThe oil house was built in 1895 to hold supplies of kerosene, which at that time was the fuel used in the lighthouse lantern. To reduce the risk of fire, it had brick walls and a slate roof and was placed some distance from the house. Kerosene was a big improvement over the fuel burned previously — lard, which solidified in cold weather. Today, the oil house is closed up awaiting repairs, and the light draws electrical power from an array of solar panels, with back up power from the electrical grid.

On a short path to the right of the oil house is a shaded bench overlooking the harbor which makes a wonderful picnic area.

The Bell House

The Bell HouseThe bell house was built in 1911. At that time, it was a tall, tapering, rectangular building housing a mechanical system to ring the bell. Weights had to be wound up to the top of the tower, and as they descended they caused a hammer to strike the bell. When that system was no longer needed, the bell house was cut down to its present height. The bell house is presently closed up and awaiting restoration.

United States Lighthouse Society Passport Stamp

You can get your passport stamped at the keeper’s house when it is open. When the keeper’s house is closed, stickers are available in the brochure box on the ocean side porch. Between mid September and mid June, the stamp is kept at the Town office.

Geocaches

There are three linked geocaches on the Hockamock Head trails.

If You Like Stories Of Lighthouse Life…

…we have them! The light station has been home to several families — one of them a family with 11 children! Read about the life of one young boy who was born and grew up on Hockamock Head in A Lighthouse Huck Finn. There were births, deaths and shipwrecks, storms and celebrations. Read some of our lighthouse stories here.

What Visitors Have To Say

The apartment, the weather, the people, the beach, the trails and especially the views have been exceptional.

- Ted and Carol, August 12, 2017

We just stayed there and it is tremendous. The view and setting is amazing. The quality of the Keeper's house (2nd floor) is excellent. It is fresh, well decorated and spacious.

- Mary, July 15, 2017

You truly have a treasure…. perched out here atop the rocks with the vast sea at the doorstep…. we watched a bright moon spilling its light onto the water, listening to the music of the waves, and wondering anew at the stars emerging in the dark sky….

- Susan, September 2017

I cannot express the gratitude I have for all of the dedication and hard work that has been given to the restoration of such a beautiful Light House.

- Kathy, July 2, 2017

We are fortunate to have traveled to many places in this world, but still contend, by far, this is the prettiest place on earth. Stay in the keeper's house - you will not be disappointed!!!! It is special.

- Spencer, July 10, 2017

Sunrises and sunsets are stunning, punctuated by the parade of lobster and sail boats.

- Barbara, August 18, 2017

This has been a lifetime experience! The beauty of Swan’s Island can’t be described in words or photographs, for they just don’t do it justice….I look forward to coming back again next year!

- Lacy, September 2017

Took our weekly vacation on Swans Island, really enjoyed our great times there with our family & friends.

- Edith, April 20, 2016