Hardings Beach (Stage Harbor) Lighthouse Chatham

Stage Harbor Light

Harding's Beach (Stage Harbor) Lighthouse

Just to the east of Harding's Beach in Chatham is the channel leading to Stage Harbor, a busy harbor even today, with frequent use by fishing and recreational boats.  On the south coast of the Cape, the area was a critical one for a lighthouse, and together with the Monomoy Lighthouse, served to aid mariners Nantucket Sound or rounding the Monomoy area, in determining their location.  Built originally in 1880, the Harding's Beach, or Stage Harbor, lighthouse was the last commissioned lighthouse constructed on Cape Cod.  The 48 foot tall white lighthouse was built of iron sections much like Nobska lighthouse and the Chatham lighthouses.  The keeper's house was a Victorian style home with gingerbread trim. During the years of service of the lighthouse, several of the keepers performed lifesaving missions in the dangerous shoals nearby.   In 1933, despite the lightkeeper's active protests, the light was shut down and steel frame tower has been used to provide a light since. The lantern room was also removed at that time, and has not been replaced.  
The tower and keeper's home is presently privately owned.  It can be viewed by walking east on Harding's beach about 0.8 miles, but is closed to the public.  The lighthouse can also be viewed in the distance from the Sears Road landing in Chatham.