Three Sisters Lighthouses. In 1837, a lighthouse station was established at Nauset Beach - halfway between the single light at Highland, and the twins at Chatham. To distinguish the Nauset Station, a keeper's house and three small towers of brick were constructed 150 feet apart. This site marked the only station in the U.S. designated by three towers.
In 1911, due to the encroaching sea, the central tower was moved back near the keeper's house. The north and south towers were discontinued, due to maintenance costs and the questionable need for three lights instead of a single light with a unique flashing signature. These two towers were sold in 1918 The towers were removed and became part of a summer cottage in 1920. The central tower served until 1923 (three flashes every ten seconds) when the north tower at Chatham was moved to Eastham. The fourth-order lens was transferred to the new tower. The last sister was sold and made it part of another summer cottage.
The National Park Service purchased the north and south towers (no lantern rooms) in 1965, and acquired the central tower in 1975. In 1983, the three towers were moved to a site near Nauset Beach about a quarter mile from their original location where they are located today.
Restoration began in December 1988. According to Jeff Jelniker, NPS project manager during the restoration, the available funding was used to replicate the timber for the tower restoration - there was not enough funding to restore the lantern rooms of the north and south towers. Jelniker recalls that "On several occasions I would hike at lunch in the woods adjacent to the project site and I did come across pieces of the parapet railing of the North or South towers. My guess is that when they were sold the top(s) were just dismantled and discarded in the woods." Work was completed in 1989. The lights were restored in their original configuration - 150 feet apart and approximately 8.5 degrees off north.