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5 Must-See Landmarks On Nantucket

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

A group of three seaport islands, Nantucket's historic past dates back to the 1600s. Although many structures were lost in the Great Fire of 1846, numerous structures still stand telling a story of whaling ships, the seamen who sailed in them and the businesses the whaling industry spawned. Go visit these five great Nantucket landmarks and understand a piece of U.S. history.

Jethro Coffin House

Built in 1686, this saltbox house in the oldest surviving residential building on Nantucket. The Nantucket Historical Association operates the house as a museum.

Brant Point Light Station

Brant Point Lighthouse, located at the Nantucket Harbor entrance, is the second oldest in the U.S. It was first constructed of wood in 1746. It was blown down in 1774, burned and was rebuilt in 1782, burned and was rebuilt again in 1783. In 1788, Brant Point lighthouse was again destroyed in a storm. The current tower dates to 1901 and is still in use today.

Whaling Museum

Build after the Great Fire of 1846 as a candle factory, it was restored in 2005. The Nantucket Whaling Museum features the restored candle factory, prehistory and historic exhibits, a rooftop observation deck accessible to all overlooking Nantucket harbor, and a complete sperm whale skeleton washed ashore in 1989. Accredited by the American Association of Museums in 2008, this distinction highlights the significance of this unique building.

Old Mill

Owned and run by the Nantucket Historical Association, Old Mill is the oldest working mill in the U.S. It was built in 1746 and originally owned by a sailor. Sold for firewood in the early 1800s, the carpenter-buyer restored it. Come on a breezy day and watch the mill in action. Visit on a calm day and enjoy the history and photography options.

Hadwen Houses

Take a walking tour to the Hadwen House and get a glimpse of wealth during Nantucket's whaling era. Built in 1845 by whaling merchant and silver retailer William Hadwen, the historic home has marble fireplace, winding staircase, widow's walk, opulent furnishings and intricate carvings showing the owner's prosperity as never before seen on the island prior to this home. Enjoy the Victorian Garden maintained by the Nantucket Garden Club.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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