The Highland Lighthouse went into service 1797, and prevented many shipwrecks over the following centuries. The naturalist and author, Henry David Thoreau, visited Highland Light several times in the 1850s. Thoreau found the lighthouse "a neat building, in apple pie order." In his book, Cape Cod, he wrote:
The keeper entertained us handsomely in his solitary little ocean house. He was a man of singular patience and intelligence, who, when our queries struck him, rang as clear as a bell in response. The light-house lamp a few feet distant shone full into my chamber, and made it bright as day, so I knew exactly how the Highland Light bore all that night, and I was in no danger of being wrecked... I thought as I lay there, half-awake and half-asleep, looking upward through the window at the lights above my head, how many sleepless eyes from far out on the ocean stream -- mariners of all nations spinning their yarns through the various watches of the night -- were directed toward my couch.
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