© Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester MA

The breakwater, some two miles distant, was designed to cover a shipwrecking reef called Dog Bar. It works to cut the waves and storm surges in the outer harbor. Built over eleven years, it is made of granite slabs weighing more than 12 tons. Before construction ended in 1905 and the light was put in place, almost 40 more vessels foundered upon the breakwater.

For 80 years, the lighthouse keepers risked their lives in stormy weather to walk the half-mile length to light the beacon. Eastern Point Light Station overlooks the breakwater. Operated by the U.S. Coast Guard, it maintains a light and foghorn.

The breakwater makes a wonderful walk out into the harbor. The Mass Audubon Bird Sanctuary lies adjacent to the breakwater. There are three lighthouses in Gloucester: Eastern Point (1890), Annisquam (1801), and Ten Pound Island (1821). View the lighthouses of Cape Ann from many boat charters.