Nauset Beach Lighthouse: Logo for Famous Cape Cod Potato Chips

Thelma Raker Coffone is an award-winning writer who enjoys writing on a variety of topics, especially lighthouses.


Nauset Beach Lighthouse and Cape Cod Potato Chips

What do potato chips and the beautiful Nauset Beach lighthouse have in common? The Cape Cod Potato Chip Company has been making their famous chips for over 25 years and using the image of the lighthouse as their logo. If you are like me, you have seen the potato chip bag on the grocery store shelves and probably enjoyed the crispy potato chips. However, more than likely, you never knew anything about the identity of the lighthouse or its history.

Saved From Decommission

Constructed in 1877 in Eastham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, the Nauset Beach Lighthouse stands 48 feet tall and is distinguished by its striking color scheme of white on the bottom portion of the tower, red on the top half and a black lantern.

In 1993, the Coast Guard's announcement of the pending decommission of the lighthouse was met with a huge public outcry. The Nauset Light Preservation Society was formed and through donations and fundraising efforts the lighthouse was saved and is still in use today.

Why Did the Lighthouse Cross the Road?

Coastline erosion of Cape Cod is a serious problem as the cape is gradually narrowing and loses more land than it gains. At the lighthouse location, the average annual erosion rate is 5.8 feet with some years having no erosion at all and other years having as much as 15 feet.

By the early 1990's, the Nauset Beach light was less than 25 feet from the edge of a 70 foot cliff and was in great danger. It was rescued from the ravages of the sea through the efforts of the Preservation Society who had since leased it from the Coast Guard. The decision was made to move it across the road to a more secure location. With the use of heavy-duty dollies hitched to a truck, it was moved inch by inch 336 feet.

The keeper's house is owned by a private individual who donated it to the National Park Service in 1998 with the stipulation that she could live in the house for the next 25 years. When the tower was moved, the house was only 23 feet from falling into the ocean. With little time to spare, the Society arranged to move it to a spot next to the relocated tower.

Exhibit Showing It Perched on the Edge of the Cliff

Exhibit Helps Visitors Understand the Effects of Errosion

Exhibit Helps Visitors Understand the Effects of Errosion

All Spruced up With New Paint for Christmas 2013

New Paint Just in Time for Christmas

New Paint Just in Time for Christmas

New Paint Thanks to Cape Cod Potato Chips

In 2013, the lighthouse was looking a little shabby and desperately needed a coat of paint to spruce it up. Unfortunately, the volunteers did not have the funds to pay for such an undertaking. The company that owns Cape Cod Potato Chips stepped up to the plate. They volunteered to pay the $40,000 cost to paint the old lighthouse that graces their potato chip bags. Due to some needed repairs prior to painting, the bill for the work actually amounted to $42,000 which the potato chip folks graciously paid in full. The grand old lady was restored to her original beauty just in time for Christmas.


Now You Know the Rest of the Story!

In my opinion, it was sheer genius to adopt such a beautiful landmark as the company's logo. Now when you eat a Cape Cod potato chip or see one of their delivery trucks with the very recognizable logo painted on the side, you can say that you know the rest of the story about what potato chips and lighthouses have in common!

Plan a Visit

Thanks to the Nauset Light Preservation Society, which has over 800 members in 40 different states, the public can experience the lighthouse and learn about the role it played in helping mariners find their way in the waters off Cape Cod. The grounds are open daily, however, the structure is open seasonally.

Map View Showing Proximity to Atlantic Ocean

© 2011 Thelma Raker Coffone

Please Leave Your Comments about Nauset Beach Lighthouse and Cape Cod Potato Chips

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on August 21, 2015:

EsJam sounds like you are a lighthouse lover like I am! Some of my best hubs are about lighthouses. Thanks for reading and commenting!!!

Essie from Southern California on August 20, 2015:

Yum! This makes me want to go out and buy Cape Cod potato chips! What a lovely hub, and very interesting! It is delightful, learning new things that have to do with lighthouses!

Martha Baumgartner on April 12, 2012:

I am living in Texas, my friends and I enjoyed these delicious and healthy potatoes chips, but suddenly Sams stopped to sale, we were looking for around the other marketplace and not have a good result, could you please tell us were we can buy it. Our neighboring like so much too.

Donna Cosmato from USA on November 14, 2011:

Very informative hub! You're right, I've put many a bag of these delicious chips in my shopping cart, but never thought about the backstory. Thanks for sharing it; it will make the next bag of chips a little more exciting.

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on July 20, 2011:

Thanks for taking the time to read my hub and comment. It makes all the hard work worthwhile!

nikki_m from Kansas City, Missouri on July 19, 2011:

Interesting hub! I had seen the picture on the chip bags before and never thought about it. I'm glad to know the story now, I'll think of it every time I see the picture!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on June 28, 2011:

Rochelle, Thank you for taking the time to post such a nice comment. As a newbie, I really appreciate the encouragement!

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on June 28, 2011:

I think lighthouses hold a special place in our imaginations. Very picturesque, romantic and heroic, they speak of a bygone time. Many have been preserved and even moved, as this one was, just because people love them. Nice job on this. Now I feel like buying potato chips.

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on June 28, 2011:

Lynn I had no idea either until I ran across the lighthouse and thought it would make a good hub since it had to be moved. Then during the research I discovered the "potato chip connection". Now when I go down the potato chip aisle I will think about the Nauset Light!

Lynn S. Murphy on June 28, 2011:

I love lighthouses and go out of my way to photograph them. Very interesting hub. I had no idea Cape Cod ad was based on a real one (doh). Sadly it didn't occur to me. Voted up.

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on June 27, 2011:

Husky1970 you should write hubs about the other lighthouses you mentioned. I will be following you to see if you do, I will link mine to you. Would appreciate a link from yours too when you get them written. Thanks for your nice comment!

Thelma Raker Coffone (author) from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on June 27, 2011:

Happyboomernurse thanks to you my hub friend. Writing the first story about Esopus Lighthouse inspired me to write more. I just love lighthouses. Thanks for your comments.

Husky1970 on June 27, 2011:

Excellent hub on the Nauset Lighthouse. Some very interesting facts. On the Vineyard we have 5 lighthouses. East Chop, West Chop, Gay Head, Cape Pogue, and Edgartown. They all have some history as well. You may have inspired me to do a little research. Thanks! Voted up and awesome.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on June 27, 2011:

Another cool lighthouse hub. Thanks for sharing it. I love Cape Cod Potato Chip Co. chips and now I know the story behind the lighthouse on the packaging. I live near the Delaware beach and when I want to entice my New Jersey friend down for a visit, I send her a care package with those chips and some shrimp dip mix in it.

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