Our Cape Cod Lantern Shop
The Nauset Lantern shop was established by Arie Oppelaar (known as “Opie”) in 1959. It’s first location was Giddiah Hill Road in Orleans, Massachusetts. Opie worked with metals as a young man, at Todd Shipyards in New Jersey, where he was a WWII shipfitter before he joined the Navy and spent 4 years in the Pacific on an escort class aircraft carrier. In 1945, Opie returned home and joined his father as a metal fabricator.
Arie Oppelaar owned the shop until 1970 when after becoming ill, he had to sell it to Grady Comene. The next owner was Ken Alman who stayed for 17 years and had a reputation for excellence in workmanship. Ken trained his “apprentice”, Michael Joly who became the owner in 2000 and is still at the helm today. The Nauset Lantern shop changed locations over the years, never moving far from Route 6A. Former locations included Bay Ridge Lane (off of Route 6A) and the Verizon building on Route 6A. In 1994, the shop moved to it’s current home at 52 Route 6A, where it has stood for over two decades.
Today, Michael Joly, owner and coppersmith, and his wife, Barbara, along with coppersmiths Jim McVey, Tom Bache, and Bob Berg handcraft over 100 styles of copper lanterns. The shop is open daily and welcomes visitors to browse, and enjoy not only the array of lanterns, but also the process of their crafting. Every lantern is marked with the date of its manufacture, as a seal of completion, which is a tradition that has been part of the company’s history.
The date inscribed on each piece, uses the Julian Calendar, and serves as a signature for Nauset Lantern. For example, the date “12113” describes the 121st day of the 2013th year. It’s just one more way that a Nauset Lantern is unique, traditional, and made with pride.