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Interestingly, many decommissioned lighthouses have survived destruction, and in some cases have even returned to performing their original functions. The Three Sisters - three towers built together , originally at Nauset Beach on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, were destroyed by erosion. A few years prior to the 20th century, they were replaced by three wooden towers that served the area until shortly after the First World War, when they were sold off to multiple parties to be incorporated into private summer cottages. Recently, they were acquired by the National Park Service and relocated again, this time near their original location.

While many lighthouse structures have been destroyed or dismantled, many of their components, especially those with Fresnel lenses, have been preserved and relocated so they may continue to be appreciated. Some lenses have been interned in museums, such as the one taken from the Sambro Island Lighthouse that now resides in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Canada. Similarly, the lantern from the Table Bluff Lighthouse, which has long been gone due to erosion, now sits atop a memorial lighthouse structure near a marina in Eureka, California.