As the Vineyard works to preserve its lighthouses from Gay Head to Edgartown, another historic lighthouse across the sound, familiar to Islanders and sailors, is also facing a changing future.
The U.S. Coast Guard plans to sell the scenic Nobska Point Light in Woods Hole and its adjacent keeper’s home. The lighthouse sits at the division between Buzzard’s Bay and Vineyard Sound in Woods Hole and dates to 1828.
Today the Coast Guard will begin disassembling a steel tower that sits near the lighthouse. The work will not disturb the lighthouse or adjacent home, an announcement that went out late last week said. “The tower is no longer in service and not a functioning part of the lighthouse or dwelling,” the Coast Guard announcement said.
The Nobska property is expected to eventually be added to the General Services Administration list of properties for sale in a process now familiar on the Vineyard. After the Edgartown Light went through the process, last year the town took ownership of the lighthouse. The GSA is currently reviewing an application from the town of Aquinnah to take ownership of the Gay Head Light, which also must be moved due to severe erosion at the Gay Head Cliffs in the westernmost region of the Vineyard.
The Nobska Point Light was first built in 1828 as a wooden tower and the first Fresnel lens was installed in 1846. In 1876 the lighthouse was replaced with the tower that stands at the point today. The adjacent keeper’s home has been used through the years by the Coast Guard as a residence for officers.
The website Cape Cod Today reported last week that public tours of the lighthouse will not be conducted by the Coast Guard auxiliary this year.