Lighthouses Open, Signaling the Season
Memorial Day weekend is open season for Gay Head Light and Edgartown Light. East Chop Light opens for sunsets in June.
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Saving the Light, One Poem at a Time

The Gay Head Lighthouse Committee wants you to join in to help save the lighthouse and the committee is getting creative. Or rather, the time is for you to get creative and be a part of the lighthouse poetry project.

The idea is straightforward — write a poem about the Gay Head Lighthouse. Stroll your memories for moments spent with the lighthouse. Go back in time or stay with the precarious present moment when erosion threatens the future of the light.

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Sweeping Light Will Remain at Gay Head Beacon

The U.S. Coast Guard has abandoned plans to modernize the optic at the Gay Head Light and will instead maintain the current sweeping beam.

Lieut. Matthew Stuck of the Coast Guard aids to navigation branch said Monday that the Coast Guard has found a replacement optic for the current aging lens at the light. The replacement will likely happen sometime in the next few months.

“We plan to acquire the replacement and install it for the failing rotating beacon,” Mr. Stuck said. “Our hope is to maintain it for the indefinite future.”

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Gay Head Light Party

If you save this date you may just help save the Gay Head Lighthouse. The Keep on Shining campaign to relocate and restore the lighthouse will kick off Friday, June 21, with a community open house and solstice celebration.

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Memoir Honors Beacon Keepers, Bygone Way of Life
The Vineyard community will always have a strong love affair with its four lighthouses. Nearly all of the local ones are still standing, though some have been moved. All but one of the lighthouse keeper houses, though, are no longer with us. Automation ended the era of climbing the stairs to the top of the tower each afternoon to light the beacon.
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Committee Formed to Address Gay Head Lighthouse Move

How, when and where to move the Gay Head Light, along with the money to pay for it: these are all active topics for discussion by a newly-formed committee charged with developing a plan to relocate the historic brick tower.

The lighthouse now stands 50 feet from an eroding cliff at the westernmost edge of the Vineyard.

A 12-member committee appointed by the town selectmen last month held its first meeting Wednesday, which was mostly organizational.

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Light at East Chop Celebrates Birthday with a House Party

People love lighthouses. When you enter the word into Google's search engine, 44,800,000 sites pop up. There are lighthouse magazines, magnets and sweatshirts. The New England region even has its own fan group dedicated to the structure - New England Lighthouse Lovers. "Lighthouses are modern day castles," said Craig Dripps, president of the East Chop Association. "They have a sense of magic and history. They hold secrets."

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Beacons of History

Beacons of History

They stand tall and straight on the horizon, an enduring symbol of the Island’s long and rich maritime history. Viewed from a distance, the Edgartown and East Chop lighthouses convey a sense of strength and of purpose.

Until recently, however, closer looks would have inspired less appreciation.

In the nineteen eighties, the Coast Guard stopped funding the maintenance of the lighthouses. Soon time and weather took their toll on the old cast-iron structures.

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Henry Beetle Hough Was Lighthouse Champion

Whether or not the con troversy over tearing down Henry Beetle Hough’s historic house is resolved, there is still a need for the Island to honor the memory of this conservation activist in a way commensurate with his role in preserving our lands, beaches and monuments. Adding his name to the official designation of the Edgartown Lighthouse, perhaps calling it the Henry Beetle Hough Memorial, would accomplish this. Without Henry Hough, there would be no Edgartown light, and generations would be unaware of the beauty and history we now all enjoy.

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Study Will Illuminate Lighthouse’s Future

As erosion inches the Gay Head Lighthouse closer to the edge, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is moving ahead with a study to assess the urgency of relocating the 156-year-old structure.

The study will take place over the course of three years and provide a “more realistic” prediction of what the long-term needs are for the area, museum director David Nathans said yesterday.

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