This past June was an exciting and monumental day for the Gay Head Lighthouse in Martha’s Vineyard, it moved! But this August was even more monumental, the relighting of the lighthouse occurred. The lighthouse that I have photographed and written about before in my blog, has a new home and is finally shining bright once again. I felt it was only right to share this update.
The lighthouse had been at its previous location since 1844 but due to major beach erosion through the years it was only a matter of time before the lighthouse ended up in the water. The lighthouse was only 5 feet away from not being saved. The moving of the lighthouse took over 2 years of planning and an intense fundraising campaign to make it all happen. The lighthouse weighs over 400 tons and this was going to have to be strategically planned and mapped out endeavor to bring it to its new home. From the start of the move to when the move was finished took 3 days, but completed ahead of schedule. The engineers needed 40 feet of frontage to move it and it was at 45 feet.
The move was one thing, but getting the lighthouse operational once again took a bit more time but is now shining bright once again. Following the relighting, mariners, the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are updating their charts for the light’s relocation away from the eroding land at the western part of the Island. The new location will be hardly noticeable to mariners with the beacon being a foot higher than it was before. The engineers promised another 150 years!
Welcome back Gay Head Lighthouse. It was great to visit you at your new home and location.