Seeking Islandwide support for the relocation of the historic Gay Head Light, the town of Aquinnah will ask the five other Vineyard towns to commit to spending Community Preservation Act money next year to help pay for the move.
Stand on the north shore of the Vineyard at any point as the sun begins to set and look to the west. As the last light of day floods the land and sea, in the distance you will see the silhouette of the lighthouse, a lonely sentinel standing on a promontory of land at the westernmost edge of the Vineyard.
The General Services Administration has received three letters of interest for ownership of the Gay Head Light, as planning and fundraising efforts get under way to move the lighthouse which is threatened by severe erosion. The lighthouse has been declared surplus property and the town of Aquinnah hopes to take ownership of the historic tower.
One of the letters of interest is from the town and was sent earlier this month.
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.
The federal government formally declared the Gay Head Light surplus property Thursday, clearing the way for the town of Aquinnah to take ownership of the lighthouse which is now critically endangered due to erosion.
The General Services Administration posted the notice Thursday, making the lighthouse surplus property. Aquinnah voters have already agreed that the town will apply to take ownership.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced in a ceremony at the Gay Head Cliffs Wednesday morning that it had named the Gay Head Light to its 2013 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.
Members of the Gay Head Lighthouse committee, Martha’s Vineyard Museum, selectmen from across the Island, U.S. Coast Guard and town residents gathered to mark the announcement.
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.”
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.