Memorial Day weekend is open season for Gay Head Light and Edgartown Light. East Chop Light opens for sunsets in June.


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 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.

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.

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.