lighthouse repair

Two of the Island’s century-old lighthouses are undergoing significant restoration.

The East Chop Lighthouse in Oak Bluffs now shines with a fresh coat of white paint after having been refurbished inside and out at a cost of $140,000. The Edgartown Light is only weeks away from being completed at a cost of $250,000.

The restoration is a milestone and benefit for both Island towns, according to Matthew Stackpole, executive director of Martha’s Vineyard Museum.


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."


The Vineyard's outermost lighthouse is celebrating a birthday. The Cape Pogue Lighthouse on Chappaquiddick is 200 years old, and for most of those years it has stood as a constant and reliable sentinel for ships making passage across the sometimes treacherous waters of Nantucket Sound.


Lighthouses define the character of Martha’s Vineyard. They guide people from land and sea to the same shorelines, sheltering them under beacons of home.
Today, the Island’s lighthouses are deteriorating. Bricks are crumbling in the breeze, and iron is flaking away in the salt air. Before long, these landmarks could be reduced to brittle, rotting shells.


We learn from Samuel Flanders, Esq., that a light house is to be erected at Gay Head the coming fall. It is to be located about five or six rods back of the present one. The light, at an altitude of 60 feet, will be seen by mariners over Noman’s Land, which will be of great service. A new dwelling house is also to be erected. An appropriation of $13,000 was made at the last session of Congress to cover the expense of constructing these buildings.