Digest>Archives> October 2006

Sankaty Lighthouse To Be Moved


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The endangered Sankaty Head Light as it appears ...

Massachusetts’ endangered Sankaty Lighthouse, on Nantucket, is scheduled to be moved next year in an effort to save it from toppling over the 40-foot eroding cliffs that are fast approaching it.

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Sankaty Head Light, Massachusetts, as it looked ...

The Sconset Trust, in making the announcement, said they have already contracted with International Chimney Co., of Buffalo, NY, to move the 70-foot tall, 550-ton structure, 280 feet from the edge of the bluff, which drops some 40 feet.

The tower is the only structure left standing at the site of the light station in Siasconset on Nantucket Island. The original keeper’s house was demolished years ago and a modern keeper’s house was sold and moved away.

International Chimney, as many of you know, is no stranger to moving lighthouses, having moved a number of structures including Southeast Light on Block Island, Rhode Island and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina, which is America’s tallest lighthouse.

Currently, the lighthouse rests 79 feet from the eroding cliff, but 12 feet of that land is not capable of supporting heavy machinery needed to help move the lighthouse. That leaves 67 feet of land and 55 feet are required to be able to move the lighthouse. Erosion has taken approximately a foot a year away from the area,

but a 1991 storm caused 17-feet of land to be knocked off.

The lighthouse is currently surrounded by a private golf course that has promised to help in any way it can to save the historic structure. Experts predict that it will take about three to four months to move the lighthouse with a projected cost of $3 million, which still needs to be raised.

This story appeared in the October 2006 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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