Time has nearly run out to save the first lighthouse in the United States to be built to accommodate a Fresnel lens as part of its original equipment.
The 1850 Sankaty Head Lighthouse on Nantucket Island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses for nearly 15 years. At that time the lighthouse was 110 feet away from the ninety-foot high eroding cliff and we along with others predicted that erosion controls would only delay the inevitable and in the long term would not be able to save the lighthouse unless it was moved.
Today the lighthouse is only approximate 75 feet away from the cliff and the machinery that will be needed to move the lighthouse requires 55 feet.
However if the volunteers of the Sconset Trust have their way, the lighthouse will be saved by moving it 400 feet northeast of its current location. Their plan is especially bold, not because of the actual move, since lighthouses like this have been moved before, but because they have already hired International Chimney Co. to move the lighthouse and they still need the raise the $3 million the move and restoration and renovations will cost.
Spokespeople for the Trust said the move can't wait since the lighthouse is now only one storm away from its last chance to be saved and they have taken the initial steps toward ownership and fundraising, something they started in 1991 when the Save Our Sankaty was formed.
This story appeared in the
June 2007 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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