The Gay Head Lighthouse, an island treasure with a long and rich history, is at risk. Standing just 46 feet (Aug ’13) from an eroding cliff, it was recently designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and geological experts advise it should be moved within the next year and a half.
The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee needs your support in helping us save this iconic structure and working navigational beacon, which has been shining out from the picturesque cliffs of the western most tip of Martha’s Vineyard since 1856. The light has guided mariners and fishermen from all over the globe safely past the cliffs of Gay Head and the Devil’s Bridge below. Its red and white sweeping beam connects us to this place and the sea beyond.
Your donation will help fund the move and restoration of the Gay Head Lighthouse to a location and condition that will sustain it for many generations. The fundraising goal for this project is $3,000,000. Donations of any amount are important and greatly appreciated. A special fund has been established exclusively for this project through the Town of Aquinnah and all gifts are tax-deductible. We are racing against time.
With your help, the Gay Head Light will KEEP ON SHINING! Click here to find out more.
Photograph by Katherine Gendreau Photography
A Sourati Engineering Group employee surveyed the Gay Head cliffs in August 2012 as part of the work for a recently completed erosion study.
MV Times: Erosion cut the distance between the imperiled Gay Head Lighthouse and the edge of the bluff on which its now sits as much as five feet during the year ended in August, according to the results of an erosion study released last week by the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee (SGHLC), which has mounted a multi-million dollar effort to save the iconic Martha’s Vineyard beacon.
“The results of the most recent erosion study conducted on the cliffs surrounding Gay Head Lighthouse demonstrate the unpredictability of the rate of erosion and underscore the need to act quickly to avoid a worst-case scenario,” the committee said in a press release.
Results from two surveys taken by George Sourati of Sourati Engineering Group in Vineyard Haven, one on August 8, 2012 and again August 7, 2013, were compared in the press release. The latest survey revealed that the top of the bluff surrounding the lighthouse had eroded in several areas.
According to the press release, a 25-foot portion southeast of the lighthouse eroded an average of four feet, with the largest loss in that area being five feet; a 15-foot section east of the lighthouse eroded an average of two feet; and a 20-foot section north of the light eroded an average of 18 inches. Continue reading….
In lantern room of Gay Head Light, Len Butler (right) meets with government officials during visit to discuss transfer of ownership to town of Aquinnah.
-Martha’s Vineyard Gazette: Preservation and stewardship are crucial themes in the next phase for the old Gay Head Light.
This was the message from U.S. government officials who met with Aquinnah town leaders late last week to discuss the pending transfer of ownership of the lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard to the town.
“Preservation is key,” said John Kelly, director of the office of real property for the General Services Administration. “It’s not a get rich scheme for GSA,” he added.
“We’re in a race against time in the forces of nature, but we’re ready and willing to take on this dramatic task,” said Len Butler, a member of the Save the Gay Head Light committee.
MV Gazette: Aquinnah voters approved the $32,000 purchase of a half acre of land for relocation of the Gay Head Light while moving quickly through a special town meeting agenda Tuesday night.
Forty-four voters gathered at the old town hall unanimously approved 16 out of 18 agenda items, but paused for discussion about the proposal to purchase land for the lighthouse relocation effort.
Selectman chairman Beverly Wright said the lot is one of three where the town might relocate the lighthouse. While the land might not be the final location, “the board of selectmen thought that it would be a good lot to just have in our repertoire, a piece of nice land that’s high and has a great view.” She said selectmen negotiated the $32,000 price for the land, which was valued at $16,300 and appraised at $50,000. – Continue reading….
MV Times: Aquinnah voters got down to business Tuesday night. Voters moved through 18 articles on a special town meeting warrant in a little more than one hour.
Voters easily approved two articles tied to the town’s effort to move the Gay Head Lighthouse back from the eroding cliff face.
Voters agreed to purchase an approximately 17,424-square-foot unbuildable lot that abuts the lighthouse owned by two off-Island residents for the price of $32,000. The lot is assessed at $16,000. Continue reading Aquinnah Special Meeting Approves Gay Head Land Purchase
Chris and Darcy Winebager, married only two weeks, returned to Martha’s Vineyard to run their first 10K race as husband and wife. The East Hartford couple was among the first to register when the race was announced in July. “I proposed to her at the lighthouse. It means a lot to us.”
The first annual Gay Head 10K, A Race Against Time, took place on October 6, 2013. On this crisp grey fall day, islanders and visitors came out to support not only the 226 runners, but also to save the cherished Gay Head Lighthouse. The 10K race was established by the Town of Aquinnah’s Save The Gay Head Lighthouse Committee to raise money and awareness about the need to move the lighthouse away from the eroding cliffs. The committee plans to make the 10K an annual event and once the lighthouse is relocated, the race will provide on-going support for maintenance costs.
Runners ready to start the Gay Head 10K
Beginning at the Gay Head Cliffs, the course heads along State Road past Wampanoag Tribal lands, down Moshup Trail along beaches and crashing surf, and back to foot of the lighthouse. This scenic and difficult course attracted
Continue reading Island Community Embraces Gay Head 10K
Jeff Serusa of Seaworthy Gallery in Vineyard Haven announced today that he will donate 10 percent of the proceeds, through Christmas 2013, from sales of the Jeffrey Serusa photograph “Gay Head Lighthouse at Night”. It is a unique photograph in which eight exposures were taken by the light of the moon on one piece of film. The photograph is a 55”wide x 14.5” high giclée print on canvas with a custom frame. It is being offered in a limited edition, numbered series. The photograph may be viewed at http://seaworthygallerymv.com/2011/10/gay-head-lighthouse-at-night/.
“On behalf of http://gayheadlight.org/,the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee, I’d like to thank Jeff for this generous offer, ” said Beverly Wright, committee chair. “It is wonderful that part of the proceeds from this beautiful photograph of the Gay Head Lighthouse will help contribute to saving the lighthouse itself.”
Seaworthy Gallery is located at 34 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. For more information please contact Jeff Serusa at 508-693-0153.
The Gay Head Lighthouse, a Martha’s Vineyard treasure and one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2013, currently sits 46 feet (Aug 2013) from an eroding cliff, and geological experts recommend it be moved in the next year
Continue reading Seaworthy Gallery to Donate Percentage of Sales to Gay Head Lighthouse Fund
October 17, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Len Butler
Aquinnah, MA – On Tuesday night, October 15, the Town of Aquinnah Selectmen approved the recommendation of the Building subcommittee of the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee to hire GEI Consultants of Woburn, Massachusetts to conduct the geotechnical testing on the three proposed move sites for the Gay Head Lighthouse.
The selection process was based on the following criteria: demonstration of understanding of project objectives, project staff experience project team/staff experience, project work plan and approach, similar project experience, and cost proposal projected cost.
According to Len Butler, Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Building Subcommittee Chairman, GEI Consultants is a well respected engineering firm with a great deal of experience in the geotechnical investigation of coastal subsoils. They will provide useful information about the ground stability of the three potential relocation sites, and whether or not the move paths to those sites will be able to sustain the load, to aid the committee in making an informed decision as to which is the best location for the Lighthouse to remain for generations to come. GEI Consultants was selected from a pool of eight firms that submitted proposals and
Continue reading Gay Head Lighthouse Geotechnical Engineering Firm Selected
Two sets of kids hosted lemonade stands to benefit the Gay Head Lighthouse, which is in danger of toppling into the sea due to cliff erosion.
(Left) Malia Bodnar and Maeve Sheehan show off their “Keep on Shining” tee-shirts. (Right) Lily Kolm, Warren Webber Gebb, and Eliza Webber Gebb raised $130 for the “Save the Gay Head Light” campaign.
Eliza Webber Gebb and Warren Webber Gebb raised $130 along with their friend Lily Kolm. Duo Malia Bodnar and Maeve Sheehan raised $70. In both cases, the kids initiated the projects and decided to donate the proceeds, raised by charging $1 to $2 per cup. Asked by her mother, Meg Bodnar, why the she and the other children were spending part of their precious summer working the lemonade stands, Malia Bodnar said, ”It’s so close to the edge, Mama, we have to save it!”
Learn more about the project to Save the Gay Head Lighthouse at gayheadlight.org.
They’re showing up all over Martha’s Vineyard, and you can get one too. Show your love of the Gay Head Lighthouse, and help get the word out by proudly wearing one of these well-made, stylish shirts. Bumper stickers (free) and pins and magnets are available at the lighthouse itself. See below for a list of locations where the tee shirts, adult and child sizes, are available:
Bumper stickers (free with any donation) At the Gay Head Lighthouse Pins ($1) and magnets ($2) At the Gay Head Lighthouse Tee shirts
Aquinnah Cliffs shops:On the Cliffs, Hat-Mar-ChaAquinnah Town Hall: 65 State Road
Menemsha: Pandora’s Box
Vineyard Haven: Midnight Farm
Alley’s: West Tisbury
Edgartown: Suka, 12 N. Water Street