Gay Head Lighthouse . Martha's Vineyard . Aquinnah . Massachusetts . Watercolor . 9" x 12"
... the first lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard, was a wood, octagonal tower with an oil fired lamp... 47 feet tall, with an attached keeper's house, constructed and first lit in 1799. Though the lens was updated several times... the structure was rotting away and was replaced by a 51-foot, brick, cylindrical tower with a Fresnel lens and completed in 1857. In 1985, a license to maintain and operate the lighthouse was given by the US Coast Guard to the Vineyard Environmental Research, Institute, who opened the lighthouse up to public display. In 1994 ownership was transferred to the Martha's Vineyard Museum. Over time... erosion has moved the cliff edge two feet closer to the tower every year. In 2013, a fund raisng effort was begun to relocate the brick tower about 129 feet further inland. The move is scheduled to begin in June of 2015. This watercolor was painted as commissioned art for Bella Terra Maps in 2014.