East Chop (Telegraph Hill) Light

[photo] East Chop (Telegraph Hill) Light
Photos by Jeremy D'Entremont, www.lighthouse.cc
East Chop Light is locally known as Telegraph Hill Light. Designated "East Chop" on maps as early as 1646, the word "chop" was used by the English to signify the entrance to a channel. Captain Silas Daggett erected a private aid to navigation at the current lighthouse site to guide mariners into Vineyard Haven Harbor in 1869. Destroyed by fire in 1871, it was rebuilt as a tower rising from the roof of a house.

Historic photo of East Chop (Telegraph Hill) Light
Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard

In 1878, the Lighthouse Board purchased the property from Captain Daggett and replaced the private aid with a new keeper's dwelling and the present light tower. The 40-foot tall, cast-iron, conical tower remains at its original location. East Chop Light was automated and unmanned in 1933. The keeper's dwelling was subsequently removed. A modern optic replaced the original Fresnel lens in 1984. For many years the tower was painted brown, but is now white with a black lantern. Martha's Vineyard Historical Society obtained a license from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1994 to open the lighthouse to the public. East Chop Light is an active Federal aid to navigation.

East Chop (Telegraph Hill) Light is located on Lighthouse Rd. in the town park of Oak Bluffs atop the highest protruding bluff on Martha's Vineyard called East Chop (also called Telegraph Hill). It marks the east side of the entrance to Vineyard Haven Harbor. Owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and leased to the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society, East Chop Light Station is an active aid to navigation. The Martha's Vineyard Historical Society offers tours of East Chop Light on Sundays from mid-June to mid-September for a small fee. For further information visit Martha's Vineyard Historical Society website or call 508-627-4441.

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