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West Chop Light

West Chop Light is a lighthouse station located at the entrance of Vineyard Haven Harbor in Tisbury, Massachusetts on the northern tip of West Chop, a few miles from the village of Vineyard Haven.

The first 25-foot (7.6 m) rubblestone lighthouse and dwelling were built on the bluffs of West Chop in 1817. Following constant erosion, the lighthouse was moved back in 1830, and again in 1846.

The first lightkeeper was pilot James Shaw West who tended the light for thirty years, from 1818 to 1848. His pay was $350 a year. Subsequent lightkeepers were Charles West, 1849–1868; his son Charles P. West, 1869-c1909; George F. Dolby (1909–1919); James Yates (1919-?); and Octave Ponsart (1946–1956) Sam Fuller has also been mentioned as a lightkeeper.

The present 45-foot (14 m) tall brick tower and dwelling were built in 1891. In 1976 West Chop Light became the last Martha's Vineyard lighthouse to be automated, but the original Fresnel lens is still in operation. The former lightkeeper's dwelling now serves as living quarters for the Menemsha Coast Guard Station.

The West Chop Light Station has been on the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places since 1987.

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Oldest photo 06/23/2002
Newest photo 06/23/2002
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