Martha's Vineyard Historical Society
Contact Address Information:
P.O. Box 827
59 School Street
A semaphore station was established at East Chop in 1828. In 1869 Captain Silas Daggett erected a lighthouse. He received donations from local merchants to maintain the light. In 1878 the government purchased Daggett's land and built the present lighthouse. For many years the lighthouse was painted brown and was known as the "Chocolate Lighthouse." All buildings except the lighthouse were removed after automation in 1934.
Tower Height: 40
Height of Focal Plane: 79
Characteristic and Range: Three second green flash alternating with three seconds darkness.
Description of Tower: White conical cast iron tower with black cast iron lantern.
This light is operational
1869: Privately operated lighthouse (burned down 1871); 1871: Second privately owned lighthouse -- light on top of house.
Date Established: 1869
Date Present Tower Built: 1878
Date Automated: 1933
Optics: 1878: Fourth order (?) Fresnel lens; now 300 mm.
Current Use: Active aid to navigation.
Open To Public? Grounds only; tower on limited basis.
Martha's Vineyard is accessible by car/passenger ferry from Hyannis, Falmouth, Woods Hole and New Bedford. Call the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce at (508) 693-0085 for ferry information. Car and bicycle rentals are available near the ferry. You can also take a tour of the island with M.V. Sightseeing; call (508) 627-TOUR. The grounds around East Chop Light are open to the public, and the Martha's Vineyard holds open houses on summer Sundays around sunset. Call (508) 627-4441 for the current schedule.
Listed on the
National Register of Historic Places
Keepers: Silas Daggett (privately owned light 1869-1878), George Walter Purdy (1920s-1934)