Sankaty Head Lighthouse Locomotion
In literally ground-breaking news, the Blazing Star of Nantucket, better known as Sankaty Head Lighthouse, will be slowly moved 390-feet to the northwest and 250-feet from Sconset bluff’s edge to a safer location inland next to the fifth hole of the Sankaty Head Golf Course.
The 450-ton brick Lighthouse will be relocated next month by the renowned International Chimney Corporation and Expert House Movers who have hydraulically pushed four Lighthouses* to a safer location inland. Since July, work crews have been preparing 157 year old Lighthouse for the October move by wrapping a cable girdle around the brick tower and excavating the foundation for the steel I-beams used to hydraulically lift the Lighthouse onto the steel relocation track.
Sankaty Head Lighthouse was First Lit on February 1, 1850 as the first new Lighthouse to be fitted with a powerful Second-order Fresnel lens to guide mariners and whalers away from the treacherous shoals off the eastern shore of Nantucket. The 59-feet high brick and granite Tower exhibited a Flashing White light (two 1.5 minute Flashes followed by a 3 minute Flash) 154-feet above sea level visible to a range of 18 nautical miles and was nicknamed the “Blazing Star” by Nantucket fishermen.
Sankaty Head Lighthouse was built on a 90-feet high sandy headland called Sconset bluff and has been endangered by bluff erosion since the Perfect Storm of October 30, 1991 washed away 17-feet of the bluff. As a result, Save Our Sankaty (SOS) was established to save the Lighthouse.
In 1994, the Blazing Star Lighthouse was 96-feet from the edge of the bluff when the first bluff erosion control project was implemented. Since then, all erosion control efforts have failed. A Beach Dewatering system that was implemented in 1994 has been non-functional since 2005. The battering winter Nor’easters of 2005 accelerated bluff and beach erosion and the coastal bank terraces were washed away during the Patriots Day Nor’easter of April 16, 2007, leaving the historical Sankaty Head Lighthouse 75-feet from the edge of 90-feet high bluff.
After 13 years of failed rescue plans, the U.S. Coast Guard transfered ownership of the quintessential Sankaty Head Lighthouse to the Nantucket Historical Association and Sconset Trust on Aug 30, 2007 after the Coast Guard was assured the Sconset Trust relocation rescue plan would work.
For more information about the Blazing Star Lighthouse, please click on the above photo.
For Map Directions, please visit the Google Map of Sankaty Head Lighthouse.
In related news, Nantucket’s Wealthy wage War against the Sea.
Wealthy Siasconset residents are currently seeking at least 10 permits neccessary for the controversial $25 million dollar Sconset Beach Preservation Fund’s (SBPF) massive beach nourishment plan to dredge and hydraulically pump 2.6 million cubic yards of sand from a 195-acre site near Bass Rip Shoal located approximately 2.7-miles east-northeast of Sankaty Head Lighthouse to the three-mile Siasconset (locally called Sconset) shoreline of Nantucket from Sesachacha Pond past Sankaty Head Lighthouse to Codfish Park and the Village of Siasconset to build up Sconset Beach which will hopefully stabilize the 90-feet high Sconset Bluff. The cost of the project will be privately funded by the wealthy residents of Baxter Road.
To provide continual protection of the Sconset Bluff, the beach will need to be replenished about every five years provided all federal, state, and local permits are approved.
*The relocated Lighthouses previously pushed by the Expert House Movers:
1999- Cape Hatteras Light Station on the Outer Banks in North Carolina,
1996- Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham, Mass.,
1996- Highland Light Station in Truro, Mass., and
1993- Southeast Lighthouse on Block Island, R.I.
Related News Story:
Moving Sankaty, Sep 5, 2007
Posted on September 6, 2007, in Preservation News, Relocation and tagged Lighthouse Locomotion, Preservation News, Relocation, Sankaty Head Lighthouse, The Blazing Star Lighthouse. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.