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Kenrick A.Claflin & Son

4705c. (stereo view) West Chop Lighthouse, Martha’s Vineyard c.1876.

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4705c. (stereo view) West Chop Lighthouse, Martha’s Vineyard c.1876.

4705c. (stereo view) West Chop Lighthouse, Martha’s Vineyard c.1876. Superb vintage view of the light station at West Chop. The harbor at Vineyard Haven was Martha’s Vineyard’s busiest in the nineteenth century, and is protected by two areas of land known as East Chop and West Chop. To aid vessels heading in and out of the harbor as well as coastal traffic passing through Vineyard Sound, Congress appropriated $5,000 on March 3, 1817 for a lighthouse on West Chop. The first lighthouse at West Chop, a 25-foot rubblestone tower, was erected along with a stone dwelling in 1817. In 1843 Keeper James West reported that the tower and dwelling were both leaky. The inside of the tower was coated with ice in winter. The keeper also pointed out that the bluff on which the lighthouse stood had eroded to within 37 feet of the tower’s base. For these reasons, the station was rebuilt in 1846. A round stone tower and a stone Cape-style keeper’s house shown here were constructed about 1,000 feet southeast of the old location. The 1846 tower was later enclosed in shingled wooden sheathing, creating in an octagonal form that is also seen here. This was apparently done to cut down on leaks. Note the Keeper on the lighthouse gallery looking through the telescope out to the harbor. Great early detail. Only very light soil / foxing. Identified on back in early ink. (VG+). $88.