Moving A 400 Ton Lighthouse

If you’ve lived anywhere near the coast in the US, you’ve likely lived with lighthouses nearby….all of them close to the ocean and many of them high atop a cliff casting their beacons, protecting mariners out at sea. Existing on a cliff has many innate natural dangers, given the shifting sands and erosion along our entire coastline.

We spent most of our life in New England and grew up admiring the stunning lighthouses perched above the Atlantic. We’ve also seen them precariously close to slipping into the ocean. Two of the most notable being Highland Light in North Truro, MA and Gay Head Light in Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard. The only two choices available as the lighthouses move ever so closer to the edge are watching them slide into the sea…or move them! The 484 ton Highland Light was moved back in 1996 and had it not been moved, today it would be 150′ down at the bottom of the cliff.

In 2015, Gay Head Lighthouse stood approximately 40′ away from slipping down the orange cliffs of Aquinnah into Nantucket Sound. The decision was made to move her 129 feet back from where she had sit since 1844, to a spot where she could be safe for at least the next century. Below is a video describing the painstakingly, difficult task of moving this 400 ton behemoth those 129 feet. Following the video you’ll see photos of the lighthouse and the cliffs below taken on our most recent trip to New England. Please click on each photo to view it full size. From there you will have options to send any of the photos as a Free E-Card or purchase a reprint, a digital copy or other formats.

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