Report for Gay Head (Massachusetts) - 1922

District: 2nd
Inspector: F. J. Morse, 1st Asst. Supt.
Location: On W point of Martha's Vineyard Island
Date of Report: 03/15/1922
Latitude: 41° 20' 55"
Longitude: 70° 50' 08"
Site: Ceded by Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Date of Reservation:
Date of Deed:
Date of Permission: 02/24/1799
Date of Lease:
Area of the Entire Site: About 2 acres
Area Inclosed: Entire
Character of Soil:
Distance of tower from Nearest High-Water Mark: About 500'
Inclosures to Premises / Type of Fence: Wooden fence
Wharf or Landing on Premises: None
Road to Land or Wharf Chararacter of and Distance:
Means to Reach Light Station: Public road from Vineyard Haven, 20 miles; Gay Head Post Office, Mass, 1 mile
Distance to Nearest Road:
Distance to Post Office:
Distance to Village:
Facilities for Public Conveyance:
Facilities for Private Conveyance:
Means Used for Support of Lantern: Tower
Number of Separate Lights: One
First Built or Established: 1799
Last Rebuilt, Repaired, or Renovated: 1856
Condition at This Date:
Shape of Tower in Plan:
Form of Tower:
Height from Base to Ventilator Ball:
Height of Focal Plane Above Mean High Water: 170'
Background of Lighthouse as Seen from Sea: Sky
Color of Tower: Red
Color of Tower/ How Produced: Paint
Tower Connection: Yes, by short covered way
Object of Navigation: Primary & seacoast
Building Materials: Bricks
General Description:
Wall Thickness at Base:
Wall Thickness at Parapet:
Diameter at Base:
Diameter at Parapet:
Kind of Stairway and Steps: Iron
Number of Landings:
Size of Glass: 16 1/4" x 16 1/4"; 10 5/8" x 13 5/8"; 8" x 12"; 7" x 12"
Number of Windows and Size of Sash: 4 double; 2 lower inside 35 1/4" x 36 3/4"; 2 upper 28.5" x 19; 2 lower outside 35.5" x 36"; 2 upper 28.5" x 19"
Number of Doors: 2; 1 - 3' x 6' 10"; 1 - 2' 8" x 6' 10"
Kind of Foundation and Depth Below Surface:
Character of Soil Surrounding the Lighthouse:
Soil Susceptibility:
Miscellaneous Remarks: Tower lathed & plastered on inside 12" hollow cast column in center. Parapet brick lathed & plastered on inside.
Lantern and Fixtures
Order of Lantern: 1st
Shape of Lantern: Polygonal
Diameter to Glass:
Diameter in the Clear:
Number of Sides: 16
Type of Bars: Vertical
Thickness of Bars: 1 1/8"
Height Glazed: 9' 6"
Number of Plates in Height: 3
Number of Plates Each Side: 3
Thickness of Plates: 1/4"
Size of Plates: Top: 28" x 47.5"; Middle: 28" x 39"; Bottom: 28" x 26"
Number of Storm Panes:
Unglazed Side of Lantern: None
What Bearings:
Construction Material Lantern: Iron
Construction Material Roof / Cowl: Iron
Ventilator / Cowl: Iron
Lightning Spindle: Yes, with conductor down into ground
Description of Lightning Rod:
Balustrade: Yes
Lantern Doors: None
Floor of Lantern: Iron
Watchroom Doors: None
Parapet Diameter:
Location / Number: Lower part of lantern
Ladders / Cleaning Arrangement: None
Curtain Hooks / Hanger: Spring roll curtains

How is Watchroom Fitted: In parapet, fitted with door to lantern gallery, 1 window, shelf & heating stove.
How is Relief Called:
Where is Call System Led:
Illuminating Apparatus
Kind of Apparatus: 4 hours
Intensity in Candles: W 80,000; R 24,000
Name of Maker: Henry LePaute
Year Made: 1854
Marks and Number: Rue de Rivoli, Paris
Order of Apparatus: 1st
Inside Diameter: 6'
Light Characteristic:
Time of Revolution: 4 minutes
Flash Interval:
Duration of Flash:
Arc of Each Fixed Part:
Number of Panels: 24
Number of Flash Panels: 24
Arc of Each: 15 degrees
Number of Elements in Central Drum: 17
Number of Prisms Above Center Drum: 17 flash
Number of Prisms Below Center Drum: 8 flash
Does Apparatus Revolve?: True
Is There a Revolving Belt?: False
Revolving Panels:
How Flash is Produced:
Number of Vertical Elements Panel:
Fixed Lens Covered:
Pedestal: Iron
Service Table:
Draft Tube Description: Cone only
Revolving Machinery:
Standby and Description:
Chariot Float or Balls: Chariot
Chariot Description: 8 chariot trucks 6" diameter; 8 guide trucks, 3 5/8" diameter
Length of Drop Tube: 20'
Clock Weight: About 150 lbs
Length of Winding Time: 4 hours
Drive During Rewind: No
Machinery Protection: Glass case
Regulated: Fan governor
Lens Protection:
How Color is Produced: Red glass
Red Sectors Description:
Where Color Attached: Lens
Form of Colored Glass: Covers every 4th section its full length
Lamp Description: 55 mm I.O.V. Type B
Type of Illuminant: Kerosene
Number of Spare Lamps: 6
Number of Spare Burners: 1
Candle Power: 1500 cp

Vapor Oil Lamp
Number of Wicks or Mantels: 1 mantel
Diameter of Outside Wick:
Diameter of Mantel: 2"
Diameter of Circum Circle: One only
Closets and Store Rooms
Tower Closet Use: Closet fitted with shelves for spare lamps, etc.
Oil House Description: No fittings - 160' NW from tower
Oil House Inside Dimension: 11' 5" x 16' 5"
Oil House Construction Material: Bricks
Oil House Capacity: About 600 5-gal cans
Other (Describe):
Location: Double dwelling on E'ly side of tower
Coloring: Red
Construction Materials: Wood
Number of Rooms: 6 each side
Number of Dwellings: 1 (double)
Heating Plant: Direct hot water
Number of Keepers: Keeper & assistant
Furnished Quarters: Keeper & asst.
NOT Furnished Quarters: None
Outhouses: Fuel house & barn
Outhouse Coloring: White, lead color trimmings
Paths and Walks: Paths
Area Inclosed:
Area of Garden:
Area Timber or Shrubbery:
Cultivation Area Available: About 1 acre
Area Cultivated: About 1/4 acre
Character of Surroundings: Clay & sand
Stove, Maker: Magee Grand (2)
Stove, Size: 7-18 (2)
Sink, Maker: Not known
Sink, Size: 22" x 48" (2)
Pump, Maker: Douglas (2)
Pump, Size: # 2 (2)
Lamps: 2 brass table, 2 brass hand lamps from General Depot
How Procured: Rain water from dwelling roof
Quality: Good
Quantity: Ample
Injury Possible: No
Purity Precaution: Frequent cleaning
Tank Capacity: Keeper cellar - 900 gal; Asst cellar - 900 gal; 1 on E side of dwelling 3800 gal
Tank Material: Bricks cement plastered
Distilling Apparatus: False
Distilling Manufacturer:
Well Description:
Well Diameter:
Well Lining:
Pump or Bucket:
What Power Used:
Distance from Dwelling:
General Opinion: Healthful
Diseases: None
Local Causes: No
Recommended Improvements: No
Access to Lighthouse: Beach landing 1/2 mile from tower, no wharf or boat house. Highway from lighthouse to Vineyard Haven.
Distance and Direction: About 1/2 mile NE from lighthouse (beach landing only)
Miscellaneous Remarks: Station in general good condition.