Buzzards Bay Entrance Light, Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts
BUZZARDS BAY ENTRANCE LIGHT
Location: BUZZARDS BAY, MASSACHUSETTS
Station Established: 1961
Year Current Tower(s) First Lit: 1997
Foundation Materials: STEEL PILES FILLED W/CONCRETE
Construction Materials: STEEL
Tower Shape: SKELETAL
Markings/Pattern: RED, W/”BUZZARDS” ON 4-SIDED SUPERSTRUCTURE
Relationship to Other Structure: INTEGRAL
Original Lens: DCB 224
* The Buzzards Bay Entrance Light was built to replace the Hens & Chicken Lightship (LV-5) and the Vineyard Sound Lightship (LV-10) in 1961. The lightships had been marking the entrance to Buzzards Bay since 1847.
* Due to the sandy shallows building a lighthouse on Buzzards Bay was virtually impossible. Steel piles were driven into the bottom and the light was built on top.
* Dubbed “Texas Tower”, the shape of the lighthouse borrows heavily from the oil rigs off the Texas Coast. Buzzards Bay was the first such lighthouse built in the US. It is also the first to be built over open water, meaning it was not constructed on land at all. The materials were shipped to the construction site and then assembled.
* The light had a helicopter landing pad on the platform to get supplies to the keepers. This was one of six “Texas Towers” built in the US.
* Deterioration led to the tower being condemned. The tower was replaced in 1996 by a smaller light tower which is a beacon a three-legged skeletal tower. The original light was sunk to extend a natural reef.
* The new tower continues to be an active aid to navigation.
Researched and written by Melissa Buckler, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.