East Chop Light

July 25, 2019

East Chop Light, Vineyard Haven Harbor, Oak Bluffs Drive, Massachusetts

Built in 1876.


Station Established: 1869
First Lit: 1869
Operational: Yes
Automated: Yes- 1933
Foundation Material: Concrete
Construction Material: Cast Iron
Tower Shape: Conical 
Markings: White with black Lantern
Relationship to Other Structures: Separate
Original Lens:
Tower Height: 40 feet
Range: – 15 miles
Original Optic: Fourth Order Fresnel lens 
Present Optic: 300 mm
Characteristics: 3 Second green flash with 3 seconds of darkness
First Keeper: Silas Daggett
Current Use: Active aid to navigation in town Park
Fog Signal: None
National Register Status

Historical Information:

* In 1869 Captain Silas Daggett erected a lighthouse at East Chop. It operated privately for 7 years by Silas Daggett. Donations from local merchants paid for the upkeep.
* In 1871 this structure burned but Silas Daggett rebuilt it as a light on top of a house.
* In 1878 the government purchased the land and the lighthouse. The government built a new keeper’s house and the present cast-iron structure. This structure was originally painted white.
* In the 1880’s the color was changed to a reddish-brown color that earned it the name “ The Chocolate Lighthouse “
* In 1934 when the light was automated all the buildings were removed except the lighthouse.
* In 1957 the Coast Guard sold the land surrounding the lighthouse to the town of Oak Bluffs for use as a park.
* In 1984 the original Fresnel lens was replaced by the modern optic.
* In 1988 the formally reddish brown light commonly known as the “ Chocolate Lighthouse” tower was painted white.

Researched and written by Linda Herman, a volunteer through the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society.