Gay Head Light. The first light, a 47 foot (14m) octagonal tower, was built in 1799. The lantern was lowered 14 feet (4m) in the early 19th century to get the light under the fog and again by 3 feet (1m) during a major rebuilding in 1838. By the 1850s the tower was in disrepair and close to the edge of the cliff, so the current tower was started in 1854 and lit in 1856. It was equipped with a first order Fresnel lens standing about 12 feet (4m) tall and weighing several tons (tonnes). In 1952 the Fresnel lens was replaced by a Carlisle & Finch DCB-224 aero beacon. The original lens is in a replica lantern at the Martha's Vineyard Museum in Edgartown, Massachusetts
. Photo by Carol Highsmith.