Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 59 – Richard Skidmore, Gay Head Light, Martha’s Vineyard, MA

The Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard is a great destination for anyone who’s interested in lighthouses. There are five lighthouses on the island, including Cape Poge Light on Chappaquiddick, an island that’s connected to Martha’s Vineyard. And the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven has the first-order Fresnel lens from Gay Head Lighthouse on display.

Richard Skidmore talking with visitors at the lighthouse

Richard Skidmore has been the modern day keeper of Gay Head Lighthouse for the past 30 years. Richard is a former book reviewer for the New York Times, and he’s also an award-winning experimental filmmaker whose work has been seen on television and in many festivals. His wife, Joan LeLacheur, a jewelry maker, also helps with the lighthouse duties.

Above: Gay Head Light Artifact Recovery 2020 from Richard Skidmore on Vimeo.

Early 1900s postcard of Gay Head Lighthouse (USLHS archives)

In this entertaining interview, Richard talks about being the longest serving keeper in Gay Head history, about life in the unique community of Aquinnah, about his background as a filmmaker, and what it was like being very much involved (to the point of personal peril) in the historic 2015 move of the lighthouse.

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