Not only does ‘Sconset today carry physical embodiments of the past in its architecture, the village also maintains an air of peacefulness that was noted long ago. “I had never before seen a spot better calculated to cherish contemplative ideas,” an 18th century visitor wrote, “perfectly unconnected with the great world, and far removed from its perturbations.” It’s a description that many who know ‘Sconset would fondly apply nowadays.
A key and beloved ‘Sconset feature is Sankaty Head Light. This iconic brick tower, reached by Baxter Road, was constructed in 1950 and rises to a height of almost 70 feet. Sankaty Light was the first in the United States to be equipped with a Fresnel lens as original equipment. Over the years, erosion slowly ate away at the bluff in front of the lighthouse, and by the early 1990s all buildings on the grounds were removed except for the tower itself. After the Perfect Storm in 1991 tore away huge chunks of the bluff near the lighthouse, six ‘Sconseters formed Save Our Sankaty to rescue the endangered tower.
In 2007, the ’Sconset Trust took ownership of the Historic Sankaty Head Lighthouse property and moved the Lighthouse to safer ground. This epic historic preservation project was successful due to a tremendous island-wide outpouring of support. The ’Sconset Trust is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the Lighthouse and its grounds in perpetuity.
Today it stands as a sentinel for all who come to visit and enjoy the peaceful or sometimes windy setting atop the Sankaty Head bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.