According to the Vineyard Visitor the East Chop lighthouse in Oak Bluffs was “Originally built in 1802 on Telegraph Hill, the lighthouse is on the site of the signal station that received semaphore messages from Woods Hole to indicate the arrival of homebound whaling ships. The current lighthouse was built in 1877.”
In the early 1870’s Silas Daggett built a lighthouse at East Chop and operated it privately until 1871 when it burned down and was rebuilt on top of a house. In 1875 the government bought it and removed Daggett’s structure. The new lighthouse was painted white at first but in 1880 was painted a reddish-brown color thus earning the nickname the “chocolate lighthouse.” It was repainted white in 1988.