A Martha’s Vineyard lighthouse that’s in danger of tumbling off the cliffs it was built on in the 1800s was named one of the country’s most endangered historic places [on Wednesday, June 19].

The Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah has stood on the Gay Head Cliffs since 1856 and a lighthouse has been in that spot since 1799.

But the erosion is eating the clay cliffs away at a rate of at least 2 to 3 feet per year — worse if there are severe storms. The lighthouse is now about 50 feet from the edge, and even closer to the point where it can’t be saved, said Alicia Leuba of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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