The name of this lighthouse is derived from the language of the Native Americans who lived on Nantucket, the Wampanoags. Their word “sankoty” means highland, and even erosion hasn’t changed the appropriateness of that name. The brick-and-granite structure sits 70 feet tall on the bluff at the end of what is now Baxter Road in Siasconset, flashing its white light every 7.5 seconds.
The stalwart lighthouse was built in 1850, and has not been replaced. Upon a 1990 inspection of the structure, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrongly predicted that it would fall off a nearby sea cliff within 10 years. Nonetheless, in 2007 the lighthouse was very meticulously moved 400 feet back from the cliff’s edge. In 1987, it was tucked in right next to its counterpart in The National Register of Historic Places, even though it still functions as a navigational device. The tower itself is not open to the public, but you are free to roam the grounds at any time throughout the year.
The location offers a breathtaking view of the island’s moors and the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Standing here, you are reminded that we on Nantucket are still part of the rest of the world. We’re just beautifully removed.