Located on the southern tip of West Island, the 48 foot tower overlooks the beach and all of Buzzards Bay. The tower came along as part of a tract of land the town acquired from the federal government in 1953 to establish a town beach. Construction of the tower was announced in 1888, and the Army occupied the site during World War Two. The Army built barracks for twenty four men ,a mess facility for twenty four, a well, and a power generator located temporarily In a Pump House. The tower is Identified as a Fire Control structure, and was part of a Fire Control and Coastal Defense Artillery network that extended throughout the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The tower was used as a look out post, with contacts reported to Newport for firing solutions. While there is no evidence of the guns themselves actually being installed at the island location, they were a normal part of an installation of this type. During the war, the southern part of the Island was off limits to all but official personnel, which included an inspector from the Fairhaven Fire Department. The installation was classified, and civilians were not allowed. Today, the tower is the only structure that remains standing. The tower was dedicated May 19, 2001, by the West Island Improvement Association.
Source: Standard Times article dated 1/12/1993. Untitled documents in the archives of the Millicent Library.
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