Digest>Archives> October 2004

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Looking for Photographs

Lighthouse Digest is looking for old photographs of people associated with America's lighthouses. This includes photographs of lighthouse keepers, family members who lived in a lighthouse, lighthouse engineers, lighthouse depot employees, lighthouse tender crewmembers and lightship crewmembers. For example, two photos that they are trying to locate and obtain for the museum are of Rear Admiral John G. Walker, USN who was Chairman of the Lighthouse Board and Capt. John Mills of the U.S. Army who was Secretary and Engineer of the Lighthouse Board in 1896. If you can help, contact the editor at Editor@LighthouseFoundation.org.

Lighthouse Transferred

Washington State's Grays Harbor Lighthouse was officially transferred from United States Coast Guard ownership to the Westport-South Beach Historical Society last August 24, 2004. The 1898 lighthouse, often referred to as the Westport Lighthouse, was built to mark the entrance to Grays Harbor in Westport, WA. The lighthouse is open daily in the summer months and weekends the rest of the year.

Lighthouse to Serve as Wedding Chapel

The lighthouse facsimile built by Nancy Silverman for her husband Irving in Bernard, Maine will now serve as a wedding chapel. Known as the Family Lighthouse it has become a major attraction on Mount Desert Island since it was built and has even appeared on calendars. Silverman says it would also be a great spot to renew wedding vows. Silverman says he will help plan the ceremony and officiate as Notary Public. For more information about the Lighthouse Wedding Chapel you can call Mr. Silverman at (207) 244-5192.

Turning Back the Clock

Current plans proposed by Michigan's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore call for major changes on the land surrounding Au Sable Lighthouse. But the changes are proposed to make the grounds look the way they did when it was a staffed station and to protect the environment of the area. Some of the plans call for the removal of vegetation in the area where it was historically kept clear, level the area around the lighthouse to how it historically looked, restore the sidewalks to the period when it was staffed and plant native vegetation in areas currently being eroded by visitor traffic. Sounds like a good idea to us. Built in 1874, the Au Sable Point Lighthouse is located on southeastern Lake Superior near Grand Marais, Michigan. For more information visit their web site at www.nps.gov/piro.

Reporters Wanted

Most of our stories and story ideas come from our readers, but we need more help from you. We operate with a small staff and can't be everywhere so we must depend on lighthouse groups and subscribers to send us stories and photographs of lighthouse events and happenings around the country. So, if you attend a lighthouse or maritime event, cruise, open house, celebration or whatever, send us some photos and we'll consider publishing them. Or, maybe you have a lighthouse story that should be told; if so, send it to us. Stories and photos can be emailed to us at editor@LighthouseDigest.com. When emailing photos, scan these at their regular size but send them on separate JPEG files 300dpi or better. They can also be mailed to us at Editor, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630. In all correspondence, be sure to include your name, address and telephone number.

Spend the Night in a Croatian Lighthouse

The country of Croatia now has 11 lighthouses open for overnight stays. These lighthouses are located in high impact tourist areas as well as remote island locations where you can enjoy a remote “paradise” away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We did a story on this in a previous issue but thought we should remind you again. For more information go to www.adriatica.net.

Doubling Point Painted

Maine's Doubling Point Lighthouse is looking fresh again thanks to a new coat of paint recently put on. Several years ago the Friends of Doubling Point removed the tower from its crumbling foundation to have the granite foundation rebuilt. The lighthouse located on the Kennebec River across from Bath, Maine now looks as good as new.

Outer Banks Lighthouse Event

North Carolina's Outer Banks Lighthouse Society will hold its annual event this year at Cape Lookout Light on October 21-24. Attendees will have a chance to climb the lighthouse on Saturday, October 23. Other events will include the annual lighthouse artifact auction, a clambake, side trip to historic Portsmouth, the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort and more. For reservations call Bett Padgett at (919) 787-6378.

Rockland Formally Accepts Museum

Maine's Rockland City Council has officially completed an agreement to accept the responsibility for the artifacts in the Shore Village Museum and move them to a new location on the city's waterfront where the museum will be renamed, Maine's Lighthouse Museum. The museum was founded by our good friend, Ken Black, known as “Mr. Lighthouse” and contains the largest collection of lighthouse lenses and lighthouse equipment in a museum in the United State. Look for the full story in the pages of this issue.

Jupiter Lighthouse Closed for Repairs

Florida's Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse has been closed for repairs after it was discovered that some of the brackets holding the stairs had worn out. Officials state the repairs will cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. The lighthouse is expected to re-open by November 1st. Lighthouses were built and designed for the keeper to walk up and down several times a day. Now, with lighthouses becoming popular tourist attractions, some lights have thousands of people a day climbing the tower. For example, Cape Hatteras Light in North Carolina was closed for 22 months for repairs after a piece of the stairway fell off and Hunting Island Light has been closed since May of 2003. The non-profits taking over ownerships of our lighthouses will need to figure out a way to set aside money for these types of repairs in the future.

New Christmas Ornament for Little River

The American Lighthouse Foundation has a beautiful new Christmas ornament of Maine's Little River Lighthouse. It features a whimsical painting of the lighthouse by Maine artist Virginia Souza that was featured on a holiday cover of Lighthouse Digest and is surrounded by a brass circle. It is available for $20.00 plus $6.00 shipping that includes postage from American Lighthouse Foundation, P.O. Box 889, Wells, ME 04090. The proceeds go toward the Little River Lighthouse restoration.

Rockland Chamber Releases New Ornament

Maine's Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is one of three new holiday ornaments being offered to benefit the restoration of the lighthouse. The other ornaments are of the schooner Steven Tabor and Isaac Evans. The lighthouse ornament is available for $18.95, which includes postage from the Rockland-Thomaston Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 508, Rockland, ME 04841.

Lighthouse Dinghy Used to Vandalize Lighthouse

Someone recently stole the dinghy used by the town of York to service and care for Maine's Nubble Lighthouse in York. The vandals then used the dinghy to cross the channel to go to the island and do some minor damage to the lighthouse, which is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States. The island, which is extremely close to the mainland, is otherwise off limits to the public for safety reasons.

This story appeared in the October 2004 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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