Digest>Archives> December 1997

National Museum Poll results now final

Site Selection pooh-pooh's poll - sets own agenda

By Timothy Harrison


The final results of the Lighthouse Digest poll in reference to a National Lighthouse Museum are now final. At the close of last month's issue we published the results of the poll that were in at press time. At that time we had received a response from seventeen per cent of our subscribers. That has now changed, but the results of 95.5% of our subscribers being in favor of a National Lighthouse Museum have not changed.

A whopping 59% of our subscribers did reply to the opinion poll, which is way above any average for a national poll. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend the site selection committee meeting held in Washington D.C. However, Ken Black, of the Shore Village Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine, did report the results of the Lighthouse Digest opinion poll at press time to the committee.

Interestingly, the reports back to us by some of the attendees to the conference were that the committee totally discounted our survey as unscientific, because there was no information on what part of the country the results came from, and the fact that our survey did not include family size, city of residence size, how many subscribers we have in each state, age of our subscribers, etc.

To this I can say only one thing - Hogwash! This is exactly what I was worried about from the first day this site selection committee was formed - that certain influential members (because of their title, magisterial organization name or government affiliation) of the committee have their own agenda and the heck with what the majority of the lighthouse community says.

The facts here are evident . . .

Lighthouse Digest is the largest monthly lighthouse publication in the world.

Lighthouse Digest has subscribers in all 50 states of the United States, and 26 foreign countries.

Lighthouse Digest reaches more lighthouse people than any other publication in the world and the results of our survey should not be ignored. Our readers are, for the most part people who love lighthouses. Our subscribers are people who plan their vacations around lighthouses, people who photograph them, get married at them, fall in love with them, collect replicas and prints of them and are honestly concerned with their preservation.

These are the results of the final poll of where our readers felt a National Lighthouse Museum should be located, and as we expected, the Great Lakes region caught up with New England:

44% New England

43% Great Lakes

1% Mid Atlantic

4% South Atlantic

1% Staten Island

1% Washington, D.C.

2% California

2% Gulf Coast

1.5% Northwest

0.5% Other

The comments did not change - Those that voted for New England said they voted that way because that's where the biggest concentration of the lighthouses of the United States were first built and the oldest history is located there.

Those voting for the Great Lakes said the museum should be there because the Great Lakes have the largest number of lighthouses. Most of those stated that the museum should be in Michigan, since that state not only has the most lighthouses, but has the largest number of them that are open to the public.

Now, our poll may not be scientific as some of the committee members stated, but at least we took a poll of the lighthouse community, something that they did not bother to do.

The facts are clear: lighthouse aficionados have spoken. The National Lighthouse Museum should be in New England or the Great Lakes.

This story appeared in the December 1997 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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