Digest>Archives> August 2005

Keeper's Korner

News and Notes from the Tower


New Lighthouse Movie To Be Released

Yours, Mine and Ours, starring Dennis Quaid, Jerry O’Connell, Linda Hunt, and Rip Torn, is scheduled to be released this fall or early next year in movie theaters nationwide. Basically, it’s a remake of the 1968 movie by the same name that starred Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball. A couple of differences are that Dennis Quaid’s character is a Coast Guard admiral instead of a Navy admiral. And, instead of taking place in San Francisco, it takes place in New London, Connecticut. The story centers around a large family - Dad, Mom, a housekeeper and 18 children - moving into an old, rundown, dilapidated lighthouse simply because it was the only large structure that could house the entire new combined family. In the midst of restoring the lighthouse, chaos ensues in this comedy made for entertainment for the entire family. Look for more details and a story in next month’s issue.

Pomham Rocks Restoration Underway

Thanks to the efforts of the American Lighthouse Foundation and its Friends of Pomham Rocks chapter along with a partnership with ExxonMobil, restoration of Rhode Island’s Pomham Rocks Lighthouse has now started. Look for more news on this in the next issue of Tower Notes, the official publication of the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF). If you are not yet a member of ALF, membership is available online at www.LighthouseFoundation.org.

Lighthouse Transfers

The following lighthouses are being transferred under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act from Coast Guard ownership: Bakers Island Lighthouse, Maine to Essex National Heritage Commission; West Point Light to the City of Seattle, Washington; St. James Light, Michigan to St. James Township; and New London Harbor Light, Connecticut to the New London Maritime Society, Inc.

Avery Point To Be Relit

Thanks to the efforts of the Avery Point Lighthouse Society, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, Connecticut’s newly restored Avery Point Lighthouse will be re-dedicated and re-lit in a gala ceremony now tentatively planned for September 24, 2005. The commemorative brick walkway is now under construction and is expected to be completed in time for the ceremony. Updates will be posted on the ALF web site at www.LighthouseFoundation.org.

Rockland Breakwater Light to Light Art Festival

Artists are needed for the Light-to-Light Festival to benefit Maine’s Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation. The event will take place on August 20 from 8AM to 3PM and the rain date will be the following day. Artists may choose any location around the Rockland Harbor as their subject and the painting must be completed the day of the festival. The auction to sell the paintings will be held at the Samoset Resort in Rockland, Maine on August 21 starting at 4PM. The auction is open to the public and there will be light refreshments and a cash bar. For more information, go to www.LighthouseFoundation.org and then click on the Rockland Breakwater chapter.

New Maine Lighthouse Museum Opens

In a gala grand opening ceremony, Phase 1 of the new Maine Lighthouse Museum opened this past June 25 on Rockland’s historic waterfront. The museum, founded by retired Coast Guardsman Ken Black, has the largest collection of Fresnel lenses and other lighthouse equipment under one roof of any museum in the United States. Although it will be nearly one year before all the items will be on display, what is already on display is extremely impressive. The layout and design of the exhibits are first class. You will want to make this a "must see" this year to view firsthand the expanding museum.

DeTour Gets Award

Michigan’s DeTour Reef Lighthouse has received the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation. They are to be congratulated for an amazing restoration project. To learn more about the lighthouse, visit www.DRLPS.com.

Coast Guard Tug Sailors

The Coast Guard Tug Sailors Association will be holding their second annual reunion this August 14 & 15 in New London, CT. For more information, contact C. A. Schwaab at (401) 364-1004 or email him at snsschwaab@cox.net.


Robert E. Cahill, who wrote many books about New England’s maritime history, has passed away at age 70. Before writing his many books, including one on lighthouses, Cahill had served for many years as sheriff of Essex County, Massachusetts.

Kids Saving White Island

The Lighthouse Kids, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, recently presented the governor of New Hampshire a check for $110,000 to begin the restoration of the Isles of Shoals Lighthouse on White Island, New Hampshire. The lighthouse has been listed by Lighthouse Digest as the most endangered lighthouse in New England. The check represented the first phase of the money the Lighthouse Kids have raised through private and corporate donations. They are still in the process of raising an additional $190,000 to complete the restoration. The State of New Hampshire, which has a proven track record of being a poor steward of preservation, was given the lighthouse by the Coast Guard a number of years ago. Later, state officials said they were unaware that by being given the lighthouse, they would also have to maintain it and there was no money in the state budget. The Lighthouse Kids was then formed to try to save the lighthouse. It’s amazing that the "Kids" could do what government officials could not.

Marquette To Get Makeover

Michigan’s Marquette Harbor Lighthouse will get a makeover, thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Waterfront Redevelopment Grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The Coast Guard licensed the historic structure in 2002 to be used as a maritime museum.

Saving a Light Causes Problems

Saving Wisconsin’s North Point Lighthouse near Milwaukee is no easy task, especially when some local residents oppose the plans. It seems some of the well-to-do neighbors of the lighthouse feel that restoration will draw too many tourists to their neighborhood. What do you think?

Fog Horn Stopped

The Canadian Coast Guard's inability to silence a mechanically operated foghorn when there was no fog led to it being silenced forever. Complaints from some residents in the nearby upscale Bishops Landing development in Halifax Harbor near Georges Island, that the foghorn was always on and was annoying them, caused the Canadian Coast Guard to de-activate the foghorn on Georges Island. Another part of lighthouse history has been silenced forever.

Tours Shut Down

Public tours to Canada’s Flowerpot Lighthouse have been discontinued when the local volunteer group was told by the government that they must lease the lighthouse and provide for their own liability insurance if tours were to continue. The group refused, feeling that it was not their responsibility to provide insurance. One member said they should not be put in the position of possibly being sued out of existence. Unbelievable!

Harrison’s Birthday

Tim actually hasn’t seen this item and won’t until the issue comes out, but we wanted to let you know that September 3rd is his birthday. Cards can be sent to him at: Tim Harrison, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630. Due to the huge amount of emails that we get here, send email birthday wishes to editor@lighthousedigest.com and put "Birthday greetings" in the subject line.

This story appeared in the August 2005 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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