Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2011

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Lighthouse Group Dissolves

It has been announced that the nonprofit organization Washington Lightkeepers Association was dissolved effective March 31. The primary reason was a lack of volunteers to keep the organization going. The funds in its treasury will be divided between the lighthouses in Washington State. Although this is sad news for the national lighthouse community all is not lost. The Westport Maritime Museum in partnership with the Westport Chamber of Commerce will take over the groups successful “Run for the Light” annual event. Additionally, members of the Board of WLA will all continue to be actively involved in various lighthouse preservation projects around the state. A special thanks goes out to their volunteers, some of who were Elinor DeWire, Bruce Robie, Kathy Mellecker, Laurie Rust, Jeannie Panciera, Bob Tellier, Jon DeWire and Darlene Cook. They did make a difference and they can all be proud of their accomplishments over the past six years. We thank and salute all of them.

Lens Back to Lorain Light

If all goes as planned, the original 4th order Fresnel lens that was once in use at Ohio’s Lorain West Breakwater Lighthouse will return to Lorain, Ohio for display. Since 1984 the lens has been on display at the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse in New York. In turn a lens on display at the Cleveland Science Museum will be sent to the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse. It will cost $30,000 to remove the lens and ship it back to Ohio for display in an atmosphere-controlled exhibit.

Bell Found

The folks at Florida’s St. Augustine Lighthouse have reported that divers have found a rare bell in the waters off the coast of St. Augustine. Although they don’t know what ship the bell came from, it is estimated that it may be 200 years old. Once the bell is restored, which may take as long as a year, it will go on display at the St. Augustine Lighthouse Museum..

Wind Power Study Proposed

In spite of a budget shortfall, the City Council of Virginia Beach, Virginia has approved $50,000 to study whether the Chesapeake Light Tower could support a 245-foot tower to gather data for wind-energy research.

Remains of Keeper’s House Found

Volunteer archaeologists have found and uncovered the remains of the lighthouse keeper’s house at Sapelo Island Lighthouse in Georgia. The house was destroyed in a hurricane in 1898 and its location had been previously unknown.

White River Film Clip

An interview with the curator and one on the last keepers of Michigan’s White River Lighthouse can be viewed at www.PositivelyMichigan.net. It’s well worth the watch.

New Group for NLM

A new group has revived the proposed National Lighthouse Museum at the old Lighthouse Depot in Staten Island, New York. To learn more or become a member you can wrote to Linda C. Dianto, National Lighthouse Museum, P.O. Box 1-0296, Staten Island, NY 10301-0296 or visit their web site at www.LighthouseMuseum.org.

Crop Insurance Uses Lighthouse

Proving just how popular lighthouses are, First Farm Credit Services has used Rhode Island’s Castle Hill Lighthouse to promote their crop insurance in northern Illinois, which is a long way from the Atlantic Ocean. Their advertisement reads, “Just as this lighthouse leads ships at sea through the most dangerous parts of their journey, our experts will help guide you through the difficult Crop Insurance process. We insure more acreage in northern Illinois than anybody else. Period.” We congratulate them for using a lighthouse, which helps promote lighthouses to a wide range of people that might otherwise not even know what a lighthouse is.

Bell Rock Built to Withstand Time

Scotland’s Bell Rock Lighthouse, the world’s oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, has not required a single repair to its stonework since the day it was built. This is truly a testament to its engineer, Robert Stevenson. If more lighthouses had been built like Bell Rock, hundreds of thousands of dollars in restoration costs could have been saved at many lighthouses around the world.

Life Saving Exhibit

Florida’s Ponce de Leon Inlet Light Station has a new exhibit of the United States Life Saving Service in the former head keeper’s house. The exhibit features information on the history of the Life Saving Service and the history of its Florida House of Refuge. Included in the exhibit is am old breeches buoy once used at New York’s Shinnecock Life Saving Station to rescue shipwreck survivors. The U.S. Life Saving Service, a sister organization of the U.S. Lighthouse Service was merged in 1915 with the Revenue Cutter Service to become the U.S. Coast Guard.

Indiana Community Takes Beacon

Michigan City, Indiana has officially taken ownership of the Michigan City East Pierhead Lighthouse. The lighthouse was featured in a story by Rick Richards in the July 2009 issue of Lighthouse Digest.

St. Marks Lamplighter

An obituary in the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported on the passing of Capt. Ivary Adell Adams, 97. A retired charter boat captain the obituary said he was a Coast Guard veteran of World WAR II and as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary he reestablished the Flotilla along the Gulf of Mexico. It also said he was the last tender of Florida’s St. Marks Lighthouse.

India Goes After Tourism

The nation of India has stated that three lighthouses at Gopalpur-On-Sea, Chandrabhaga and False Point in the state of Berhampur will soon be converted to tourist attractions with state of the art facilities. The nation of India has taken one of the strongest stands in the world to protect and promote its lighthouses and they are to be congratulated.

New Cape Canaveral Book

A new book on the history of Cape Canaveral has recently been self published by Sonny Witt. This is an amazing fact filled book that was extremely well researched and is loaded with historical information and rare photographs. The book, Drawn To The Light, The History of Cape Canaveral and its People can be ordered for $30.00, which includes postage from Sonny Witt, P.O. Box 423, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920. Be sure to ask him to autograph the book. To communicate with Sonny by e-mail his address is sonnywitt@DrawnToCanaveralLight.com.

Keeper’s Son Dies

Norman Kinyon (1919-2011) who spend his boyhood days at the Washington state lighthouses at Mukilteo and New Dungeness, and at Alaska’s Tree Point and Mary’s Island lighthouse where his father was a keeper, has passed away. His father, David O. Kinyon, who passed away in 1954, also served at Umpqua River Light in Oregon and Point No Point Lighthouse in Washington. Our condolences go out to his family and friends

Scarf for Lighthouse

It all started when a little boy said the Withernsea Lighthouse, located on the east coast of Yorkshire, England, looked like a big snowman. That’s when Anita Phillips started to knit a 165-foot scarf for the lighthouse. She has now enlisted other knitters to help her. She is asking people to donate to one of the four organizations that they are raising funds for. Naturally, one of them is for the lighthouse. Once the scarf is completed and after it is wrapped around the lighthouse and photographed, it will be donated to Oxfam, a nonprofit group, to be made into blankets.

Door County Lighthouse Festival

The festival returns to the second weekend in June with activities planned from Friday-Sunday, June 10-12. The annual Friday evening Keeper’s Kin event has expanded. A 6 p.m. dinner cruise has been added followed by the traditional dessert buffet cruise at 8 p.m. Again, relatives of Door County lighthouse keepers will be on board the Harbor Lady to share stories during the cruise off Sherwood Point Lighthouse. Through the cooperation of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Friends of Plum & Pilot Islands, the Plum Island cruise and tour returns this year. It quickly sold out last year and is expected to be a hot ticket again this year. The Chambers Island tour also sold out a year ago after being off the schedule for many years. But those interested in taking one of the Saturday or Sunday trips are advised that a lengthy hike will be required to reach the lighthouse this year. Other boat trips include the always-popular six-hour Island Clipper tour which will take visitors past a couple of Michigan lights before stopping at Rock Island. Tours will also be leaving Gills Rock, Baileys Harbor and Sturgeon Bay to highlight the lights and sights in those areas. There are five land-based tours, four making stops at the five mainland accessible lights. Most fun of all may be the Friday and Saturday evening Ghost/Mystery tour leaving from the Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. It will offer a new opportunity to experience Sherwood Point Lighthouse after dark. For more information on schedules and pricing or to request a brochure, visit www.dcmm.org. Tickets can be ordered on the Website or by calling 920-743-5958.

Keepers Sought for Sable Lights

The Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPLKA) is looking for people to help with the 2011 summer season at Big Sable Point and Little Sable Point Lighthouses. One week and two week tours of duty are available. To learn more, visit their web site at www.splka.com.with state of the art facilities.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2011 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.

All contents copyright © 1995-2024 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

to Lighthouse Digest

USLHS Marker Fund

Lighthouse History
Research Institute

Shop Online

Subscribe   Contact Us   About Us   Copyright Foghorn Publishing, 1994- 2024   Lighthouse Facts     Lighthouse History