Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2012

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comment from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Point Bonita Suspension Bridge

At a cost of $1.9 million the new 156-foot suspension leading to California’s Point Bonita Lighthouse has been completed. To provide extra support for the bridge, workers had to hand off the side of the cliffs, more than 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by Morgan Curry.)

Conneaut Sold

Ohio’s Conneaut Harbor West Breakwater Lighthouse has been sold at auction under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The winning bid of $46,000 went to Jerry Killilea, Jr. who will now be the new owner.

Grant for St. Simons

The Georgia Department of Transportation has awarded a grant of $250,000 for the restoration of the historic 1872 keeper’s house at St. Simons Island Lighthouse. The keeper’s house is expected to reopen next year after restoration in completed.

Grant for Seawall

The Sable Points Lighthouse Keeper’s Association has received a $100,000 grant from the National Park Service Save America’s Treasures program to restore and fund nearly 300 feet of the southeastern portion of the seawall in front of the Big Sable Lighthouse. The group will need to match the funds being donated. The work is expected to take place this fall. (Photo by Mary Schmal.)

White River Curator Leaves

Karen McDonnell, who has been the curator at Michigan’s White River Lighthouse has left the job she has held since 1983 at the lighthouse. She says she is taking a job in California. White River Lighthouse is now under the auspices of the Sable Points Lighthouse Keeper’s Association.

Ambrose Lightship Restored

The Ambrose Lightship WAL 512 is now back at its berth at New York City’s Seaport Museum after undergoing an extensive exterior restoration at the Caddell Dry Dock & Repair in West Brighton. The return of the lightship coincided with the reopening of the revamped museum. (Photo by Randy Hemstad.)

Strathy Point Darkened

The Strathy Point Lighthouse on the north coast of Sutherland at the western approach to Pentland Firth in Scotland has been turned off. The move, authorized by the Northern Lighthouse Board has angered and shocked local small boaters and residents. Although the Northern Lighthouse Board said they solicited for comments ahead of time, no one in the community knew about it. The Northern Lighthouse Board said the lighthouse no longer served as useful purpose and they wanted to save on electricity.

Great Captain Lighthouse Shines Again

After being dark for over 40 years, the Great Captain Island Lighthouse in Greenwich, Connecticut has a light again shining from the tower. Although the new light does not actually serve any navigational purpose, navigational charts will be updated as to not confuse it with the actual navigation aid. (Photo by Ron Foster.)

Money for Round Island

The Hancock Bank has donated $15,000 toward the rebuilding and restoration of the Round Island Lighthouse in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The bank uses the lighthouse in their logo. The rebuilding and restoration of the historic lighthouse at its new location is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Loss of a Friend

We are saddened to report on the loss of a very dear lighthouse friend, John W. Forbes, Jr., 82, of Holbrook, Massachusetts who passed away March 6, 2012. John loved lighthouses and lighthouse history, but his real passion was the Boston Harbor Islands and he narrated many cruises in Boston Harbor. Although he was legally blind, he was an excellent photographer. But, beyond that, he was liked by everyone who met him and dearly loved by all his friends. He had a knack for remembering the smallest historical details as well as maritime poetry which he never hesitated to share with others. We will miss his always wonderful outlook on life and his friendship. Our condolences go out to his family

Choptank Nears Goal

With most of the money now raised the replica of Maryland’s Choptank River Lighthouse that had been destroyed in 1964 will soon become a reality. The replica is expected to be completed by September at the Cambridge Marina will house the dock master’s office and a visitors center. (Lighthouse Digest archives photo.)

Umpqua River Lighthouse Transferred

On April 14, Oregon’s Umpqua River Lighthouse was transferred to Douglas County. This day was exceptionally special since the transfer insures that the historic Fresnel lens will remain in the tower, which is managed by the Friends of Umpqua River Lighthouse, the group that spearheaded the effort to keep the lens in the tower. Everyone is to be commended for their diligence in making this possible.

Island Lost

Alabama’s Sand Island Lighthouse has lost its island again. In the January/February issue of we did an extensive story with photographs about the $6 million worth of sand that was brought out to recreate the island at the lighthouse. Mother Nature has moved much of the sand so that now 40 feet of shallow water separates the lighthouse from the island. The lighthouse once again sits as lonely tower atop a pile of rocks.

Post Cards

Robert Andrews writes to us that he has 300,000 post cards in his collection and he has duplicates for sale. You can write to him at P.O. Box 6782, Providence, RI 02940.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2012 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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