Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2016

Keeper’s Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Chilean Light Upgrade

The Department of Maritime Signaling Service of the Navy of the nation of Chile has announced that the 1895 Cabo Carranza Lighthouse will be modernized with new lighting capabilities that will give the lighthouse a more powerful beam. At the same time, the tower itself will also be restored.

Gay Head Restoration

International Chimney Co, the firm that engineered the recent move of the Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, has been hired to play a pivotal role in the restoration of the lighthouse, which is expected to start this month.

Scottish Museum Buys Photos

The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses has recently purchased 550 extremely rare stereo-view images. The photos were taken between 1901 and 1929 by Dick Peddle, Secretary of the Northern Lighthouse Board, which is the organization that manages the lighthouses of Scotland and Isle of Man. The museum learned of the cards when a few showed up for sale on E-Bay. Apparently, all 550 images were originally in the archives of the Northern Lighthouse Board and were sold in 1990.

According to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses, the images “provide an excellent record of life on-board the lighthouse tenders, including the work undertaken by the crew – and also views of Scotland’s more remote lighthouses such as the Flannans, Dubh Artach, and Skerryvore.” Reportedly the museum was able to purchase the cards with some assistance from the Northern Lighthouse Board

Homeless at Diamond Head

A recent expose has exposed the large population of homeless people who live on the slopes of the Diamond Head Lighthouse, one of the most popular tourist attraction lighthouses in Hawaii. The story, which included many photos, showed the homeless people living in tents and tarps hidden from sight on the slopes of Diamond Head crater above the lighthouse, and they were also camped on perches that they have carved into the steep sides of the crater just below the lighthouse. For the most part, they are out of view of the tourists who visit the site.

$150,000 for Southeast Light

Southeast Lighthouse on Block Island, Rhode Island has been awarded a $150,000 State Preservation Grant that will be used to refurbish the cast iron components of the lighthouse, such as the railings and decks. In 1993 at a cost of $2 million, the architecturally beautiful lighthouse was saved when it was moved 300 feet back from an eroding bluff. Photo by Karen Carlomano.

Keeper’s Grave Found

The Crisp Point Light Historical Society has recently been active in searching for the gravesites of each and every keeper who served at Michigan’s Crisp Point Lighthouse. They recently learned that Lloyd H. Robbins, who served as an assistant keeper at Crisp Point Lighthouse from Jun 6, 1904 to August 31, 1904, is buried at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Duluth, Minnesota. Although his career in the Lighthouse Service was very short, he did serve for 20 years, first in the U.S. Life Saving Service and then in the Coast Guard. He was born in Alpena, Michigan and died on August 21, 1926 at the age of 54 in Duluth, Minnesota where he was stationed in the Coast Guard. If anyone can help locate a good high resolution photograph of Mr. Robbins you can email it to Editor@LighthouseDigest.com and we will forward it on to the volunteers at Crisp Point Lighthouse.

Harry Hine Lighthouses

Harry Hine, the former Head of Development of the defunct Harbour Lights collectibles is now producing his own line of lighthouse collectibles. Plans call for two lighthouses, one ship, and one lens to be produced each year on a very limited basis. They will all be new products and not revisions of Harbour Lights models. For more information, you can e-mail Rich Felter at flacoastie@embarqmail.com.

Ready to Pop the Question?

The popular web site BuzzFeed.com recently listed “10 Exotic Destinations Perfect for a Marriage Proposal.” Number 7 on the list was West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine where it said that you can watch whales in each other’s arms and enjoy a lobster dinner in town from fresh lobster picked directly from the bay below the lighthouse. West Quoddy Head Lighthouse was the only lighthouse on the list. We’re sure that there are a number of people who will immediately dispute this and will lay claim to “their” lighthouse being just as exotic as West Quoddy Head.

Students at Cape May Light

Recently, a group of National Honor Society student members, student athletes, and friends from Ocean City High School in Ocean City, New Jersey joined forces to help clean the interior of the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse at the Cape May Point State Park in Lower Township, New Jersey to help prepare the lighthouse for the upcoming tourist season.

West Quoddy on Phone Book

Maine’s West Quoddy Head Lighthouse is featured on the cover of the 2016 Fair Point Communications telephone book for Washington County, Maine. West Quoddy Head Light is the easternmost lighthouse on the mainland of the Atlantic Coast of the United States. The popular site has a museum, a state park, and magnificent trails along the ocean; it is also a great spot for whale watching.

Radio Personality Dies

We are saddened to report on the passing of radio personality Juke Van Oss of WHTC in Holland, Michigan, a long-time supporter of Lighthouse Digest. Juke Van Oss had been on the radio at WHTC for an amazing 65 years, the majority of that time as host of the program “Talk of the Town.” Every time that he received his new edition of Lighthouse Digest in the mail, he would talk about lighthouses on the air and encourage his listeners to subscribe to the magazine. On several occasions a number of years ago, our editor, Timothy Harrison, while on his visits back to Michigan, appeared on the air with Juke to talk about lighthouses and the importance of saving lighthouse history. Juke’s last show was on a Friday morning, then he taught Sunday School on Sunday, and died peacefully in his sleep on Monday morning. He was 92. He will be missed. Our condolences go out to his family and friends

Tall Ships at Saginaw Light

Michigan’s Saginaw River Rear Range Lighthouse will be open for the Tall Ship Festival in Bay City, Michigan this July 15, 16, and 17. For more information, you can visit the Facebook page of the Saginaw River Marine Historical Society.

Prince’s Bay Light a Landmark

New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has announced that by the end of year that they intend to designate Staten Island’s Prince’s Bay Lighthouse as a New York City Historic Landmark. Built in 1864 the lighthouse was deactivated in 1922 and its lantern was removed. In 2002, the lighthouse was purchased by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Extra Day for NY Challenge

The planners for this year’s Central New York Lighthouse Challenge have added an extra day to this year’s event that will be held on August 6 thru 8, 2016. The dates also coincide with National Lighthouse Day on August 7th. The extra day was added to allow additional time for participants to visit some related attractions in the Eastern Lake Ontario and Thousand Islands areas such as the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York. For more information, contact the H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego, New York at 315-342-0480 or visit their web site at www.hlwmm.org. Photo of Sodus Point Breakwater Lighthouse, a/ka/ Sodus Point Pierhead Lighthouse in Sodus Point, New York by Ron Foster.

New Leadership at GLLKA

Congratulations to Ric Mixter for recently being elected at the end of 2015 as the new President of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA). Ric Mixter takes over the reins from Steve Sheridan who served as president since 2012 when the late Dick Moehl, who has served as president since 1985, resigned for health reasons. The group’s first president was Don Werling. This makes Ric Mixter only the fourth person in the history of GLLKA to hold the position of president. We wish him the very best of success as he leads GLLKA into the future.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 2016 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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