Digest>Archives> Sep/Oct 2018

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison

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Old Lighthouse Movies

In the May/June edition we wrote about the 1947 movie Lighthouse that was filmed at the Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse and how it includes great scenes of the interior of how the lighthouse appeared at that time. We have now learned from the Coast Guard Museum Northwest that Bob Connors has the movie Lighthouse and other old movies that have lighthouses in them for sale. Some of his other titles include: A Stolen Life, Seven Miles from Alcatraz, Captain January, and The Coast Patrol. He sells them for $6.00 each, plus $4.00 shipping. You can contact him via e-mail at yrkconnors@gmail.com or write to him at Bob Connors, 14812 Spyglass Street, Orlando, FL 32826.

Money for Saugerties

A $354,000 contract was given to New York Drilling for repairs and restoration to the bulkhead and seawall at New York State’s Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Vandalized

The world famous 1870 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina has been vandalized. It seems that some one scratched the initials “SEF” on the bronze entryway door to the 193-foot tall lighthouse. Defacing the lighthouse, which is owned by the National Park Service, is a federal crime. We hope that the perpetrator or perpetrators will be caught, prosecuted and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law.

Crossed the Bar

We recently learned that Marty Kryzwicky, co-founder of the Lightship Sailors Association, passed away on March 12, 2018. A Coast Guard veteran, Marty served aboard the Pollock Rip Lightship LV-114 WAL 536 from 1958 to 1959. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.

Stolen Buoy Bells

The U.S. Coast Guard states that brass sound signaling devices, which we assume is meant to mean brass bells, have been stolen from buoys off the Maine coast. It is speculated that they may have been stolen to sell to nautical novelty shops or for scrap. The Coast Guard’s press release did not state how many of them have been stolen. Tapering with aids to navigation is a federal offense and can lead to fines of up to $25,000 per day and jail time. Hopefully the thieves will be caught.

14-Year Restoration Effort Championed

The culmination of a 14-year long restoration effort for Rhode Island’s Pomham Rocks Lighthouse was celebrated this past June. Among those ferried to the lighthouse for the event was Dennis Tardiff who was the last keeper to serve at the lighthouse from 1971 to 1974.

Maritime Aquarium Donates to NELL

Shown here is Travis Mingo of the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk Connecticut as he presents a check for $467 to John Donovan of the New England Lighthouse Lovers (NELL) as a donation towards NELL’s lighthouse preservation causes. The money was collected as donations during the Aquarium’s monthly lighthouse cruises in Long Island Sound, New York. For more information on the Maritime Aquarium visit www.maritimeaquarium.org. For more information on NELL go to www.NewEnglandLighthouseLovers.org

Cape Henry Closed for Restoration

The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach, Virginia is closing for a $1.5 million restoration. Built in 1792, it was the first lighthouse authorized by the new federal government of the United States of America. The project will include erosion stabilization, a concrete platform to protect the base of the lighthouse, interpretative signs, and more. The tower stands a short distance from the New Cape Henry Lighthouse that was built in 1881.

Double Anniversary at North Light

The year 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of when on September 15, 1868 the 4th order Fresnel lens at Block Island, Rhode Island’s North Lighthouse was first lighted. This year also marks the 25th year when he Interpretative Center on the first floor of the lighthouse was opened to the public. This is also the year that an image of the North Light will appear on the reverse side on one of the America the Beautiful quarters.

Repairs at Heceta Head

The 1894 Heceta Head Lighthouse in Yachats, Oregon was closed for the month of July while repairs were made to the cracked interior columns on the upper floor of the lighthouse. The tower was closed while repairs were being made and the lens was covered and turned off. The $135,000 project was paid for by $65,000 in visitor donations and $60,000 from Oregon lottery ticket sales. Previously, in 2013 the lighthouse underwent a $1.3 million restoration.

New Watcher at Montauk Light

Joseph Gaviola has been chosen by the Montauk Lighthouse Committee to succeed Marge Winski as the new modern day caretaker of the lighthouse. He will watch over the lighthouse while living in the two bedroom apartment on the second floor of the museum building.

Thomas Point Gets Money

Maryland’s Thomas Point Lighthouse has received a $100,000 grant from the State of Maryland to help with its preservation efforts. The money will be used toward its exterior steel and iron foundation repairs.

Changes Around Point Conception

The massive ranch by the Point Conception Lighthouse in Lompoc, California has been sold to the Nature Conservancy. The purchase was made possible by a $165 million donation from Jack and Laura Dangermond who wanted to protect the pristine ranch from development. It is unclear at this time how this will affect the Point Conception Lighthouse, which for all practical purposes has been abandoned by the Coast Guard and may soon have to be added to the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses. The lighthouse is shown here when the lens was still in the lantern. It has since been removed.

Ashtabula Freshens Up

The 1905 Ashtabula Harbor Light in Ashtabula, Ohio looks bright and shiny after a recent fresh coat of paint thanks to the efforts of the Ashtabula Lighthouse Restoration Preservation Society.

Lightning Destroys Lighthouse

The 1856 Cole Shoal lighthouse in Brockville, Ontario, Canada was totally destroyed by fire from a lightning strike on July 23, 2018. The headless lighthouse had been owned by the Ontario Heritage Foundation and they completed a restoration of the tower in 2001.

Celebrating 200 Years

The Savudrija Lighthouse in the northwest coast of Crotia celebrated its 200th anniversary of when it first lighted back in 1818. It is considered the oldest operational lighthouse on the Adriatic coast.

DeTour Group Celebrates 20 Years

The DeTour Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society (DRLPS) celebrated its 20th year this year as the nonprofit that took over and saved Michigan’s offshore DeTour Reef Lighthouse. Since 2005 there have been over 1,100 people who have taken the day tour of the lighthouse and enjoyed the overnight keeper program at the lighthouse. To learn more or make a donation go to www.DRLPS.com or write to them at DRLPS, P.O. Box 307, Drummond Island, MI 49726.

Did You Know?

In a letter dated Sept 6, 1932, George Putnam, Commissioner of Lighthouses, of the U.S. Bureau of Lighthouses wrote, “All apparatus or purchases in the future in which the name of this organization is shown shall carry the designation: “U.S. Lighthouse Service.” The letters “USLHS” may be used for stamping metal and for branding or stamping wood.”

LED Light for Cape Hatteras Will Destroy History

The Coast Guard has stated that they might replace the current beacon in the lantern of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse with a new modern LED light. The Cape Hatteras lantern currently has two DCB rotating beacons that the Coast Guard says are old and worn out and parts are hard to get, as well as expensive. The new LED lights may be modern and less expensive to operate but they look like a stack of clear donuts and would look ugly and out of place in the large Cape Hatteras lantern. More importantly they would alter and destroy the historical significance and importance of America’s tallest lighthouse.

In 1999 the federal government spent nearly $12 million to move the lighthouse back from the eroding shoreline, yet they now want us to believe that they can’t afford the minor cost, compared to the move, to maintain the current beacon in the lantern. Hopefully, public outcry against this will prevail, but only if the public speaks up. Hopefully, the National Park Service will take a strong stand in keeping the current lens in place.

Lightning Strike

The 1666 Hunstanton Lighthouse in Hunstanton, England was struck by lightning this past July knocking a large chunk of the top of tower off. The lighthouse has been inactive since 1921.

This story appeared in the Sep/Oct 2018 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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