Digest>Archives> Mar/Apr 2019

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Lemonade for St. Augustine

Donations and help can come from many sources, as was proven by a recent donation to Florida’s St. Augustine Lighthouse. They received a check late last year for $2,431 from the St. Augustine Seafood Company that represented $1 from every glass of lemonade that they sold at the restaurant. Pretty neat idea!

Print Collection Goes to NLM

Drs. Loren and Patricia Graham, owners of Michigan’s Grand Island North Lighthouse, have donated their extensive framed collection of historic lighthouse prints to the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, New York. The prints will be donated over the next three years.

Sullivan’s Island Goes Dark

This past November, fifty-six years after its construction, the 140-foot-tall Charleston Lighthouse in Charleston, South Carolina went dark. The lighthouse once cast a beam that was equal to a whopping 28 million candlepower. But the lighthouse, more commonly known as Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse or the New Charleston Lighthouse, will now have a new beacon installed. Lt. James Zorn of the Coast Guard said the equipment to operate the old light is too complicated, too cumbersome, and too expensive to maintain or restore. So a new modern beacon will be installed. Built in 1962, the lighthouse has an elevator and air conditioning.

Wind Point Replica Vandalized

Late last year, the replica of Wisconsin’s Wind Point Lighthouse became the third lighthouse replica in Lake Havasu, Arizona to be vandalized. Perhaps it is time to enact more severe penalties for vandalism of any kind.

Scottish Lighthouse Keys To Be Auctioned Off

An assortment of over 300 keys from 83 Scottish Lighthouses that were acquired by a private individual during the time that the lighthouses were being automated will be auctioned off in a Marine and Nautical Artifacts auction to be held by Bonhams Auctioneers on May 7th of this year.

Builds His Own Lighthouse

Chris Wall of New Annan, Prince Edward Island, Canada is shown here in front of the 40-foot-tall lighthouse that he recently built on his property. The structure is a composite of a number of Canadian Lighthouses.

American Shoal Damaged

The American Shoal Lighthouse was severely damaged in the last hurricane. The lantern roof has two panels turned up, leaving two large holes in the cupola and most of the lantern’s glass was blown out. The interior integrity of the lighthouse is now jeopardized from rain and birds. The 1880 American Shoal is located 15 miles east of Key West, Florida. It is currently on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses.

Manitowoc South Pier Light Gone

With some sensational headlines and creative reporting, the media took full advantage of the Manitowoc South Pier Light in Manitowoc, Wisconsin having been washed off the pier by large waves this past January. The truth is that the Manitowoc South Pier Light was nothing more than a non-descript 20-foot-tall cylindrical fiberglass aid to navigation.

Randall J Peterson Retires

Randy Peterson, one of the few Pointillism artists in the United States, has announced that, after 30 years of making amazing images, he is putting his pens in storage. His most popular artwork are his lighthouse images. Although he won’t be doing any new works of art, he will continue to market his note cards and prints through his Etsy store.

Ed Werner Dies

Ed Werner, a long-time volunteer with the 1866 Southport Lighthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin and who was associated with the restoration of the light station, died this past January at the age of 90. In 1947, he followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Coast Guard, and in 1962 he joined the Coast Guard Reserves, retiring as a Lt. Commander. He spent a lot of his time, dressed in a lighthouse keeper’s uniform, volunteering at the lighthouse. Also, as a youngster he lived at the North Point Lighthouse in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his father Alexander Werner served for a short time as a Coast Guard caretaker.

Heceta Turns 125

The Heceta Head Lighthouse in Yachats, Oregon turns 125 years old this year. Today, the keeper’s house is run as successful bed and breakfast.

Last Irish Clare Island Keeper Dies

The last lighthouse keeper of the 1813 Clare Island Lighthouse in Westport, Ireland, Jackie O’Grady, has passed away. He was the keeper of the lighthouse when it was deactivated in 1965. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Louisiana Gets New License Plate

The State of Louisiana now has a new license plate that features the 1856 Sabine Pass Lighthouse in Johnson Bayou, Cameron Parish, Louisiana. There is an additional $20 fee for the plate, with the funds going to the Cameron Preservation Alliance/Sabine Pass Lighthouse, Inc. to be used toward repairs of the lighthouse. As well as being on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses, it was listed as one of the Ten Most Endangered Properties in Louisiana by the Louisiana Preservation Alliance.

Interim Manager at Split Rock

Following the retirement of Lee Radzak, Karly Fransen has been appointed as interim manager of the Split Rock Lighthouse. She will serve from April 1 to November 15, 2019, at which time a permanent site manager will be selected through a nationwide search.

Unique License Plates

If you have a license plate that shows your love of lighthouses, please e-mail it to us and we’ll publish it in Lighthouse Digest. Send your high resolution photos to Editor@LighthouseDigest.com

Terry Pepper Lost to Cancer

We are saddened to report that Terry Pepper, 70, former long-time Executive Director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Assoc., passed away on February 23, 2019. Terry Pepper was one of the most respected and likeable people in the lighthouse world. He was certainly one of the most knowledgeable of Great Lakes lighthouse history, one who never hesitated to share his knowledge and photos with others. We are deeply saddened by this news. Our condolences go out to his wife Mary, his family, and wide circle of friends. He will be greatly missed.

This story appeared in the Mar/Apr 2019 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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