Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2019

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comment from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Ship Shoal to be Moved

Although officials in Berwick, Louisiana have been talking about moving the Ship Shoal Lighthouse for a number of years, that plan could now be coming closer to a reality. But, and there are a lot of “buts,” like the amount of money it will take. Berry Brothers General Contractors have agreed to move the 125-foot-tall lighthouse from its current location out in the water to the town’s waterfront where it could be displayed near the Southwest Reef Lighthouse that was moved there in 1987. If this ever becomes a reality, it will truly be an epic event.

Hibbard Casselberry Dies

We are saddened to report on the passing of Hibbard “Hib” Casselberry this past February 5, 2019 at the age of 96. A Coast Guard veteran who was known as “Mr. Florida Lighthouse,” he was born on January 2, 1923. Almost since the day he retired, he spent his retirement years involved in lighthouse preservation. He was a founding member of the Florida Lighthouse Association, served as a past president of the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society, and he served with the Florida Keys Reef Lights Association and Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Dedicated to saving lighthouse history for future generations in 2012, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented him with their Historic Preservation Medal. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. The lighthouse community has truly lost a good friend.

60th Year Celebration

The Wisconsin Marine Historical Society is celebrating its 60th year. Founded in 1959, the Society collects and archives materials and data related to Great Lakes marine history. Its archives are accessible through databases and the Milwaukee Public Library.

Sand Key Application Rejected

The National Park Service has rejected the Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation (FKRLF) application for free ownership of Florida’s Sand Key Lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The lighthouse is now being auctioned off by the General Services Administration to the highest bidder. FKRLF has placed a bid, but they may have competition from a private concern with deep pockets.

Oldest Scottish Lens

The oldest hyper-radial lens in Scotland has reached its new home at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburg, Scotland. The eight large semi-circle shaped sections weigh nearly 4 tons and will now become part of the museum’s world class collection. The lens was once in the Fair Isle North Lighthouse.

Highland Light to Be Open

Last year, the Cape Cod National Seashore announced that October 21st would be the last day that the Highland Lighthouse would be open for climbing until 2020 when renovations would be completed. However, a recent press release stated that the lighthouse will now open this spring as much as possible during renovations. Highland Lighthouse is also known as the Cape Cod Lighthouse.

Pen Pals Wanted

Lighthouse Digest subscriber Randy Chase is looking for pen pals to write to and exchange lighthouse post cards with. You can write to him at: Randy Chase, 405 N. Glenwood, Enid, OK, USA, 73703.

Huron Light to Glow From the Base Up

The 1936 Huron Harbor Lighthouse in Huron, Ohio will now be cosmetically lighted from the base up. City officials have reached an agreement with the Coast Guard to install and fasten LED lights around the structure’s base to light up all four sides of the lighthouse at night. The City committed $14,000 to the project, and they may spend another $2,000 so that they can remotely swap out the white lights with colored lights for special occasions, such as St. Patrick’s Day and the 4th of July. The lights that will light up the tower will not affect the red flashing beacon on the top of the tower that is the actual aid to navigation. It seems to us that the City of Huron would have been wiser to use that money to have a replica lantern built and installed on top of their headless tower to bring it back to historical correctness.

Loves Cedar Keys

Toni Collins wrote, “Wherever I go, people recognize that I am a supporter of the Cedar Keys Light Station.” Her license plate reads CEDKY. We love it. Send us a photo of your lighthouse- related license plate and we will publish it.

New Statue to Honor Keeper Kate

Katherine “Kate” Walker, who lived at the Robbins Reef Lighthouse for 33 years, from 1885 to 1919, first as the wife of a lighthouse keeper, then as the lighthouse keeper, will be honored with a statue overlooking her home in New York Harbor as part of the She Built New York initiative, which addresses the fact that there are almost no statues of notable women in New York City. Thanks largely to the leadership of Erin Urban, the Nobel Maritime Collection in Staten Island, New York has actively been preserving and telling Kate Walker’s life story and also restoring the lighthouse where she once lived.

Crisp Point Keepers to be Honored

Philip F. Eby, who was the 1st assistant keeper at Michigan’s Crisp Point Lighthouse from 1915 to 1916, and 2nd assistant keeper at Wisconsin’s LaPointe Lighthouse from 1913 to 1915, will be honored with a U.S. Lighthouse Service Memorial Marker on July 14th at 1PM at the Pinecrest Cemetery in Oscoda, Michigan. Also being honored that day will be James Burton Hunter, who served at the Crisp Point Life-Saving Station.

New Caretakers for East Brother Lighthouse

Tyler Waterson and Tiffany Danse have been hired as the new on-site, innkeeper-caretakers of California’s East Brother Light Station, which is located on an island in San Francisco Bay and operates as a Bed and Breakfast. After a story appeared that the City of Richmond, California was looking for new caretakers, Mayor Tom Butt said, “I have had thousands of inquires or applications from dozens of countries and in many languages that I can’t even read.” But, only 55 of the applicants met the qualifications. To learn more about spending the night at this lavish lighthouse bed and breakfast, you can visit their web site at www.EBLS.org.

Delaware Lighthouse Restaurant To Be Replaced

The Lighthouse Restaurant in Dewey Beach, Delaware is being demolished to be replaced by a new restaurant at the same site. However, the old tower by the restaurant’s waterfront, a replica of the no longer standing Cape Henlopen Lighthouse, will remain standing to be restored.

Love of Lighthouses Shows

The automobile license plate of Nancy Abbott shows off her love of lighthouses. The plate, which features Washington State’s Mukilteo Lighthouse, is a specialty plate that helps raise money for the preservation of that state’s historic lighthouses. The letters on the plate read LTHSLVR. As a point of interest, the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival will be held September 6 to 8. For more information go to www. MukilteoLighthouseFestival.com.

Mark Twain Lighthouse to be Rebuilt

In 2017, we reported that the famous Mark Twin Memorial Lighthouse in Hannibal, Missouri would be restored in 2018. That never happened because the tower was in worse shape than originally thought. The City of Hannibal has now approved nearly $135,000 to totally rebuild the lighthouse. The first Mark Twain Lighthouse was built in 1935, but it was destroyed in a storm in 1960 and it was rebuilt in 1963. In 1994, the badly deteriorated lighthouse underwent a major restoration and was relit by President Bill Clinton. I have to wonder that, if the City of Hannibal had properly cared for the lighthouse and provided proper regular maintenance, that it would not have to be torn down and rebuilt again.

Lightship Gets Money

The U.S. Lightship Museum was recently awarded a $575,000 grant from the Community Preservation Act – Boston towards the restoration of the Nantucket Lightship LV 112.

Chesapeake Group Turns 30

Congratulations to the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Originally formed as the Virginia Chapter of the U.S. Lighthouse Society, they changed their name to Chesapeake in 1993. They are an extremely active group and they are always looking for new members. Congratulations to them. To learn more, you can visit their web site at www.cheslights.org.

Changing Nubble Light

A 2018 television ad for Ford automobiles used an image of Maine’s Cape Neddick Lighthouse, which is more commonly known as Nubble Light. However, they used some artistic license when they moved the tower and enclosed walkway to the other side of the keeper’s house by flipping the photo. They are still using this same image for their 2019 advertisements.

Twenty Year Moving Anniversary

It’s hard to believe, but this summer marks the 20th Anniversary of the moving of North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. To this day, it is still considered an engineering marvel. The 193-foot tall lighthouse was moved 2900 feet to the southwest in only 23 days. Not only was the lighthouse moved, but so were all of the support structures, including the oil house, the double assistant keeper’s house, and the head keeper’s house. The move cost $12 million. In preparation for the move, the light was extinguished on March 1, 1999 and relighted on November 13, 1999. Business owners in the area were elated because tourists flocked to witness the historic move. As a point of interest, Kathleen Finnegan, managing editor of Lighthouse Digest, was one of the few who were allowed to be under the lighthouse during the move. The hard hat that she wore, and was autographed by the moving crew, is now in the collection of the Maine Lighthouse Museum. Shown here is the image used for the cover of the August 1999 edition of Lighthouse Digest that depicted the move of the lighthouse.

Students Learn About Lighthouses

Fifth through eighth grade students at Beals Elementary School in Beals, Maine recently undertook studying about lighthouses. Each student chose a Maine lighthouse to research and then create a visual display board, a research paper, and they even painted their lighthouse for the project. Their completed projects were then displayed at an evening event hosted by the Beals Historical Society. To research their projects, the students read various issues of Lighthouse Digest magazine and the following books: Lighthouses of the Sunrise County; Portland Head Light, A Pictorial Journey Through Time; The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife; and Lighthouse In My Life. (Photo of Burnt Island Lighthouse Maine display board courtesy of Carol Davis.)

Burnt Coat to be Painted

The light tower at Maine’s Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse, a/k/a Swans Island Lighthouse, will be painted this spring. Also, if you are interested, the apartment in the restored keeper’s house is available for rent. FMI, go to www.BurntCoatHarborLight.com

New Lighthouse Movie

A new movie The Vanishing gives its interpretation of the true mystery as to how the three light keepers vanished in 1900 from the Flannan Islands Light Station off the coast of Scotland. The movie is available to rent or purchase from Amazon.

Replica Boat House Planned

The folks at Mission Point Lighthouse in Traverse City, Michigan hope to build a replica of the boat house that once stood at the site. They hope to have it completed in time for their 150th anniversary celebration in 2020.

National Lighthouse Day

Although it may not be an officially government sanctioned day, August 7th is widely recognized as National Lighthouse Day in honor of August 7, 1789 when the First Congress of the United States federalized all lighthouses. Please plan on visiting a lighthouse on that day to show your support of all the volunteers who are helping to make a difference at so many lighthouses.

This story appeared in the May/Jun 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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