Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2019

From The Lighthouse Service Bulletin

By Jack Graham


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Stannard Rock Light Station

This column continues to provide excerpts from the “Lighthouse Service Bulletin”, a monthly publication of the Bureau of Lighthouses, U.S. Department of Commerce. The first was issued in January 1912, and it continued throughout the existence of the Bureau. Unedited quotes from Volume II, No. 49, dated January 1922, follow. The Bulletin had as its object “supplying information that will be immediately useful in maintaining or improving the standards of the Lighthouse Service, and of keeping the personnel advised of the progress of work and matters of general interest in the service and in lighthouse work in general.”

New Year Greetings - There is quoted below an extract from a letter of December 29 from Secretary Hoover, addressed to the Chief Clerk of the Department:

“With the approach of the new year, I should be grateful if you would convey to the members of the Department my very real appreciation of the fine service that they have rendered to the government during the past year. There is found nowhere a finer devotion to country rather than self than is found in the government service, and to many the remuneration must come in satisfaction for service rendered rather than in more material things. I hope that you will convey to the entire membership of the Department my very best wishes for a successful and happy new year.”

The officers of the Lighthouse Service desire to add their appreciation of the work done by all the employees of the Service during the past year, and to extend to them their best wishes for a bright and prosperous new year.

Launching of Tender “Aster” - On December 16 the tender Aster was successfully launched at the yard of M. M. Flechas, Pascagoula, Miss., being 80 percent completed at the time. The vessel, which is being built for the eighth lighthouse district, is 75 feet long overall, 21 feet beam, and the depth of hold is 7 feet 6 inches. The hull is built of wood, and the vessel will be propelled by two gasoline engines and equipped with two derrick masts.

Vessels - The following vessels are being overhauled and repaired: Light vessels No. 16, 85, and No. 88, and tenders Dandelion, Heather, Lilac, Snowdrop, Sunflower, and Zizania. The overhaul and repair of the following vessels have been completed: Light Vessels No. 1 and 72, and tenders Anemone, Cedar, Fern, Laurel, Maple, and Pansy.

Damage To Stannard Rock Light Station - The keeper of Stannard Rock Light Station, Mich., reports that at 3 a.m. on November 6 a flock of ducks struck the plate glass of the lantern, smashing two of the upper panes completely and shattering glass all over the lens and clock room. The mantle on the vapor lamp, and also a few pieces of the prisms of the lens, were broken. Four of the ducks were killed instantly – one was found inside the lantern and the other three outside.

Important Changes To Aids To Navigation - Lights established: Clifton Beach, Potomac River, Md., flashing white, lens lantern, acetylene; Florida Reefs, Pacific and Molasses Reefs, 2 flashing white lens lanterns, acetylene; Horseshoe Bend Cut Entrance, Sacremento River, Calif., flashing white lens lantern, acetylene; Egg Islands, Alaska, flashing white, lens lantern, acetylene.

Gas Buoys established: Seacoast, Conn., Submarine S-48 wreck; North-west Channel, Key West, Fla. (2), 1 with bell; Lake Huron, South End, Mich. Hickler wreck.

Savings of Life and Property - The Department has officially commended the meritorious service rendered by personnel of the Lighthouse Service in the following instances:

On December 5 the canal steamer J. C. Austin sank near Pecks Ledge Light Station, Conn. Charles J. Kenny, keeper; George H. Barger, first assistant keeper; and George H. Clarke, second assistant keeper, heard shouting and went to the rescue of four men in a rowboat, the crew of the steamer, who were in an exhausted condition. The boat was half full of water. The men were taken to the lighthouse and given food and lodging for the night.

New Construction - Nantucket Harbor Fog Signal: All completed. A spare electric cable has been delivered at Woods Hole depot and will be sent to the station as soon as possible. Chelsea Depot, Mass.; Work about 95 percent completed. A contract for building part of the wharf for westerly slip has been approved. Wings Neck and Brant Point Light Stations, Mass.; Bids have been taken again for the dwellings at these two stations. The bid for Wings Neck has been rejected as excessive. No bid was received for Brant Point. No further action will be taken until prices are normal.

That’s another sampling “From the Bulletin” Watch this space in each issue of Lighthouse Digest for more.

This story appeared in the Nov/Dec 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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