Digest>Archives> Nov/Dec 2019

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Point Betsie Launches Capital Campaign

The Friends of Michigan’s Point Betsie Lighthouse have launched a capital campaign to raise $1 million-plus for projects that include critical repairs to the vintage 1944 Shoreline Protection System and improvements to safety and accessibility on Point Betsie Road.

Thanking the Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard transferred a number of parts from the recently retired double-drum beacon at Charleston Light in South Carolina to the Nauset Lighthouse on Cape Cod, Massachusetts so that Nauset Light could continue operation. The Nauset Light Preservation Society said that they would like to publicly thank BOSN Richard Keefauver, BMC David Browne, BM1 Brandon Luffman, and BM3 Zachary Draim, all who were instrumental in arranging the transfer.

Marcus Hanna Commander Relieved

CWO J. L. Horne, commander of the USCGC Marcus Hanna WLM-554, was permanently relieved of command this past August due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command. The cutter Marcus Hanna is named after famous lighthouse keeper Marcus Hanna who served at Maine’s Pemaquid Point Lighthouse from 1869 to 1873 and Maine’s Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse from 1873 to 1888.

One of Scotland’s Last Keepers Dies

Donald Michael, 80, one of Scotland’s last lighthouse keepers, died this past July. Starting in July of 1965, he served at a number of Scottish lighthouses for the Northern Lighthouse Board. In 1994, he became the principle keeper at the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, where he served as its last lighthouse keeper until its automation on March 30, 1998. Michael Strachan of the Scottish Lighthouse Museum said his passing marked the end of an era and “reinforces why we need to remember the light keeper and record the memories of the few keepers still alive.”


The Wisconsin Point Lighthouse in Superior Point Wisconsin was sold this past August through a General Services Administration auction for a mere $159,000. The lighthouse is also known as the Superior Entry Light, Superior Harbor Entry Light and Superior South Light. The new owner is Steven Broudy from California. Hopefully, at some point the new owner will open the lighthouse to the public.

Repairs to Sabine Pass

International Chimney Corporation, the famous lighthouse restoration and lighthouse moving company, has added tension bands with turnbuckles to Louisiana’s Sabine Pass Lighthouse. This is just the first step in a restoration process that will cost around $3 million that still needs to be raised.

Amanda’s License Plate

LHKPR - This is the automobile license plate of Amanda (Mandi) Janeczek who has been a “keeper” at New Jersey’s Absecon Lighthouse for the past 16½ years. What an appropriate license plate. E-mail us high resolution photos of your lighthouse-related license plate to Editor@LighthouseDigest.com and we’ll publish it in Lighthouse Digest.

Friends Celebrate 40 years

The Friends of Maryland’s Concord Point Lighthouse recently celebrated an amazing 40 years of taking care of the lighthouse and operating a maritime museum in the restored keeper’s house. Congratulations to them! (Photo by Greg Krawczyk.)

Power Lines Gone

The beauty at Rhode Island’s Beavertail Lighthouse has been restored with the removal of the overhead power lines. This was the result of the combined efforts of the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association Board, Brittain Electric, DEM, National Grid, Verizon, Rep. Deb Ruggiero, and donors who helped to fund the endeavor.

Lighthouse Promotes Breast Cancer Awareness

A large pink ribbon was installed on the Metropolis Lighthouse (aka “Hope Light”) to help mark this past October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to launch an annual campaign to bring attention to the need for mammograms and/or clinical breast screening exams for women beginning at age 40.  The Metropolis Lighthouse is the world’s only lighthouse that was designed for, built for, and dedicated to the fight against cancer. The lighthouse was built in 2014 and is located in Metropolis, Illinois on the bank of the Ohio River. As in the functional role of a real lighthouse in navigating the way into safe harbors, the Metropolis Lighthouse fulfills its functional role by helping navigate the way to cancer awareness and provide hope for early cancer detection and survival. For more information on breast and all other cancers and to find out how to sign up for breast cancer screening reminders, see the Hope Light Foundation’s website at www.hopelightproject.com. 

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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