Digest>Archives> Mar/Apr 2021

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comment From the Tower


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$750,000 Grant for Bald Head lighthouse

The Old Baldy Foundation has been awarded a whopping $750,000 grant to repair damage from two hurricanes and to fortify North Carolina’s 1818 Bald Head Lighthouse. In 2017, the sandstone roof cap and vent ball were restored and repairs were made to windows. However, in 2018 Hurricane Florence caused significant damage to the exterior stucco, which, if not fixed, will cause water infiltration to the tower. Additionally, the adjacent museum has received damage to historic artifacts during the past two hurricanes.

Lens Returns Home

The 4th order bi-valve Henri LePaute lens that was originally installed in Florida’s Crooked River Lighthouse in 1895 and removed by the Coast Guard in 1976 has been returned to the light station for display in a new exhibit at the museum in the former keeper’s house. For the past 45 years, the lens had been on the 11th floor of the Coast Guard’s district office in New Orleans, Louisiana. The current lens in the lantern at Crooked River Lighthouse is a replica made of acrylic that was installed in December of 2007 by the Carrabelle Lighthouse Association. (Lighthouse Digest archives photo by Lou Kelllenberger)

Is Charlie Johnson Around?

A man name Charlie Johnson is shown in this undated photo in front of Wisconsin’s Racine Breakwater Lighthouse. If Charlie Johnson is still around, please email Wayne Sapulski of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keeper’s Association at gltalker@gmail.com. He’d like to know your memories of servicing lighthouses on the Great Lakes. And so would we.

Who Is This Man?

The caption on the back of the photo reads “Gull Rock Light, Michigan with Officer in Charge from Manitou Island in small boat.” The date of the photo is unknown.

If you can help us identify the man in this photo, please email us at Editor@LighthouseDigest.com.

Bob Hastings Dies

Robert D. Hastings III, who was instrumental in creating the location of the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine from its previous entity The Shore Village Museum, passed away at the age of 72 on January 3, 2021. Our condolences go out to his wife Donna, his family, and friends.

Arrest Made at Derby Wharf

A man was arrested by National Park Service Rangers when he was spotted vandalizing the Derby Wharf Lighthouse in Salem, Massachusetts. Apparently, he wrote “COVID is fake” on the structure. The short 23-foot-tall tower is now owned by the National Park Service. When it was built in 1871, it was painted red and remained so until 1922 when it was painted white. It never had a lighthouse keeper; instead, lamplighter/caretakers were assigned to the tower. One man, John Lynch, performed the task for 20 years, from 1885 to 1905. (Photo by Roberta Powers)

COVID Strikes Lighthouse Savior

We are saddened to report on the passing of Susan Henretty Ruddick who died on January 24, 2021 at the age of 82 following a brief battle with COVID. She served as a board member, president, and chairman of the Sconset Trust. She and her late husband led the Sankaty Head Lighthouse Campaign that raised $4 million toward moving the lighthouse on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts away from the eroding bluff. Our condolences go out to her family and friends. Donations in her memory can be made to The Sconset Trust, P.O. Box 821, Siasconset, MA 02564. (Sankaty Head Lighthouse photo by Mick Sybal)

Lorain Light Gets Gift

The Port of Lorain Foundation has received a $25,000 gift from Patrick and Susan Mahony in honor of his parents James and Phyllis Mahony. Patrick said he remembers when his father, who was the news editor and columnist for the Lorain Journal, first arranged a visit for him to the lighthouse when he was eight or ten years old. Part of the money will go toward a new mechanical lift for the lighthouse and the rest will go into an endowment fund for the lighthouse. The current lighthouse was built in 1917 to replace an earlier structure. In 1965 when it was announced that the Coast Guard was going to demolish the structure, preservationists came forward to stop the demolition and save the lighthouse. (Lighthouse Digest archival photo)

License Plate Wanted for Tybee Island

Georgia State Rep. Jesse Petrea introduced legislation in the Georgia General Assembly that would create a special license plate featuring that state’s 1867 Tybee Island Lighthouse. But, before the bill can proceed, there must be a pre-order of 1,000 plates at a cost of $25 per plate. If enough are presold, Georgia could have a Tybee Island Lighthouse license plate in 2022. Funds from the plate would go to the Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum. (Tybee Island Lighthouse photo by Laura Timberman)

Found in Antique Store

This winter ice scene photograph of Michigan’s 1924 Ludington North Pierhead Lighthouse with two passenger car ferries was found in an antique store by Lighthouse Digest subscriber Lin Sanborn.

It is believed that the ships are the SS Badger, the SS Spartan, or the SS City of Midland 41. The vessels were built between 1941 and 1952. The SS Badger is still in operation, but the other two vessels were discontinued as ferries in 1979.


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This story appeared in the Mar/Apr 2021 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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