Digest>Archives> September 2000

Keepers Korner

Tid-bits from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison



The mortgage on Sheffield Island Lighthouse, CT, which was originally $540,000 is now down to $30,000. The Norwalk Seaport Association plans on having a mortgage burning ceremony as soon as the balance is paid off.

The Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles, offers souvenir lighthouse license plates. If you would like to order one, go to their web site at https://www.dmv.state.va.us/dmvnet/souvenir_plate/intro.asp You do not have to live in Virginia. The plates are for souvenir purposes only and cannot be displayed on your car. If you live in Virginia you can actually order the real lighthouse license plate for your car.

The winners in the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse photo contest are: Grand Prize-Donna DeLena of Malden, MA; First Prize, Ted Panayotoff of Camden, ME; Karen Oakes of Vinalhaven, ME and Warren Kincaid of Rockland, ME. The photographs will be used for the new 2001 Nautical Calendar being sold as a fundraiser for the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. It is available for $10.00 plus $3.00 shipping from the Friends of Rockland Breakwater Light, P.O. Box 741, Rockland, ME 04841.

It now appears that Head Harbour Lighthouse (a/k/a East Quoddy) will become a whale watching station to watch for right whales in distress. There are only about 300 of the endangered mammals left as many are killed by fishing gear.

The Delta County Historical Society, which operates Michigan’s Sand Point Lighthouse, plans to build a replica of the original fog bell tower that once stood at the site. The original fog bell building was brought to Sand Point Light from Wisconsin’s Tail Point Lighthouse and was eventually torn down. The Society is looking for plans of the building to help with reconstruction.


What happened to the Keepers Log Books from Maine’s Winter Harbor Lighthouse? The logs dating back to 1856 disappeared from the lighthouse around 1983. If you know where they are there is a substantial reward being offered for their return. Contact Tim Harrison, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630.

Another reward offered! The Big Sable Point (Michigan) Lighthouse Keepers Association is offering a $100.00 reward to the first person to send them a photograph of the Big Sable Lighthouse before it was encased in steel plates in 1900. To make it a little more interesting, Lighthouse Digest will add another $100.00 to the pot, making the reward $200.00. What happened to those early photographs is a mystery, but we all know there must be some around. The group would like to have the photo displayed in the museum and perhaps use it in other ways, such as for promotional material. If you locate a photo please send it to: Big Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association, P.O. Box 673, Ludington, MI 49431.

And, don’t forget Lighthouse Depot and Lighthouse Digest are still offering rewards for photographs of the original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and for photos of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC and Bodie Island Lighthouse, NC before they were painted with the spiraling stripes and bands. Photographs can be sent to Editor, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, Maine 04630.

Lighthouse Preservation

Archaeologists have located the site of the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes. The foundation of the long vanished lighthouse was located about 200 yards west of the 1867 Erie Land Light in downtown, Erie, PA. Since it’s located in a public park, the site is accessible to the general public.

North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is planning a rededication ceremony for May 5, 2001. The event will take place in conjunction with a reunion of the keeper’s descendants. Meanwhile, Steve Harrison reports that the National Park Service hopes to have the keepers quarters, new restrooms etc. open way before this issue goes to press. He also indicated that they are planning on putting a new roof on the oil house. Rather than replacing the current asphalt, they will return the standing-seam tin roof shown in an 1893 photograph. They are searching for additional information or documentation on detached oil houses that have been restored to their 1890’s appearance. They think that the roof would have been painted, but are uncertain as to the color. Anyone who has been involved in a similar restoration is requested to contact Steven Harrison at steve_Harrison@nps.gov or call 252-473-2111 ext 159.

Save Our South Channel Lights, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization has received an anonymous $100,000 donation. After long, extensive negotiations, stipulations specified in the donation agreement have been satisfied in procuring long-term leases on the Old South Channel Range Lights and the State bottomlands they occupy on Lake Saint Clair. The gift can now be applied to matching grant requests to various foundations. For more information on how you can help contact Chuck Brockman at SOS Channel Lights, P.O.Box 46531, Mt. Clemens, MI 48046 or call him at 810-772-1888.

Southeast Light on Block Island Rhode Island has received a $300,000 federal Department of the Interior grant to help finish the restoration of the tower and establish a museum at the lighthouse. The money came from the America’s Treasures grant program. The new grant is addition to the $475,000 awarded the lighthouse last year for repairs.

This story appeared in the September 2000 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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