On this past National Lighthouse Day, one of the most historic and exciting lighthouse events of 2005, the grand opening of the Museum of Lighthouse History in Wells, Maine, took place. The museum, which is owned and operated by the nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation, held a festive ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate its recent expansion. The museum is dedicated to sharing with the general public the history of our lighthouses and the artifacts associated not just with America's lighthouse service but also with lighthouses all over the world.
U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral David P. Pekoske, commander of the First Coast Guard District, was the guest of honor at the ceremony. In addition to Rear Admiral Pekoske, representatives from the offices of U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins were in attendance, as well as Maine State Representative Ron Collins and
“Mr. Lighthouse” Ken Black, founder of the Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine.
Each dignitary took a moment to pay tribute to the one man who was the driving force behind the creation of the Museum of Lighthouse History, Tim Harrison, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation. Harrison’s passion for saving America’s lighthouse history and sharing with the general public the amazing story of the men, women and children who helped keep the lights shining is second to none. ALF Executive Director Bob Trapani served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event and led the introduction of Harrison, saying, “Inside the walls of this building is a story that is without parallel. The man who made it all possible is truly the keeper’s “keeper” — Tim Harrison.”
The overflowing crowd in attendance at the grand opening listened intently as Harrison described the purpose of the museum, saying, “The Museum of Lighthouse History is your museum — it belongs to you!” Harrison went on to say, “The museum is a tool to help educate the general public about lighthouses and why it is important to save them and preserve their history.”
Following remarks by the dignitaries, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held, led by U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral David Pekoske, “Mr. Lighthouse” Ken Black and ALF President Tim Harrison. The symbolism associated with the ribbon cutting was deeper than simply signifying the grand opening of the Museum of Lighthouse History. The ceremony also conveyed to the public the success of the American Lighthouse Foundation’s partnership with the United States Coast Guard and local communities to preserve the many historic lights under the organization’s stewardship, as well as the museum’s mission to “leave the light on” for future generations to appreciate and understand the importance of America’s rich lighthouse heritage.
The Museum of Lighthouse History is open to the public for free and is a fun learning experience for the entire family. To learn more about the museum and the lighthouse preservation efforts of the American Lighthouse Foundation, call (207) 646-0245 or visit the ALF website at www.lighthousefoundation.org
This story appeared in the
October 2005 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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