Digest>Archives> August 2007

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Isles of Shoals Boat Gets Boost

The Isles of Shoals Steamship Co., which offers many cruises that view New Hampshire and Maine lighthouses, recently got a public relations boost when it was mentioned in travel writer Patricia Schultz's book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. The owners of the boat company have always been strong supporters of lighthouse preservation.

Bird Concerns At Great Captain

Some environmentalists are worried that the beginning of the restoration project at Connecticut's Great Captain Lighthouse could affect the dwindling colony of nesting herons and egret rookery birds on the island. But restoration experts disagree saying that most of the first stages of the work will be inside the lighthouse. The island was once home to the largest colony of these birds in the state. My question would be: If it once was the largest colony of nesting birds when lighthouse families staffed the island and it declined after the lighthouse was abandoned with no human element, why would human activity now affect it? Perhaps the birds actually liked the presence of humans?

Bodie Island Work Underway

The long anticipated restoration at North Carolina's Bodie Island Lighthouse is now underway. One of my favorite lighthouses, it is the one we seem to get the most questions about. People seem to always write that the lighthouse looks in good shape, so why is in considered an endangered lighthouse? We'll keep you posted as information reaches us with stories and photographs.

Race Point Goes National

The overnight stays at Race Point Lighthouse on Cape Cod Massachusetts got an unexpected boost from both Travel & Leisure Magazine and a plug on NBC-TV's Today show. The remote lighthouse that was saved by volunteers of the Cape Cod Chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation is open for overnight stays as a hostel.

Groins for NC

It seems the North Carolina Senate wants to allow coastal structures called groins to be built as erosion control, which runs against the state and federal policies. You may recall, those that were against the moving of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse to save it, thought that groins would stop the erosion and save the lighthouse. Most experts debunked this theory and the lighthouse eventually was picked up and moved to its new location. It was also proven by storms after the move that the building of groins would not have saved the lighthouse.

Coast Guard Retiree Newsletter

We are looking for an original or a high-resolution scanned image of the cover of the Coast Guard Retiree Newsletter from October 1983 Issue 10-83. It features newspapers being delivered to the Relief Lightship. If anyone can help please mail to Editor, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630 or email editor@LighthouseDigest.com.

Oak Island Goes National

Oak Island Lighthouse in Caswell Beach, NC has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Normally a structure must be over 50 years old, but the 1958 tower was last official lighthouse built in the United States and perhaps its architectural design influenced the final decision to include it on the all-important list.

Lighthouse Owners Apply For Demolition Permit

It seems that a combination of higher taxes, waterfront development and political agendas, which adversely affect the financial ability of the owners to effectively maintain the Ogdensburg Harbor Lighthouse in New York have forced them to apply for a demolition permit. What a shame that would be to see this beautiful lighthouse lost. Although the demolition permit was denied it shows just another type of crisis that faces lighthouse ownership in many regions of the nation.

Rockland Seeking Photos of Coast Guard Affiliation

The City of Rockland Maine is seeking photographs and memories from any era that tie the City of Rockland to its rich Coast Guard history and heritage. If you know of any information or have photos to share please email them to DotBlack@midcoast.com or mail the photos and information to her at Dot Black, 174 Sennebec Road, Union, ME 04862.

New Book on Cuckolds

James Roche was only three days old when he first visited Maine's Cuckolds Lighthouse. In his adult life he followed a career in the Coast Guard. When he realized no one had ever written a book about the lighthouse, he took on the challenge. The book is now available for $10.95 at various bookstore outlets.

Michigan Lights Map To Be Published

The West Michigan Tourist Association will be publishing its first Lake Michigan Tour and Lighthouse Map in January 2008. For 2007

they published a Lake Michigan Circle Tour and Lighthouse Guide in partnership with Trails Media. They decided to go with the map, over the guide, for 2008 because of so many requests from travelers that the map would be more beneficial to them.

Campbell's Soups Features Lighthouses

Three new 15-second television commercials for Campbell's Soup will feature Oregon's Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. It is not known in what markets the commercials will appear.

Sesquicentennial Southold

Sesquicentennial Southold, New York's Horton Point Lighthouse recently marked its 150th anniversary with a free party, featuring music by the U.S. Coast Guard Band. For more information on the Horton Point Lighthouse go to: southoldhistoricalsociety.org/lighthouse.htm.

Steamship Company Helps ALF

In recognition of National Lighthouse Day (August 7), the Isles Shoals Steamship Company in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is doing something special from August 1 through 7. On their daytime sightseeing cruises during that period (9:55a.m. and 1:25p.m. each day), there will be a 50/50 raffle, with the proceeds going to the American Lighthouse Foundation. There will be volunteers on hand to share information about the foundation and its local chapters. These cruises pass three lighthouses: Portsmouth Harbor, Whaleback, and White Island. See www.islesofshoals.com or call 800-441-4620 for more information.

Tree Trunk To Lighthouse

Chainsaw artist Duane Mason of Wellington, Oho recently spent four days transforming an old elm tree into a model of Ohio's famous Marblehead Lighthouse. Although we have not yet seen a photo of it, one person reported to us that it was an amazing work of art.

Thacher Island Gets Grant

The estimated cost of a $250,000 restoration of the south tower of Massachusetts twin lights on Thacher Island in Rockport received a grant for half of the restoration worked that is need on the tower.

Nubble Light Needs Repairs

It is now estimated that damage to Maine's Cape Neddick "Nubble" Lighthouse caused by the April nor'easter will cost over a one million dollars. The storm caused massive erosion to the island, damage to the keeper's roof, and major damage to the boathouse, boat ramp and stairs to the island. The community is seeking money from FEMA to help defray the expensive costof repairs.

Nelson's Publish Updated Version

Sharlene and Ted Nelson have published a 2007 edition popular Umbrella Guide to Oregon Lighthouses. Published by EZ Nature Books of San Luis Obispo, CA it is available at many bookstores and through Lighthouse Depot.

Keeper's Son Dies

John M. Scharff, Jr. 88, of Fairhaven Massachusetts past away end of June after a long illness. He was the son of the late John and Margaret Scharff and he grew up at Massachusetts's lighthouses at Great Point, Gurnet Plymouth and Nobska.

Earn Money For Your Group

You and your lighthouse group or any other legitimate group such as schools, churches, museums or any type of nonprofit can earn money for your group by selling subscriptions to Lighthouse Digest. The potential could be amazing if you spend just a little bit of time at it, plus we are now offering a higher incentive. With so many small organizations struggling to survive or stay afloat, we believe this is a wonderful way to make a difference. Not only will you help your group, you will also help in drawing much needed public attention to lighthouses and

the current efforts to save them. Plus, you will also be helping us save and tell many of the stories of yesteryear, which are vital to save for future generations. For more information call us at (207) 259-2121 or email editor@LighthouseDigest.com.

Cards For Stricken Lighthouse Owner

Long time Lighthouse Digest subscriber, friend to the lighthouse preservation movement and owner of Vermont's Windmill Point and Isle la Motte Lighthouses, 90-year old Lucky Clark, is recovering from a serious illness. We're sure he'd enjoy receiving cards from lighthouse people around the nation. You can write to him at: Lucky Clark, P.O. Box 494, Champlain, NY 12919.

This story appeared in the August 2007 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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