Digest>Archives> March 2010

Keeper's Korner

News, Tidbits and Editorial from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Better Late Than Never

In the story with the above title in the November issue, in referring to the Lighthouse Service Bulletin, there was a sentence that stated, "A monthly publication that was in print from 1912 until 1939 was published by the Lighthouse Board in Washington DC and distributed to the various lighthouse keepers in the United States." Since the Lighthouse Board ceased to exist in 1910 and its duties were taken over by the Bureau of Lighthouses, that statement was in error and should have indicated that the Bulletins were published by the Bureau of Lighthouses. Additionally, in 1910, the Bureau of Lighthouses became commonly known as the United States Lighthouse Service and the old name, United States Lighthouse Establishment was dropped. To make matters even more confusing, the name United States Lighthouse Service actually began to creep into use prior to 1910.

Morris Island Stabilization

Save The Light is moving forward on its next phase of stabilization of Morris Island Lighthouse in South Carolina. A coffer dam around the structure is already in place and the next step will be finishing the foundation on the lighthouse that is surrounded by water. The tower is the only structure left standing at the sight.

Ames Family of Lighthouse Keepers

We are searching for photographs of John Ames who was the lighthouse keeper at Morris Island Lighthouse in South Carolina from 1877 to 1883 and his sons George W. Ames and James C. Ames who were the keepers, we believe, at the Little Cumberland Island Lighthouse in Brunswick, Georgia. If anyone can help please write to us at P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630 or e-mail editor@LighthouseDigest.com.

Frederick Stone Dies

We were recently saddened to learn of the passing of Frederick Everett Stone who was the son of Florida’s Hillsboro lighthouse keeper Benjamin F. Stone who served as the keeper of the lighthouse back in the early 1900s. A story about the Stone’s family life at the lighthouse was featured in the April 2009 issue of Lighthouse Digest.

Keeper Ted Moves On

After years of dedicated volunteer service to the Maine Lighthouse Museum and Maine’s Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Ted Panayotoff and his wife Jo have pulled up stakes in Maine and moved to Oswego, NY. Ted was a great asset in many ways at the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse; from hands on work, to research, and tour guide. He even wrote a book about the lighthouse. His curatorial duties and research capabilities at the Maine Lighthouse Museum were unequaled. We’re sure that Ted will continue with his lighthouse interests and you can be assured to see a story or two from him in upcoming issues of Lighthouse Digest.

Free West Michigan Lighthouse Map

The free 2010 map of lighthouses on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour is now available. Published by the West Michigan Tourist Association, the new guide is available on-line at www.wmta.org/publications-24/ or by calling 616-245-2217.

The Lights Are Out

Tom Crosby wrote to us in reference to the editorial in the December issue "The Light Was Out When This Was Done," that a similar thing happened this past summer when The State newspaper, in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Tourism published a multi-page tabloid touting tourist attractions in South Carolina. Its cover was a montage of South Carolina points of interest and proximately displayed was a photograph of the black and white spiraled Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. We all know that the world famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is not in South Carolina. ‘Shame-on-you,’ e-mails by Tom to both the newspaper and the South Carolina Dept. of Tourism went unanswered. We can only guess that either they didn’t care, were too embarrassed, or their ‘Lights are really out.’Additionally, another subscriber sent us a copy of the cover of the April-July 2008 issue of New England Travel Coupons of the type that are picked up at many rest areas along the highways. Although they could have picked any one of a number of lighthouses from the six New England states that they were promoting and representing, they featured the New Dungeness Lighthouse in Sequim, Washington on the cover of the magazine. So much for "truth in advertising."

Price Tag On History

The town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine is again considering charging an admission fee to Fort Williams Park, site of

Portland Head Lighthouse, one of the most visited and photographed lighthouses in the United States. It cost the town $175,000 a year to maintain the park and 80% of the people who visit the park are tourists.

Lighthouse Movie Released

The new movie, "The Lightkeepers," starring famous

actor Richard Dreyfuss will be released nationwide to movie theaters on March 12. Filmed on location at Race Point Lighthouse on Cape Cod, Massachusetts we gave extensive coverage to the movie in our September 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest. A special advance screening of the film was shown on Cape Cod during the first week of January. Hopefully, the movie will draw national attention to an interest in all of our lighthouses.

Great Lakes Lighthouse Conference To Be Held

If you are a member of any lighthouse group on the Great Lakes you will probably want to attend the 2010 Great Lakes Lighthouse Conference to be held on June 14-17 at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Michigan. To learn more about the conference write to Michigan Lighthouse Alliance, P.O. Box 346, Acme, MI 49610 or e-mail info@MichiganLighthouseAlliance.org.

Farnham to Retire

We recently learned that Stan Farnham will be retiring at the end of his term this October as president of the Florida Lighthouse Association. Stan has been a driving force behind the organization and a lighthouse leader who is widely respected d by everyone, everywhere, in the lighthouse community. Cards of appreciation, thanks or just a note for all his work over the years can be sent to, Stan Farham, Florida Lighthouse Association, 15275 Collier Blvd. #201, PMB 179, Naples, FL 34119

Groton Gets Lighthouse Mayor

Jim Streeter, the 2nd Vice President of the American Lighthouse Foundation, has been elected as mayor of Groton, Connecticut. Jim also was one of the driving forces behind the restoration of Avery Point Lighthouse, which was on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses, and is a Board member of the New London Ledge Lighthouse Foundation in CT. Groton is a city with a population of over 50,000. Congratulations Mayor Jim Streeter.

Mukilteo Lighthouse Renovations

Renovations at Washington’s Mukilteo Lighthouse will keep the station closed for late spring and early summer. To check on the progress of renovations, which will include tower painting and a new ramp to make the ground floor wheelchair accessible, visit their web site at www.MukilteoHistorical.org or call them at 425-353-8662.

Twins for Claudes

Congratulations to lighthouse artist Alan Claude and his wife Erin on the birth of twins. Elle Grace Claude came in at 4 pounds and Eve Lourdes Claude came in at 7 pounds. We have written about Alan Claude and his lighthouse posters several times in past issues of Lighthouse Digest.

Oakland Lighthouse Fog Bell Photo Wanted

It has been reported that Gertrude P. Boyle of San Francisco, California modeled President Theodore Roosevelt’s image on the great bronze bell that was rung for the first time to announce the entrance of President Roosevelt into San Francisco Harbor. At the time it was reported that it was the largest bronze bell ever cast on the Pacific Coast. Reports of the time indicated that the bell was ordered by the government for the light-house station in Oakland Harbor and was cast by famous bell maker Louis De Rome. Inscribed on the bell are the words "Roosevelt, May 12, 1903." If the fog bell was indeed used at the Oakland Harbor Lighthouse, what happened to it? The lighthouse was discontinued and moved in 1951 to the mainland where it became Quinn’s Lighthouse Restaurant. The lantern room was removed and placed atop the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse. But what happened to the fog bell? Was it possibly used at a different nearby lighthouse? Is the fog bell still around? If so, we’d love to have a photograph of it. If any of our readers can help please e-mail Editor@LighthouseDigest.com or call us at 207-259-2121. If you can help, we’ll send you a Lighthouse Digest sweatshirt.

Radio Lighthouse Group Celebrates 10 Years

The Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society (ARLHS) will be celebrating its tenth anniversary during 2010. Starting with only 3 ham lighthouse enthusiasts in 1999, the society has grown to over 1700 members in 40 countries. Widely known for its database of every known light beacon capable of supporting a ham station (over 15,000 at last count), and sponsors of lighthouse restoration projects and the August ILLW QSO party, as well as numerous awards (LH-DXCC, for example), the ARLHS is now recognizing its anniversary with special dues and application fee reductions. Details for awards, lighthouse events, and the new dues schedule can be found on the society’s web site at http://arlhs.com

This story appeared in the March 2010 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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