Digest>Archives> June 2010

Keeper’s Korner

News Tid Bits and Editorial Comment from the Lantern Room

By Timothy Harrison


New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge

This year’s New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge, which is open to the public, will be held October 16 & 17. This year, night climbs will also be offered at Absecon, Barnegat, Cape May, Sandy Hook, Tinicum lighthouses and at Tuckerton Seaport. A tri-fold souvenir pamphlet will be available for one dollar at each lighthouse and then will be stamped at each lighthouse you visit to commemorate your participation in the event. FMI go to www.njlhs.org.

New Dungeness leader passes

Barry Dove, one of the driving forces behind saving Washington’s New Dungeness Lighthouse, has died at the age of 55 after fighting a battle with cancer. Until his resignation last November, Dove was the lone paid staff member of the New Dungeness Lighthouse Association, a position he earned after a decade of volunteering. Friends and associates all agreed that he was get-it-done person who will have to be replaced by six people. Barry is survived by his wife of 27 years, Belinda, and daughter, Xisa, 16, his mother and a brother. In his honor, the historical sites trail around the station will be named the Barry Dove Interpretative Trail and the top-most window in the lighthouse tower has been donated in his name. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Biloxi Goes Golfing

The winner of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Golf Tournament received a cash prize of $240,000 plus a 14" replica of the newly restored and recently reopened Biloxi Lighthouse. The lighthouse is a symbol of the tenacity of the people of Biloxi and those who worked to save the lighthouse that was severely damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

Marshall Point Lighthouse on Cover

The 2010 issue of Maine Discovery Coast Magazine, available from the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, features Maine’s Marshall Point Lighthouse from the artwork of Alan Claude, who has been featured in past editions of Lighthouse Digest.

Spain Wants To Convert Lighthouses

The government of Spain is amending its national laws on the use of historic lighthouses to make it easier to turn them into hotels, B & B’s and other types of tourist attractions. The nation still has 40 lighthouse keepers on active duty.

TV Series Pilot at Grosse Point

The pilot for a new CBS-TV series "The Line" was filmed at Grosse Point Lighthouse in Evanston, Illinois. The program stars Dylan Walsh who plays an ATF agent and Tim McManus who plays a sophisticated bank robber.

Point Clark Gets $495,000

The magnificent Point Clark Lighthouse, one of Canada’s six "Imperial Towers," will soon be receiving a $495,000 restoration as part of Canada’s $374 million being used for improvements at that country’s national parks and historic sites.

Round Island Lighthouse Wants You

If you’ve ever visited Mackinaw City, Michigan or taken one of the ferryboats to Mackinac Island you’ve seen Round Island Lighthouse from a distance. Now, for the only time this year you can actually go out to the lighthouse and visit it. The tour, sponsored by the Freeland Boy Scout Troop 323 will take place on July 10 from 10am to 4pm. For more information contact Pat Eckenstahler at 219-878-3481 or visit their web site at www.RoundIslandLightMichigan.com

Changes in Rockland

The Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, have elected Eric Davis as the new chairman of the group. Davis replaces Dot Black, who served as the chairperson since 1999 when I reorganized the group on behalf of the American Lighthouse Foundation. Dot Black, who recently underwent hip replacement surgery, will now be devoting 100% of her time to the Maine Lighthouse Museum, founded by her late husband, Ken Black, who was known by most as Mr. Lighthouse. We thank Dot for her 10 plus years of unequaled dedication and service and fully support her future endeavors at the Maine Lighthouse Museum.

Changes at ALF

Dot Black, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation (ALF) since 2007, has been replaced by Jeremy D’Entremont, who will serve as Interim President of ALF until elections are held later this year. Although elections are supposed to be held later in the year, through a Board of Directors action, they also promoted, by a Directors vote, Jim Streeter to first vice president and Tom Kenworthy to second vice president. In other developments not previously reported here; the American Lighthouse Foundation severed all official ties with the Maine Lighthouse Museum and cancelled their loan agreement for Coast Guard artifacts that, with the exception of one item, have now all been transferred to the Maine Lighthouse Museum.

New Exhibit at White River

A new interpretative display in the oil house at Michigan’s White River Lighthouse in Whitehall is opening. Another new exhibit is centered on the U.S. Life-Saving Service, complete with a Lyle gun and breeches buoy.

Sanibel Gets Ownership

Florida’s Sanibel Island Lighthouse tower is now officially owned by the City of Sanibel. Previously, the city owned the buildings and the land around the tower, but not the lighthouse. Sanibel’s mayor, Kevin Ruane, said one of the first things they plan to do is paint the tower. If you are interested, Harbour Lights makes two different size model replicas of the lighthouse that are available at www.LighthouseDepot.com or by calling them at 1-800-758-1444.

Gratiot Keeper Recovering

Bob Hanford, 84, who has been the on-site tour guide at Michigan’s Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, is recovering from surgery to repair a broken hip suffered in a fall on April 15. Always wearing his lighthouse keeper’s uniform, Bob has been on hand at the lighthouse for an amazing 22 years greeting visitors to the historic structure. Thousands of people have met Bob and had their photo taken with him. They all left with a better understanding of the history of the lighthouse and the important role the lighthouse keeper had in history. Bob is one-of-a-kind, and we wish him the very best during his recovery.

Contractor for Monomoy

Campbell Construction has been awarded the contract to restore Monomoy Point Lighthouse on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Campbell Construction of Beverly, Massachusetts is no stranger to lighthouse restoration projects. Their expert restoration craftsmanship has been done at a number of lighthouses, including Brant Point, Cape Cod-Highland, Duxbury Pier and Thacher’s Island lighthouse in Massachusetts and Point Judith Light in Rhode Island and West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Maine.

Ship Island Lens

The lens from the no longer standing Ship Island Lighthouse, Mississippi has been returned to the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum’s temporary location in Biloxi, MS. The lens was nearly destroyed during Hurricane Katrina when a wall of the museum collapsed on it, shattering the lens into a hundred pieces. The lens was put back together by lens expert Joseph Cocking and had been on temporary exhibit after it was restored at Florida’s St. Augustine Lighthouse.

Meet Us in Michigan

Yes, Lighthouse Digest will have a booth at the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival to be held in Alpena, Michigan this October 8, 9 & 10. It’s a great time of the year to visit Michigan and tour some of their beautiful lighthouses. It would be a great time to meet us and we’d love to meet you. Plus, there will be many lighthouse groups from around the Great Lakes that will have booths at the festival. This year is the 15th year for the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival and it promises to be an enjoyable event where you can meet lighthouse people from all over the country, view new lighthouse products, meet lighthouse authors and get an autographed lighthouse book, and help support various lighthouse projects.. Make your motel reservations now!

New Book on the Hard Luck Coast

JoAnn Semones, who has written a couple of past stories in Lighthouse Digest, has a new book out titled, Hard Luck Coast: The Perilous Reefs of Point Montara. This new book follows her previously successful book, Shipwrecks, Scalawags and Scavengers: The Storied Waters of Pigeon Point. The book deals with the disasters and near disasters off Point Montara in a scholarly, yet affectionate, style that is both easy to read as well as being informative. The Point Montara Lighthouse is the only American lighthouse to have stood on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. Hard Luck Coast can be ordered from Glencannon Press Maritime Books at 1-800-771-8985 or on-line at www.glencannon.com.

Special Thank You

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our readers who keep sending us story ideas, old photos, newspaper clippings, advertising with lighthouses, etc. I wish we had the staff to personally reply to each and every one of you. Everything you send is important, and some will be used to develop stories, some of which will take longer than others to develop. Thanks again, and please, keeping sending us whatever you stumble across. You are our eyes and ears to the world. We could not do it without you.

This story appeared in the June 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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