Digest>Archives> July 2010

Keeper's Korner

News, Tidbits & Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Keeper Retires

After 34 amazing years, Norbie Brand, 60, has retired as the lighthouse keeper of British Columbia's picturesque Cape Beale, Lighthouse. Located on the west coast of Canada's Vancouver Island at the entrance to Barkley Sound it is one of Canada's last staffed lighthouse stations. Hopefully Canada will allow lighthouse keepers to remain at those stations. To remove them would be a travesty in more ways than we have room to mention here.

Visit Round Island

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.

Needles Repairs

One of the famous lighthouses across the Pond will undergo major repairs to keep it from toppling over. The massive project will require digging a trench and the sinking of a ring of stabilizing posts around the base of the lighthouse and infilling with concrete. Established in 1785 the current tower dates back to 1859. The Needles Lighthouse is located on Alum Bay off the western tip of the Isle of Wright, England.

Tours to Execution Rocks Lighthouse

New York's Execution Rocks Lighthouse will be open for a rare opportunity to visit the lighthouse. The next available dates are July 18, August 7, August 29 and September 26. You will need to pack your own lunch. The cost for the tour is $75 per person and reservation are required by calling 215-906-5103. Children under 12 are not allowed and you must be able to climb a ladder to get to the lighthouse. The boat departs from Port Washington Long Island. This is a rare opportunity you will not want to miss.

Crisp Point Benches for sale

Michigan's Crisp Point Lighthouse is making available benches by the viewing platform at the lighthouse. If you would like to buy a bench and have a plaque put on it, the cost is $800.00. Tribute opportunities like this don't act long, so if you would like to help out, please call Rick Brockway, president of the Crisp Point Historical Society at 517-230-6294 or 517-546-5283.

Owls Head Light Gets Repairs

Visitors to Maine's Owls Head Lighthouse this year will finally get to see the lighthouse as it looked 100 years ago. The station received some major restoration work thanks to $80,000 from the Federal Stimulus Act for work on the tower and an additional $168,000 from the U.S. Coast Guard for lantern room restoration. The lighthouse is the shortest tower in Maine but sits majestically high atop on hill in Owls Head Maine at the entrance to Rockland Harbor in Penobscot Bay.

Nantucket Lightship Back to Boston

The world's largest and probably the most famous lightship, the Nantucket LV112 is now back in Boston. Its original home port. The vessel will now become a permanent floating learning center.

Award to Point Betsie

A rehabilitation project at Michigan's Point Betsie Lighthouse has earned a 2010 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation. The volunteers of the Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse are to be congratulated.

Light to be Lit

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Minnesota's Split Rock Lighthouse the lens in the lighthouse will be lit on the first Friday of each month from now until November. If you plan on attending you are encouraged to bring a flashlight as the grounds will be dark. The rare lighting of the tower will take place at sunset and it will remain lit for one hour.

Michigan Lights Apply for Grants

Ten Michigan lighthouses have applied for grants from Michigan's State Historic Preservation Office for funds from the sale of "Save Our Lights" lighthouse license plates, which is administered through the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Fund.

Boathouse Demolished

Without public notice, the City of Port Clinton, OH, demolished the boathouse that belonged to the Port Clinton Lighthouse. The Mayor stated it was a safety issue, so no public notice was required. This is in spite of the fact that Ottawa County Historical Society wanted to move the structure to its site to be restored. However, some of the wood from the structure has been saved and the city said they will give it to the historical society. A photo of the boathouse in its original location can be seen the book, Ghost Lights of Lake Erie.

UK To Shut Down Some Lights

Trinity House, the organization in charge of all lighthouses in the United Kingdom has announced that Blacknore Point Lighthouse in Portishead and Orford Ness in Suffolk will be discontinued. Also, the power of the Beachy Head Lighthouse in Suffolk and the Hartland Point in North Devon will be greatly reduced. In another action Trinity House announced that the Maryport Lighthouse in Cumbria will be given to the local community.

Toledo's Roof

The architectures report on the condition of Toledo Harbor Lighthouse has determined the roof of the lighthouse is not made of steel, but wrought iron. Miraculously, in all those years, the roof has never rusted. It seems that the roof dates back to the Carnegie-U.S. Steel days and when the roof was produced there were very few to no imperfections in the iron and the coating.

The Pirates Are Coming to Old Baldy Lighthouse

The Meka II Pirate Ship will be sailing into the Bald Head Island Marina around 5:00 p.m., Friday, August 6.  It is expected that pirates from Blackbeard's Crew will try to prevent the Meka II from docking.  Thus begins a weekend of pirates and history, all for the benefit of North Carolina's oldest lighthouse, Old Baldy.  Come for one day or for all three.  Details can be found on Old Baldy's web site, www.oldbaldy.org or call (910)457-7481.

This story appeared in the July 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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