Digest>Archives> Sep/Oct 2012

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comment from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Cape Bear to Be Moved

Now that a new community group has been formed to take over the long term care of the endangered Cape Bear Lighthouse on the southeastern tip of Canada’s Prince Edward Island, it is hoped that it can be moved before it topples over the precipice. The 1881 lighthouse is now less than 17 feet from the edge. Press reports indicate that Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans, the agency which oversees the Canadian Coast Guard, will assist in the relocation of the lighthouse. In 1963 the keeper’s house was moved a quarter mile from the lighthouse. The Marconi Station at Cape Bear was the first Canadian land station to receive the distress call of the Titanic in 1912.

Hatteras Grave Marker Project

The Hatteras Island Genealogical and Preservation Society (HIGPS) is in the midst of searching for descendants of the United States lighthouse keepers who hailed from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to find the locations of the lighthouse keepers final resting places on the island in order to place Lighthouse Keeper Memorial Markers at their graves. If you can help you can e-mail the group at hatgensoc@yahoo.com. The HIGPS is to be congratulated for taking this important initiative.

The Flag Phantom

The Flag Phantom has struck again at Alabama’s Sand Island Lighthouse. A 4 x 6 foot flag has been flying all summer form atop the lighthouse. Every year the mysterious Flag Phantom has visited the 131-foot tall abandoned lighthouse and brings a new flag to the top of the lighthouse. The lighthouse sits at the west side entrance to Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. The message we received from Capt. Hal Pierce said, "God Bless the Flag Phantom and God Bless the United States of America."

Keeper of the Books

Congratulations to Rear Admiral William F. Merlin (USCG (Ret.) for recently being honored as Keeper of the Quarter by the U.S. Lighthouse Society. He is the volunteer Treasurer of the U.S. Lighthouse Society who not only keeps the books, but provides guidance and oversight to the group but as the USLHS says, he is also not afraid to get down in the trenches to assist in other ways.

Taiwan Lighthouse Changes

This is the last year that Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance Directorate-General of Customs will be managing that nation’s lighthouses, something they have done for the past 140 years. As part of a government reorganization plan, starting in 2013 the lighthouses will come under the authority of the Ministry of Transportation and Communication.

Town Says No to Boon Island

The town of York, Maine is not interested in taking over the states tallest lighthouses. One spokesman for the town said that they already have Nubble Lighthouse, so they are doing their share and have no interest in Boon Island Lighthouse in the waters off the coast of southern Maine. The American Lighthouse Foundation states that they are submitting a letter of interest for ownership. However, the letter of interest does not obligate them to actually apply for ownership of the structure under National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. If no one wants the lighthouse, it will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. (Photo by Philmore Smith.).

From Near and Far

Despite being the eastern most lighthouse on the mainland of the United States, by July 2, West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine, had greeted visitors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This summer they welcomed their 200,000th visitor since opening five years ago. (Photo by Gerry Braun.).

Manistique Wants Its Lighthouse

The Manistique City Council in Manistique, Michigan has voted to move forward with its collaboration with the Michigan Lighthouse Conservancy to acquire the Manistique East Breakwater Lighthouse. We commend the Manistique City Council for its initiative to help insure the long term care of the historic lighthouse. (Photo by Sandra Vargo.).

Grand Traverse Honored

Michigan’s Lt. Governor Brian Calley dedicated the Grand Traverse Lighthouse as being the first "Michigan Is Listening" destination, for creating a family-friendly environment for Autism families. Congratulations to the people at Grand Traverse Lighthouse who made this happen. (Photo by Bob Jacobs.)

Stepping to the Plate

Congratulations to Amy Wininger who has stepped forward to become the new Fundraising Chairperson of the New England Lighthouse Lovers (NELL). The all volunteer group, which is a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, has raised thousands and thousands of dollars for many lighthouse preservation projects in New England. (Photo courtesy NELL)

New Owner for Lake Huron Beacon

Ownership of Michigan’s Port Austin Reef Lighthouse has been awarded by the federal government under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act to the Port Austin Reef Lighthouse Association the group that has been carry for the lighthouse since the 1980s

This story appeared in the Sep/Oct 2012 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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