Digest>Archives> January 1999

Keepers Korner


Tid-bits from the Tower

Preservation News

The first members of the newly created Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse Advisory Committee have gone forward despite the objections of two town Councilors. Nominated to the panel were Mayor Robert Peabody, Nancy Gifford, Keryn Joyce, Nat Saltonstall, Robert Stevens, and David Pierce. Also serving on the advisory panel in a non-voting position are Pam Hooydonk of the Rockland Lions Club which runs the Friends of Rockland Breakwater and Harbour Master John Trumble. Donations to help save and restore the lighthouse are made through the Friends group which is a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation a non-profit group dedicated to saving lighthouses. If you would like to make a donation it can be sent directly to Friends of Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, P.O. Box 741, Rockland, Maine 04841.

A government grant of $250,000 will be used to help rebuild the landing ramp at Massachusetts Thacher Island Lighthouse. The Town of Rockport will need to raise an additional $100,000 for the building of a concrete ramp to replace the old one which was destroyed in a storm. The island and the twin towers of the island have been closed to the public since the boat ramp was destroyed. This past summer the South Tower was solarized by the U.S. Coast Guard and volunteers have kept the trails open and clean, even though the island has been off limits to the public. It is hoped that the island and towers will again be open to the public by the year 2000.

It seems that a monument to honor the two keepers killed when the original Minot's Ledge Lighthouse collapsed into the ocean will become a reality. However, there is a dispute as to what type of monument and how big it should be. All the powers that be in the town of Cohasset, Massachusetts have approved the monument, except for the size. But it will become a reality.

What was left of the reproduction of the lighthouse keepers quarters at New Jersey's Absecon Lighthouse was demolished. The keepers quarters were destroyed by an arsonist's fire. The building was 95% complete when the fire struck. The lighthouse tower was not damaged and will be again opened to the public. Officials are asking that anyone with information on the fire to please call the Atlantic County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-658-8477. The Keepers House will be rebuilt.

New Jersey is a very active lighthouse state with lots of involvement. If you are interested in joining a very active group, contact the New Jersey Lighthouse Society, P.O. Box 4228, Brick, NJ 08723.

The ownership of two Michigan lighthouses have been transferred from federal ownership to local ownership. The Sand Island Light Station in Escanaba, Michigan was transferred to the Delta County Historical Society and the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse at the end of the Keweenaw Peninsula was transferred to the Keweenaw County Historical Society.\

Shop Talk

Portland Head Light & Fort Williams is the title of a new comprehensive book just released. For those of you who are familiar with Maine's Portland Head Light, you will know that the lighthouse is located on the grounds of old Fort Williams, (no longer in use) which was part of one of the heaviest fortified military sites on the east coast of the United States. The soft cover book, with 104 pages, includes many rare photos of the fort and large gun emplacements that were once there. Well researched it is great for every lighthouse aficionado, history buff, and military historian. The book can be ordered from Lighthouse Depot as item # 91877 for $11.50 plus shipping by calling 1-800-758-1444 or by mail at P.O. Box 1690, Wells, Maine 04090.

Lighthouses and Life Saving along the Massachusetts Coast is another fantastic new book. What sets this 128 page soft cover book apart from any other book published about Massachusetts maritime history is that this one contains many never before published rare photographs, many from the private collection of James Claflin. For lightship buffs, there is an entire chapter with rare photographs. The book is available as item # 91873 from Lighthouse Depot for $18.95 plus shipping by calling 1-800-758-1444 or by mail at P.O. Box 427, Wells, Maine 04090.

A great new hard cover children's book, Captain's Castaway has just been released. The book centers around the true story about a dog name Seaboy that was washed ashore from a shipwreck and found by the daughter of the lighthouse keeper at Maine's Great Duck Island Light Station. The book is available as item # 91876 from Lighthouse Depot for $19.95 plus shipping by calling 1-800-758-1444.

Many people have written or called to inquire about the book featured on the PBS Legendary Lighthouse series. The book is The Lighthouse Keepers Wife written by Connie Small. The book is available for $13.95 from Lighthouse Depot as Item #31643. The book details the true life accounts of Connie at some of Maine's most remote lighthouses. Connie Small, a wonderful lady, who is widely respected in lighthouse and historical circles, has given over 500 lectures on lighthouses and has appeared on numerous television and video productions.

If your grocery store carries Cape Cod Pretzels, you might want to purchase a bag. The pretzels are shaped like lighthouses! There is even a picture of Massachusetts' Nauset Lighthouse on the front of the bag and a brief history of the lighthouse on the reverse side of the bag. What a neat idea!

We recently read a national newspaper article about a store in South Dakota that hands out $2 bills in change. Many of you who have visited the Lighthouse Depot retail store in Wells, Maine, and received change from a cash purchase, know that we have been handing out $2 bills for a number of years. People are surprised as well as delighted to receive a $2 bill from us. Many people save the bills and always remember where they got it from.

Lighthouse Tidbits

An Oklahoma man, Clint Branhan, flew his girl friend, Christy Lynn Atkinson, all the way from Oklahoma to Maine, just so he could take her to the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. Once at the lighthouse, he proposed to her in the lantern room of the lighthouse. He had arranged it all ahead of time with the Harbour Master, who opened the lighthouse for them. Christy was totally surprised by the whole thing, but she did accept.

Speaking of romance, Judith Ann Scheele of Enfield, CT and Thomas J. Kelly of Marlborough, MA were married at ceremonies held at the Old Stonington Lighthouse in Stonington, CT. If you know of a wedding at a lighthouse, send us the information and photos and we will do our best to publish them.

William Lewis, whose photograph of Comet Hale-Bopp in the sky over Michigan's Old Presque Isle Lighthouse appeared in our October 1998 issue, is becoming quite a celebrity in Michigan. THE NEWS, a Michigan newspaper, did a full page story on him, featuring many color images of some of his favorite photos, two of which contained lighthouses. Congratulations, Mr. Lewis!

This story appeared in the January 1999 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.

All contents copyright © 1995-2024 by Lighthouse Digest®, Inc. No story, photograph, or any other item on this website may be reprinted or reproduced without the express permission of Lighthouse Digest. For contact information, click here.

to Lighthouse Digest

USLHS Marker Fund

Lighthouse History
Research Institute

Shop Online

Subscribe   Contact Us   About Us   Copyright Foghorn Publishing, 1994- 2024   Lighthouse Facts     Lighthouse History