Digest>Archives> Mar/Apr 2015

Progress at Oswego Light

By Timothy Harrison


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The Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse in Oswego, ...

It’s been just a little over a year since the H. Lee White Museum signed a lease with the City of Oswego, New York to take over the care and restoration of the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse and the museum has taken on its new role with gusto.

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A model of the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse ...

Although some projects and work were completed before the museum signed the lease, 2014 saw a surge in activity and public support for the lighthouse. The primary focus has been on restoring the interior of the lighthouse. However, in order accomplish that goal it was necessary to install a self-composting toilet in the old bathroom. The lack of electrical power at the lighthouse, to say nothing of current EPA regulations, made providing this facility a challenge. Power, necessary for the operation of the toilet, is now provided by a solar panel charging a battery system.

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A museum volunteer and members of the SUNY Oswego ...

The biggest challenge was that all materials have to be transported to the lighthouse by boat. But by the end of the working season, over 450 hours of work, with 27 trips that included two to twelve volunteers each time, were completed at the lighthouse by volunteers. Some of the volunteer efforts were provided by members of the track team from the State University of New York.

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This large heart was displayed at the Oswego West ...

One of the biggest projects was to shift the primary access point in the concrete caisson below the lighthouse from the south door to the west door, which had not been used for over 40 years. The west door was made operational and securable and now provides a safer and more secure access point for volunteers and workers. To draw attention to their efforts, the volunteers conducted a number of public outreach programs. Those included a replica of the lighthouse that had been built by the staff at the Port of Oswego Authority being used in parades, and a large lighted heart was display from the lighthouse as part of “Love Our Lighthouse” campaign. Restoration will continue this year, and on June 20th and 21st, the H. Lee White Museum will host the second annual Central New York Lighthouse Challenge. For more information you can visit the web site of the H. Lee White Maritime Museum at www.hlwmm.org.

This story appeared in the Mar/Apr 2015 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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