Digest>Archives> Jan/Feb 2019

From The Lighthouse Service Bulletin

By Jack Graham


You can see an enlarged version of this picture by clicking here.
>> Click to enlarge <<
Historic image of Galloo Island Light Station, ...

This column continues to provide excerpts from the “Lighthouse Service Bulletin,” a monthly publication of the Bureau of Lighthouses, U.S. Department of Commerce. The first was issued in January 1912, and it continued throughout the existence of the Bureau. Unedited quotes from Vol. 11, No. 18, dated June 1919, follow. The Bulletin had as its object “supplying information that will be immediately useful in maintaining or improving the standards of the Lighthouse Service, and of keeping the personnel advised of the progress of work and matters of general interest in the service and in lighthouse work in general.”

Victory Liberty Loan - From reports received to date employees of the Lighthouse Service have subscribed to bonds of the Victory (Fifth) Liberty Loan in the amount of $344,500. The Bureau is proud of the large subscription made by employees of this Service in this and also in the four preceding loans, and desires to express appreciation for the efficient work done by the various committees designated to secure subscriptions of employees.

Palmetto Piles – Owing to immunity from attacks by submarine borers, palmetto piles have been used advantageously in certain localities infested by these pests which so quickly destroy the ordinary untreated pine pile. The somewhat fragile character of the palmetto pile however limits its use to locations where damage by collision is absent, where the bottom is such that the pile may be jetted into place without the necessity of driving by heavy blows, and where the pile is not required to sustain any considerable bending or compressive stresses.

It has been found by experience that the average uncapped palmetto pile will give about 6 years’ service, and that when the “cabbage” is removed and the pile head properly capped with tarred felt, sheet lead, or similar protection, the length of service may be extended to 12 years.

Accident While Coaling Light Vessel – On April 21, 1919, while the lighthouse tender Heather was coaling Swiftsure Bank Light Vessel No. 93, Washington, one of the small boats of the tender, loaded with coal, when hauling clear of the tender’s side and toward the light vessel, was caught suddenly by a tide swirl and capsized. Life lines were immediately thrown to the cargo boat’s crew and all were rescued, after which the boat and its gear were picked up. Great credit is due the officers and crew of the tender for the prompt and energetic action in saving life and property, as well as the commanding officer of the light vessel for his prompt action in casting adrift the mooring line, which contributed to the saving of the lives of the cargo boat’s crew, and the Department has commended Emil Hammarstrom, commanding the tender Heather, . . . and also Samuel Atkinson, commanding Swiftsure Bank Light Vessel.

Executive Order – On April 16, 1919, the President signed an Executive Order reserving for lighthouse purposes three unsurveyed islands in the Straits of St. Mary, an area of Lake Huron, one known as Squaw Island, and the others known as Pipe Island Twins.

Visibility of Lights – Report has been received from the master of Boston Light Vessel No. 54, Massachusetts, to the effect that on the night of May 30, 1919, the lights at Cape Cod and Race Point Light Stations, Massachusetts, distant from the light vessel 37 and 28 nautical miles respectively, were plainly seen by him from the light vessel. These lights would be visible under normal conditions as to refraction, with the observer on the deck of the light vessel, 19 and 11 miles respectively.

Alterations To Type L Gas and Bell Buoy – To improve the stability of the Type L gas and bell buoy in cases where it is moored in exposed waters, the superintendent of the sixteenth lighthouse district recently altered the construction of the buoy by adding a cylindrical extension piece constructed of sheet steel to which a cast iron counterweight was attached. It appears from observations taken that the buoy is much stiffer in rough water than before the change was made, but still has plenty of motion to ring the bell. A buoy as altered was placed on an exposed station in Alaska last fall, remaining there all winter, and its operation appears to have been entirely satisfactory. . . . The cost of the construction of this extension was $226.

Savings of Life and Property – On April 19 Robert C. Graves, Keeper, and Willie E. Frazier, Asst. Keeper, Galloo Island Light Station, N.Y., went to the assistance of the disabled power boat Louis Donald, with a cargo of 10,500,000 minnows aboard, and towed it to the lighthouse dock. The four men aboard were furnished food and lodging at the lighthouse until the morning of April 22.

This story appeared in the Jan/Feb 2019 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