June 1995 Cover Honored Stamps
The June 1995 cover of Lighthouse Digest featured the five lighthouse postage stamps that were issued by the United States Postal Service. The First Day of Issue Ceremony, held on June 15, 1995, drew thousands of people to Cheboygan, Michigan to partake in the events of the day. It was the largest event for lighthouse postage stamps in United States history.
Soviet Troops Take Over
This original discarded photo from the Acme Newspapers, now in the archives of Lighthouse Digest, was published on November 30, 1929 with the following caption: “A view of part of the undefended Finnish island of Seiskari, reported to have been occupied by Soviet forces operating in the Gulf of Finland.” Today a modern and much taller light tower stands nearby, and the last we heard, the tranquil setting, shown here, is overgrown and showing signs of disrepair.
Cana Island Light: Then and Now
In 1902 the Lighthouse Service decided to encase the deteriorating brick of Wisconsin’s 1870 Cana Island Lighthouse with steel plates. The space between the tower and the steel plates was then filled with concrete and the tower was painted white, the color it remains today.
Sears Island Lighthouse
The Sears Island Lighthouse on Indian Lake in Worcester, Massachusetts was not named after the famous store and catalog. This lighthouse facsimile was built in 1929 by the Kämpen Lodge of the International Organization of Good Templars, a temperance society that had been established in 1851. When they built their lodge at Indian Lake, they also built the 20-foot lighthouse, complete with a gold leaf lantern top, presumably as a symbol in their battle against the drinking of alcohol. Today the lodge is privately owned and the Sears Island Lighthouse, shown here in a photograph taken on September 13, 1931, still stands to this day.
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Efficiency Star
Photographs of lighthouse keepers wearing the U.S. Lighthouse Service Efficiency Star are extremely rare. However, if you look closely at this photo, you will notice the U.S. Lighthouse Service Efficiency Star on the jacket lapel of keeper Clifford W. Sanderson. A lighthouse keeper was awarded the blue-colored Inspector’s Efficiency Star for a well-maintained station. If a keeper was awarded the Inspector’s Star for three years in a row, he would then be awarded the red-colored Commissioner’s Efficiency Star.
Clifford W. Sanderson served for an amazing 49 years as follows:
1st assistant light keeper - Cana Island, Wisconsin 1884-1889
Head Keeper – Cedar River, Michigan 1889–1890
Head Keeper – Dunlap Reef Range, Wisconsin 1890-1924
Head Keeper – Cana Island, Wisconsin 1924-1933
(Courtesy of Edgar Bletcher from the Barb & Ken Wardius collection)
In Uniform at Point Iroquois
Lighthouse author Jerry Biggs is shown here wearing his U.S. Lighthouse Service reproduction uniform in 1996 at Michigan’s Point Iroquois Lighthouse. The lighthouse offers a volunteer caretaker program where people can live in an apartment year-round. (Photograph by Bill Penrose)
Old Cars at Piedras Blancas
This original discarded press photo, published on June 1, 1962, of California’s Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is one of many old discarded newspaper images that have been saved and preserved in the archives of Lighthouse Digest. The most interesting part of this photograph is the old automobiles of the Coast Guard personnel who were stationed there at the time, which helps to interpret the photographic history of the lighthouse. The 1st order Fresnel lens and the lantern were removed from the 1879 lighthouse after it was damaged in an earthquake on December 31, 1948. The lighthouse was automated in 1975. The lens is now on display inside a replica lantern at Pinedorado Grounds in Cambria, California. Current plans call for a new lantern to be installed on the top of the tower.
Reason for Photo Unknown
Because we have been unable to find the news article associated with it, we don’t know why noted photographer Tony Carannante took this photo of New York’s Staten Island Lighthouse on July 18, 1972 for a newspaper story. This image clearly shows the date of 1909 and the letters USLHE over the top of the tower’s entryway door; however, it took a while longer to actually complete the rest of the tower and get it operational. It was lighted for the first time on April 15, 1912. The letters USLHE stand for United States Lighthouse Establishment, which later became United States Lighthouse Service. The Staten Island Lighthouse is also known as the Staten Island Range Rear Lighthouse, the Ambrose Channel Rear Range Lighthouse, and, because of its location on Richmond Hill, the Richmond Lighthouse.
The Lindbergh Beacon
Named after famous aviator Charles Lindbergh, the Lindbergh Beacon became operational at 9:00 p.m. on August 27, 1930 atop the Palmolive Building in Chicago, Illinois. The beacon had two lights, one to guide the nighttime airmail pilots flying across Lake Michigan to Chicago, and the other to point the direction to the Chicago Municipal Airport, which is now Midway Airport. The beacon was operated under the auspices of the U.S. Lighthouse Service Airways Division. Eventually, when other buildings were constructed that were taller than the Palmolive Building, the beacon was discontinued. Although the tower still stands today, it only has a ceremonial light. Its original beacon was removed many years ago and is now on display at the AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
This story appeared in the
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