Digest>Archives> Sep/Oct 2020

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comment From the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Bass Harbor Light Transferred

As we predicted back in 2017, Maine’s Bass Harbor Lighthouse is now officially part of Acadia National Park. On July 8, 2020, ownership of the lighthouse was legally transferred to Acadia National Park. The transfer includes the tower, keeper’s house, oil house and barn, plus two acres of land. In 2012, the Bass Harbor Head Light was featured on a U.S. Quarter and in 2016 it was featured on a postage stamp honoring the National Park Service. The lighthouse is a popular spot for tourists, but parking has always been a problem. Acadia National Park also owns Bear Island Lighthouse and Baker Island Lighthouse, two lighthouses that very few tourists ever get to visit. (Photo by Janet Hutnik)

Print Edition of Beacon Stopped

Due to financial concerns caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keeper’s Association is no longer printing the hard copy version of the Beacon, their quarterly publication. Instead, at least for the time being, it will be available to their membership as an electronic version.

$4.3 Million Approved for Cape Forchu

The municipality of the District of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia has adopted a whopping $4.3 million master plan to upgrade the Cape Forchu Lighthouse. The upgrades will take place in six phases over a ten year period and will include an upgrade to the tower stairs, expansion of a trail to the beach and salt marsh area, and construction of a new restaurant and gift shop. The current tower was built in 1961 to replace an earlier 1839 tower. (Photo by David Siegelman)

Point Prim 175th Delayed Until 2021

The 175th anniversary celebration and party for Canada’s 1845 Point Prim Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island has been postponed until 2021. Some restoration projects have already taken place at the lighthouse and it was scheduled to be painted this year. The celebration was postponed due to concerns over the Pandemic. The light is currently cared for by the Point Prim Lighthouse Society that was incorporated in 2011. (Photo by Pam Larson)

Beavertail Lighthouse to be Excessed

Rhode Island’s Beavertail Lighthouse is expected to be declared excess property of the U.S. Coast Guard. The property is currently leased to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, which in turn sublets it to the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum Association. Either of these organizations, or the local community, could become the new owner. (Photo by Francine Dollinger)

Neighbors Win Battle Against Lighthouse

After years of battling with the private trust that owns the Wings Neck Lighthouse in Pocasset (Bourne), Massachusetts, its neighbors have won their legal battle to stop weddings and other large gatherings at the lighthouse. According to their web site, the restored light station is still available for a minimum seven-day stay at $5,999 per week. In 1930, the keeper’s house from Ned’s Point Lighthouse in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts was floated to the Wings Neck Light Station to become the keeper’s house there. In 1945, the entire Wings Neck Lighthouse station was discontinued and sold into private ownership. (Photo by Francine Dollinger)

Marshall Point Museum Turns 30

The Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum in Port Clyde, Maine is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, the museum, located in the former keeper’s house was opened in 1990. They also have a gift shop on site. (Photo Carol Cosio)

Photo Correction

The airplane photo on page 25 of the May-June 2020 edition of Lighthouse Digest was incorrectly identified as a Ford Tri-Motor plane. The plane in the photo is actually a Boeing 40A built in 1927. It carried two passengers and 1200 pounds of mail. It was built specifically for Boeing Air Transport to carry mail between Chicago and San Francisco. Thanks to a number of our astute and knowledgeable readers who caught this error.

Fund for Straits Lighthouse

The future of the Michigan’s Round Island Lighthouse, in the Straits of Mackinac, is now ensured thanks to a new fund established by Charles and Patricia Eckenstahler that will be managed through the Mackinac Island Community Foundation (MICF). According to MICF, the new fund will need some time to grow, but it will be an avenue to help the lighthouse make repairs that it currently needs. (Photo by Greg Stanley)

Orfordness Comes Down

This past July, the 1792 Orfordness Lighthouse in Orford, England was dismantled with sections of it to be saved for display at a nearby location. Because of the restrictions of the Orford Ness National Nature Preserve and the delicate eco-system where the lighthouse stood, it could not be moved. It was originally believed that the lighthouse could only be allowed to collapse and succumb to Mother Nature’s erosion.

Culprits Hang Political Sign

Vandals broke into Long Island Sound’s 1912 Huntington Harbor Lighthouse and hung a political banner from the lantern’s outer railing. Upon leaving, they jammed the door so the volunteers who care for the lighthouse couldn’t gain immediate access to remove the sign. However, by the time law enforcement arrived on the scene, that banner had been removed. It is illegal for nonprofit preservation groups to be involved in politics in any way. Hopefully the culprits will be caught and prosecuted. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Huntington Lighthouse MusicFest, a major fund-raiser for the lighthouse, had to be canceled this year, one more reason why they didn’t need the expense of getting a door fixed. (Lighthouse Digest archives photo by Gina Manfredi)

Rude Crowds at Watch Hill Light

Ann Snowden, president of Rhode Island’s Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers Association board, reported in an email to the Westerly Sun newspaper that: “We have had enormous trouble with crowds, difficult people, illegal all-day parking and ignoring the no sanitation facilities and using the rocks. We had to hire a policeman . . . to work along our security guard.” To solve one small part of the problem, they might consider installing a couple of porta-potties. But that won’t solve the problem of rude people.

Changes at NELL

Lee Hall has resigned for personal reasons as the vice-president of NELL (New England Lighthouse Lovers). Lee has been a very active member of the group for years and he will be missed. NELL is a very active nonprofit dedicated to raising funds and public awareness for New England’s lighthouses. Their tours and events are well known by lighthouse aficionados. To learn more about them, you can visit their web site at www.NewEnglandLighthouseLovers.org.

Smeaton’s Tower Painted then Graffitied

Smeaton’s Tower, one of the former Eddystone Lighthouses, in Plymouth Hoe England was vandalized with graffiti within hours after the extensive restoration was completed. Hopefully the idiots who painted the graffiti will be caught and properly dealt with.

To see this story with all photos as printed in the SeptOct issue, click here.

This story appeared in the Sep/Oct 2020 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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