Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2021

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comment From the Tower


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Safety Issues Close Cape Lookout

North Carolina’s Cape Lookout Lighthouse in the Cape Lookout National Seashore has been closed due to safety issues. A recent inspection discovered problems with the cast-iron flooring and rails on the gallery, separations between iron stairs and masonry, cracks in landing plates and other structural problems. The closing of the 169-foot-tall tower that was completed in 1859 comes a few months earlier than expected because the lighthouse was going to be closed this fall for renovations that could take as long as two years. The visitor’s center and museum in the former keeper’s house will remain open.

Fund to Deter Graffiti

The City of Grand Haven, Michigan has done some fundraising to create an anti-vandalism account for the iconic South Pier inner and outer lighthouses. In the month of August of last year alone, the lighthouses were spray painted with graffiti more than six different times. The plan is to raise $10,000 to install motion-detection security cameras that will be directly connected to the county dispatch center.

The Grand Haven Lighthouse Conservancy and the Grand Haven City Council allocated $5,000 to create the fund which was followed immediately by a $1,000 private donation. It is hoped that the cameras can be installed by late spring or early summer.

Ribbon Cutting at Cape St. George

This past February 1st, the St. George Lighthouse Association, along with the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate a nearly $100,000 renovation project of Florida’s Cape St. George Lighthouse. It was the largest restoration project at the lighthouse since it was reconstructed in 2008 at its current site on St. George Island. Part of the restoration was from a $24,000 grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association.

Whaleback Makes Cover

The 1872 Whaleback Lighthouse off the coast of Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire was featured on the cover of the New York State Teachers Retirement System 2020 Annual Report. The report utilized the words “Strong, Resilient, Secure,” which describe both the program and the lighthouse.

Seguin Now Solar

Maine’s Seguin Island Lighthouse is now running fully on solar power. This was a major expense to the Friends of Seguin Island Light and nearly emptied their coffers. They are appealing for donations for their 2021 projects which include museum upgrade, window work, repairs to the tramway, painting the main building, and general maintenance. Donations can be mailed to Friends of Seguin Island Light Station, 72 Front Street, Suite 3, Bath, ME 04530.

New Management for Erie Land Light

Under a two year lease agreement, the nonprofit Presque Isle Light Station Board will take over management of the Erie Land Light from the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority. However, the Port Authority will continue to own the Erie Land Light and the two acres of land surrounding it, which includes the now vacant keeper’s house. The nonprofit group hopes to open the 1867 Erie Land tower for climbing as soon as the COVID-19 rules are relaxed and at some point open up a gift shop on-site. Currently, the Presque Isle Light Station Board manages the nearby 1873 Presque Isle Lighthouse located in Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Floral Heart COVID Memorial

Cape Neddick Light Station (Nubble Light) in York, Maine was among 100 sites where floral heart arrangements were placed on March 1, 2021 as part of a national day of mourning across the United States to recognize those lost to the COVID-19 virus. Artist and Maine native Kristina Libby created the project. Diana Seaver, gardener for the towns Parks and Recreation Department created the heart shaped arrangement from synthetic peonies, roses and hydrangeas and it was hung on the Nubble Light Oil House by Matt Rosenberg. To learn more about the project go to www.FloralHeartProject.com.

We Want to Hear from You

We welcome your comments, suggestions, story ideas, story submissions, and photographs. Submissions may or may not be used. Anything submitted and used might be edited at our discretion. If submitting photos by email they must be high resolution. Contact us at Editor, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630 or email to Editor@LighthouseDigest.com.

License Plate Designer Dies

Bruce H. Martin, 84, of Saunderstown, Rhode Island, has passed away. He was an active member of the Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse. His natural gift for architectural drawing led him to be chosen to be the designer of Rhode Island’s Plum Beach Lighthouse automobile license plate, which raised thousands and thousands of dollars toward the restoration of the 1899 lighthouse that was once on the “Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses.” Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Execution Rocks Leader Dies

We are saddened to report on the passing of Craig W. Morrison, 63, who, since 2007, had been leading the fight to save and restore New York’s notorious Execution Rocks Lighthouse. An accomplished musician, Craig Morrison founded and became president of Historically Significant Structures, the nonprofit that in 2009 obtained ownership of the 1850 lighthouse that is located out in Western Long Island Sound.

Former Keeper Dies

Daniel A. Discianno (1931-2020) passed away this past October in Pontiac, Michigan. He joined the United States Coast Guard when he was 17 and was stationed in 1949 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. There he met his wife-to-be, “Bernie” Smith, and they were married in 1951. They were transferred to Hawaii in 1955 where Dan served on a buoy tender traveling the South Seas. Later, he was transferred to the Great Lakes region, serving at Wisconsin’s Manitowoc Breakwater Lighthouse, Two Rivers Lifeboat Station and Rawley Point Lighthouse in Two Rivers, both also in Wisconsin. Dan was serving on Grays Reef Lighthouse in Lake Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac when, on the night of May 6, 1965 during a heavy fog, the lighthouse was struck by the 504-foot freighter J.E. Upton. Later that same year, he was promoted to Chief Engineman and transferred to Long Beach, California where he served on the USCG icebreaker Burton Island. The following year the ship took supplies and scientists to McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. After 20 years, Dan retired from the Coast Guard. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.


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This story appeared in the May/Jun 2021 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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