Actor’s Publicity Photo
Actor Zach Galligan (born 2/14/1964) is shown here in a publicity photo taken by the 1858 Fire Island Lighthouse in West Islip, New York. It was a publicity photo taken in September of 1982 for an ABC-TV Afterschool Special titled “A Very Delicate Matter.” Zach Galligan is best known for his role as Billy Peltzer in the 1984 horror-comedy “Gremlins,” a role he reprised in the 1990 sequel “Gremlins II.”
Horse and Carriage at Lost Light
This antique post card shows a rare image of a horse and carriage of some type at the once majestic and no longer standing 1858 Shinnecock Bay Lighthouse in Ponquogue, New York that was deliberately demolished on December 23, 1948. Although the horse and carriage are barely visible in this image, this vintage post card helps to preserve a vital part of the photographic history of the lost lighthouse as well as reminding us of the days before the advent of the automobile and hardships that the keepers and their families endured at the light stations. You can learn more this lighthouse in the story “Long Island’s Pon Quogue Lighthouse Met Violent End” in the April 2002 edition of Lighthouse Digest and in the story “A Lost Giant is Finally Honored” that appeared in the September 2012 edition of Lighthouse Digest. If you have not saved the hard copies of those issues, the stories can be found in our free online story archives at www.LighthouseDigest.com by clicking on ‘archives’ and then type in the word Shinnecock in the Search Box and you will be led to the stories.
Lighthouse Sightseeing by Bus
Over the years, we know that many subscribers to Lighthouse Digest have taken lighthouse bus tours, especially those offered by the U.S. Lighthouse Society. But, we wonder how many people remember taking tours on a bus like the one pictured here at Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This bus belonged to “The Maine Line,” which was owned by Brunswick Transportation Company. You won’t see many buses like this one, with its retro look, around anymore. Today’s modern tour buses are larger and offer more amenities and luxury.
The return address on this vintage post card, with no postmark, was U.S.C.G.T.S, which meant U.S. Coast Guard Training Ship, Alameda, California. The message to the young man’s family read, “How would you like to take a ride on this toy?” Barely visible and printed on the bottom of the front of the card are the words, “U.S.C.G Cutter on Patrol.” We are trying to identify the name of this Coast Guard cutter. If anyone can help us, please write to Editor, Lighthouse Digest, P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04639 or email Editor@LighthouseDigest.com.
On the Beach at Montauk
This image of Long Island New York’s Montauk Point Lighthouse, taken by photographer Willard R. Culver, appeared in a 1939 issue of National Geographic Magazine. It clearly shows that erosion at the lighthouse was a big problem back then, an issue that is being dealt with today. The caption, which gave a bit of a history lesson, read as follows: “Since 1795, when it was first lit, how many a storm-tossed mariner has peered through the wet night for a welcome glimpse of the faithful beam from this old lighthouse! Today, a high-powered boulevard runs the length of the island, passes just behind this lighthouse, and then curves past the fields where in 1898 the Rough Riders camped on their return from Cuba.”
Cows at Little River Lighthouse
This rare wintertime image of Little River Lighthouse in Cutler, Maine shows a man and his wife posing by the house and two cows by the barn. The cow on the left appeared to be posing for the person taking the photo while the other was simply content to graze. As with many other remote island lighthouses, cows were kept on the island for fresh milk and as a food source for the keeper and his family. The pyramid bell tower, the barn, and the extension attached on the left of the house are all no longer there. Little River Lighthouse is the easternmost island lighthouse in the Continental United States. Once considered as one of the ten most endangered historic properties in Maine, it was restored under the leadership of Timothy Harrison, editor of Lighthouse Digest, who was, at the time, also president of the American Lighthouse Foundation. It was the first lighthouse in New England and the third lighthouse in the nation to have its ownership transferred to a nonprofit under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. A few weeks after 9/11, and after having been dark for 26 years, it was relighted as a “Beacon of Freedom to the World,” an event that was filmed by the History Channel and local media. Owned by the American Lighthouse Foundation, the lighthouse is available to rent for overnight stays.
Decked out for the Fourth
The lighthouse tender Sumac is shown here in its homeport of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, all decked for the 4th of July celebration in 1924. Built in 1903 by the U.S. Lighthouse Service for duty on the Great Lakes, it was in use until 1940 when it was sold into private ownership. In 1957, the vessel was scrapped by Duluth Iron and Metal Company. (Lighthouse Digest archives photo taken by William F. Terp who was a crewman onboard the vessel from 1923 to 1926)
Keeper’s Son Remembered
Harvard Leighton (1905-1999) is shown here in 1994 at a New England Lighthouse Foundation event at the Lighthouse Inn in West Dennis, Massachusetts. Mr. Leighton reminisced about growing up at three Massachusetts lighthouses: Hyannis, Nobska Point, and Race Point, where his father Waldo Leighton had been the lighthouse keeper. The Lighthouse Inn is located in what was originally the Bass River Lighthouse. Waldo Leighton served at Race Point Lighthouse from 1907 to 1915, Hyannis Range Light from 1915 to 1929, and Nobska Point Light from 1929 to 1938.
Most Costly Lighthouse
The St. George Reef Lighthouse off the coast of Crescent City, California is shown here under construction in 1892. At a cost of $704,000, or nearly $21 million in today’s money, it is considered the most expensive lighthouse built in the United States. The lighthouse was abandoned in 1975 and left to the elements. Since 1996, the St. George Reef Lighthouse Preservation Society has undertaken the monumental task of trying to save the lighthouse.
Cross Rip Linen Post Card
Although lightship post cards can be found in the collectors’ market, they are much harder to find than vintage lighthouse post cards. This one is of the type referred to as a linen-style post card which were published from the 1930s into the 1950s. However, they were not actually made from fabric, but rather embossed stock roughened in a process meant to maximize the brightness of the colored ink and give the appearance of an image on canvas. The Cross Rip Lightship served off the coast of Oak Bluffs and Nantucket, Massachusetts. Lightships, which were basically floating lighthouses, were stationed at locations where it was too expensive or improbable to build a lighthouse. From 1828 to 1963, twelve different vessels served as the Cross Rip Lightship, the last one being the Coast Guard’s LV 102/WAL 525 which was discontinued in 1963. In January 1918, the Cross Rip Lightship LV 6 disappeared in bad weather with the loss of the entire six-man crew.
Lighthouse Tender Wakerobin
The exquisite U.S. Lighthouse Service tender Wakerobin is shown here near the end of her career in 1946 under the Muscatine High Bridge in Muscatine, Iowa. The Wakerobin, sometimes spelled Wake Robin, was designed after the Mississippi riverboats of the era. Built in 1926, its primary area of service was on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. She became somewhat famous with her rescue and other missions during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, which was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States, when 27,000 square miles were inundated up to a depth of 30 feet. In 1950, ownership of the Wakerobin was transferred to the Army Corps of Engineers, who sold the vessel to a private owner in 1955. The Muscatine High Bridge, shown in this photo, was built in 1891 and was replaced in 1972.
Coast Guard Mounted Beach Patrol
Starting in 1942 during World War II, the Coast Guard Beach Patrol employed about 24,000 men, aged 17 to 73, who patrolled thousands of miles of coastline, primarily to watch for signs of an enemy invasion and for the landing of saboteurs. Armed with pistols, rifles, and radios, they patrolled mainly on foot, accompanied in many cases with dogs, and, in some areas, as shown here, on horseback.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 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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