News · Passport Program

Horton Point Lighthouse Celebrates 160 Years!

HPL Anniversary StampIn celebrating their 160th Anniversary, Horton Point Lighthouse, located in Southold, NY, has a new commemorative stamp for the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Program. The Horton Point lighthouse keepers are ready to stamp passports starting on Memorial Day weekend.

The Horton Point Lighthouse was constructed by the U.S. Light-House Board in 1857. It is one of seven historic lighthouses located in Southold Township. The tower and adjoining keeper’s residence are built on the “Cliff Lot” of Barnabas Horton’s original 1640 land grant. The tower is 58 feet tall and once held a 3rd order Fresnel lens. The lighthouse was automated in 1933.

In a 1990 restoration project the tower was repaired internally and externally, reopened, and relit. At that time the lower level of the keeper’s house was converted into the a nautical museum. Listed on both the State & National Registers of Historic Places, the lighthouse is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day weekend.

Submitted by Ben Gonzalez, Horton Point Lighthouse Volunteer Committee, April 19, 2017

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

Event · News · Tours

Long Island Sound Lighthouse Conference

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Race Rock Lighthouse from the conference website

Long Island Sound Lighthouse Conference
Monday & Tuesday, April 24-25, 2017
All area lighthouse lovers & stakeholders are invited to attend the 2nd annual Long Island Sound Lighthouse Conference on Monday and Tuesday, April 24 and 25, 2017, presented by the New London Maritime Society in New London, Connecticut. Lighthouse fanciers and preservationists number in the tens of thousands in the US and they’re eager to share information, network, and learn more. Our conference aims to meet those goals.

Registration is $75 for both days, $50 for Monday, only, and $35 for Tuesday, only. Questions? call 860-447-8700, and someone will get back to you.

On Monday, attendees spend the day sharing information, learning best practices, & planning for the season ahead. A major focus is on lighthouse lenses, including technical, cultural, and historical aspects. Moderated by Elinor DeWire, presenters include Fresnel lens expert Chad Kaiser with lens videos by Dan Spinella, historians Jeremy D’Entremont and Bob Muller, representatives of the USCG, and Nick Korstad the owner of three lighthouses (one of which is a B&B)and Pam Setchell, known as ‘the woman who saved Huntington Light’, presents ‘Rock & Roll Light’ – about producing the annual Huntington Lighthouse Musicfest, the ONLY Music Festival in the WORLD held on top of a working lighthouse in the middle of the water! Living history artist Joseph Smith will portray Augustin-Jean Fresnel (1788-1827), the inventor of the Fresnel lens.

Dinner is will be at a New London restaurant, On the Waterfront  http://www.onthewaterfrontnl.com/, but is not included in the conference fee.

For both days, or for Monday, only
Find out more & Sign up: brownpapertickets.com/event/2913940

For Tuesday and the LIS Lighthouse Boat Excursion, only
Sign up at: brownpapertickets.com/event/2914005

On Tuesday morning, explore downtown New London, beginning with coffee at the Custom House Maritime Museum, where you may view two new photography exhibitions: ‘Stars & Lights: LIS’, by David Zapatka, and ‘Lighthouses, Tall Ships, and Submarines: Maritime Photos from The Day’s Photojournalists’.

We just got some new details about the lighthouse tour on Cross Sound Ferry.
At noon, we will be traveling aboard Sea Jet, Cross Sound Ferry’s fast, safe and comfortable catamaran. We will cover over 40 miles of coastline and see onshore and offshore lighthouses in three States: Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. This trip offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear stories and narration by a team of lighthouse authorities: Bob Muller, Elinor DeWire, and Cross Sound’s own Ted Webb, among them.

THREE HOUR TOUR:  The ferry will travel down the Thames, past Ledge and Harbor Lights, to North Dumpling and Plum Islands, proceeding to Gardners Point and along Plum Island traveling across LIS up to Long Beach Bar Light and Bug Light, heading back over to Coffee Pot then across to Plum Island Light, Little Gull Light (and seals), by Race Rock Light across to the west entrance to Fishers Island Sound, to see Morgan Point Light, Latimer Reef, Watch Hill Light, the home of Taylor Swift(!), then a return to New London.   Eastern Long Island Sound Lighthouse Excursion will benefit New London Maritime Society.

Submitted by Susan Tamulevich, Executive Director, New London Maritime Society, April 18, 2017

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

Event · Historic Images · News

Nighttime Photography workshop with Pete Lerro: May 22, 2017 Cape Hatteras

USLHS is pleased to announce a special event on May 22, 2017 with professional photographer Pete Lerro (www.lerroproductions.com). 

Lighthouses were made to illuminate the night sky so why not photograph them in their natural environment? Peter Lerro has been photographing lighthouses at night for over 15 years. He will teach participants how to take great lighthouse pictures at night by utilizing the light from the moon and stars as well as use a mix of fill flash. Participants will also learn how to photograph lighthouses with the milky way and star trails.

Pete Lerro III is a college graduate of Temple University in Pennsylvania where he studied video audio and photography. Lerro is currently a full-time professional photographer and owner at Lerro Productions. When Lerro is not on assignment, he organizes photo shoot tours, workshops across the country and more. His photography expertise includes family, portraits, commercials, products, landscapes, wedding and sports. Throughout his career he has shot for many major establishments including the Department of Homeland Security, NFL, NBA, NHL, USA Gymnastics, IRL and Spartan Race.

May 22 Schedule:

7:00pm:  The group will meet at The Inn on Pamlico Sound, Buxton, NC, which is a short distance from the lighthouse, and enjoy an introduction to night time photography with Pete.

7:30pm – 9:00pm:  Sunset through Dusk. Photos of the lighthouse, keepers home and lighthouse keeper in uniform with his/her trusty lantern setting up for the evening. Learn to balance between ambient light, camera and independent strobe flash.

9:30pm – 11:00pm: Night Session.  Same scenario as Sunset through Dusk,  learning to balance in moon light for added effect.

2:00am – 3:30am:   Milky Way. Photograph the tallest light in the US, balancing night lighting and time exposures with the brilliance of the Milky Way in the background!

Photographers registering will need their own transportation and a camera (DSLR style – digital single lens reflex), cable release and tripod.  Also, you’ll need a flashlight with a red lens if possible (headlamps are ideal for hands free operation of  equipment.)

Photography workshop is $150 per person. Call today to reserve at 415-362-7255 or email Nancy@uslhs.org.

 

Bald Head Lighthouse · Event · Historic Images · News

Old Baldy Celebrates 200th Birthday

BIRTHDAYFLYERThe folks at the Old Baldy Foundation are hosting a party on Saturday, April 15, 2017, to celebrate the anniversary of the construction of their 200-year-old tower. The tower has undergone numerous repairs to make her look her best for this important event (see Old Baldy Prepares for 200th Birthday published in November 2016).

The oldest lighthouse in North Carolina, the current Bald Head Lighthouse was constructed in 1817 at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. It replaced an earlier tower that was lit on December 23, 1794, to guide shipping into the port of Wilmington via the Cape Fear River. The earlier tower was lost to erosion.

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Bald Head Lighthouse in 1893. National Archives photo 26-LG-26-9
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Daniel S. Way offered to construct the proposed brick and stucco tower for $14,700. The Connecticut builder received the contract. Letter from Daniel Way to Commissioner of the Revenue Samuel H. Smith found in National Archives Record Group 26

Bald Head NC 2001 by JCC (3)

Bald Head NC 2001 by JCC (16)
This plaque above the entrance recognizes Daniel S. Way as the builder. The R. Cochran Foundry most likely provided the lantern. Photos by Candace Clifford, 2001

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

Keepers · News · Research

Lighthouse Service Employees Drafted for Service in the Civil War

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National Archives, Record Group 26, Entry 24 “Letters Received from District Engineers and Inspectors, ca. 1853 – 1900” (Letterbook 170)

Mrs. Henry Schmuck became keeper of the North Point Light Station in Maryland in 1864, not because her keeper husband died, but because he was drafted. On September 24, 1864, 5th District Inspector Hugh Y. Purviance in Baltimore wrote that “Henry Schmuck, keeper of North Point Lighthouses, has been drafted in the service of the United States; please notify me if he comes within order No. 28, issued by the Provost Marshal General. The keeper is required to report on September 26 in the District Provost Marshal’s Office. He is a valuable man to the Department, and . . . his exemption would no doubt advance its interests.”

On September 27, 1864, Inspector Purviance wrote “relative to the keeper of North Point Light House, who was to report the next day to the district provost marshal tomorrow for duty.” If you should not succeed in procuring his release, I would recommend the transfer of the light to his wife—they are both worthy people and have an interesting little family.”

Mrs. Henry Schmuck succeeded her husband as keeper in October 1864.

Was it common for lighthouse employees to be drafted? It’s fairly well known that most military officers serving as district lighthouse inspectors and engineers were recalled to active duty during the Civil War and the Light-House Board struggled to find civilians to perform their duties.

In her research on the Lighthouse Service in the Civil War, Society member and author Mary Louise Clifford has found a few references to this issue. In most cases it appears that the Light-House Board asked for, and received, exemptions to the draft for their employees.

In December 1863 Inspector Purviance had reported that C.M. Netherwood, the Mate of the Lighthouse and Buoy Tender Chase had been recently drafted into the military service. Commodore Purviance recommended that if possible, he be exempted because it would be extremely difficult to replace him. “Seamen employed on board the Revenue Cutters have heretofore been exempted and as the Revenue and Lighthouse Establishment are similar, it is respectfully recommended that Mr. Netherwood be relieved from the operation of the draft.”

In July 1864 6th District Acting Lighthouse Inspector C. O. Boutelle reported that Mr. Frank M. Bourne, Master of the light vessel stationed at Martins Industry at the entrance to Port Royal, South Carolina, has been drafted at New Bedford, Massachusetts. Mr. Boutelle recommended that his exemption be obtained on the ground of the necessities of the public service. Two days later the Secretary of War reported the discharge from military duty of F. M. Bourne, master of the Martins Industry Light Vessel.

Acting Engineer and Inspector Max Bonzano in New Orleans was drafted. He wrote to Major General V.P. Banks, Commanding Department of the Gulf, on May 4, 1865: “I would respectfully beg leave to submit to your notice that I am in the service of the US Light-House Board, as their engineer and inspector for the 8th and 9th Districts, embracing the coast of the Gulf of Mexico from St. Marks, FL, to the Rio Grande, and that I am specially charged with the reconstruction of the various aids to navigation and the supervision of the service of the lights. As the service which I render in this capacity being directly useful to the Army and Navy, I venture to request respectfully that you may be please exempt me from duty under the draft.” Fortunately the war ended soon after this letter was written and Bonzano continued rebuilding the light stations along the Gulf coast until 1868.

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National Archives Record Group 26 Entry 5 (NC-63) “Records of the Seventh & Eighth Light-House Districts (Key West, Mobile & New Orleans)” Volume 118

Does anyone have other examples of lighthouse keepers being drafted into service during the Civil War?

Submitted by Mary Louise Clifford, April 12, 2017. Ms. Clifford’s sources include correspondence from Entries 1, 5, 20, 24, 106, in National Archives Record Group 26.

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

Affiliates · Education · News

It Takes an Engineer to Raise a Lighthouse

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East Clayton Elementary students create a lighthouse “museum” each year to exhibit their models. Photo courtesy of Clayton Elementary

For many years, the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society (OBLHS) has offered to visit classrooms to talk about North Carolina lighthouses. This year, two fourth-grade teams of teachers and their students take the spotlight: East Clayton Elementary in Raleigh and Providence Creek Elementary in Charlotte. Students studied coastal features and current problems as well as lighthouse architecture.

group looks at CW lights
Students study what North Carolina lighthouses looked like during the Civil War. Photo by Bruce Roberts

Bruce Roberts and Cheryl Shelton-Roberts, cofounders of OBLHS, had the pleasure to visit Providence Creek Elementary. The center of the room was dominated by a big coastal map showing ocean and inlets and sounds. Marking major map points were students’ handmade lighthouse models–and this went on throughout five classrooms.

Small teams in each class chose one of nine lighthouses to reproduce as a 3-D model. It was great fun to listen to students explain, “This didn’t stick, then that tore, then I couldn’t get the model to be round, and the pattern [daymark] didn’t look right.” These remarks were followed by thrown-back hands and, “It’s not as easy as it looks.” Perhaps not, but these young engineers did an impressive job. These visits are always inspirational and fun. We also offer follow-ups via personal communication with students who either have further questions or share their written projects.

Showing how LED light works Providence Creek Elem Charlotte
Two young lighthouse engineers explained how their programmed LED light worked to make their model shine brightly. Photo by Bruce Roberts

Former OBLHS president, Bett Padgett, has visited with East Clayton fourth graders several times. These students have “adopted” our society and have donated well over $1,000 for the benefit of North Carolina’s lights.

OBLHS offers two types of grants to assist classes traveling to a lighthouse or to help with expenses while studying maritime history, currently included in fourth- and eighth-grade state curricula. The society has sponsored hundreds of students to visit a lighthouse. You can read more about these grants on their website.

Submitted by Cheryl Roberts, Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, April 3, 2017

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. Please consider joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member. If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to candace@uslhs.org.

 

Job Announcements · News

Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum Seeks Visitor Support Specialist

Sodus Bay Lighthouse is located on Lake Ontario

Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum, Sodus Point, New York, is looking for someone who would love to work at their beautiful museum, greeting members and visitors, helping to run their gift shop, giving tours about Sodus Bay history, and coordinating events.

For more information on this part-time position see the full notice.

Submitted by Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum, April 3, 2017.