News

Celebrated lighthouse keeper Ida Lewis is the first woman honored with a street name at Arlington National Cemetery

Ida Lewis (1842-1911) was not only one of the most celebrated lighthouse keepers in United States history, she was also one of the most famous women of the late 1800s.  She has been honored in a number of ways; a Coast Guard buoy tender is named in her honor and the light station she tended for decades is now the Ida Lewis Yacht Club. She is now the first woman to have a roadway in Arlington National Cemetery named for her. “It’s a big deal,” Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, said this week. Until now, in the 154-year-history of the cemetery, all of the more than 40 roadways have been named for men.

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In the summer of 2001 the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Ida Lewis restored the Newport gravesite of their vessel’s famous namesake. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The cemetery’s new 27-acre section, the first geographic expansion in 40 years, was designed with two new drives. The other is being named for Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan W. Gifford, who was given the Navy Cross posthumously for heroism after he was killed in Afghanistan in 2012. He is the first U.S. Marine to be honored with a street name at the cemetery.

Ida Lewis, who was credited with saving at least 18 people from drowning during her years at the Lime Rock Light Station in Newport, Rhode Island, is buried in Newport’s Common Ground Cemetery.

 

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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. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by 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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

 

News

Replica barn to be built at Marshall Point Lighthouse, Maine

Port Clyde, Maine: The Marshall Point Lighthouse and Museum Board of Directors broke ground for the replica of the Keeper’s Barn and Workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 12, following a year-long fundraising campaign. Site preparations begin this month.

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Circa 1859 view of Marshall Point Light Station. National Archives image 26-LG-3-51.

You can read more here.

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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. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by 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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

News

Low Point Lighthouse, NS, renovated

A lighthouse has marked Low Point, in northeastern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, since 1826. The current concrete tower, built in 1936, still holds the iron lantern from the original tower. Many people pass the lighthouse on ferries from Newfoundland, on their way to Sydney, NS.

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Photo by Dennis Jarvis (Wikimedia Commons)

Thanks to the Low Point Lighthouse Society, the tower has received a needed overhaul. Low Point Lighthouse was a $75,000 grand prize winner in the 2015 “This Lighthouse Matters” crowd funding competition organized by the National Trust for Canada and the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society.

“We wanted to get it beautiful to attract some attention to it, to get some people down there,” Lawrence MacSween, co-chair of the Low Point Lighthouse Society along with Rob Murphy, told the Cape Breton Post.

Click here to read more.

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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. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by 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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

News

“Lighthouses of America” by Tom Beard gets a glowing review from the Military Writers Society of America

Lighthouses of America is a splendid and diverse pictorial collection of the American ‘castles’ guarding our coasts.  In addition to nearly 150 breathtaking photographs, Tom Beard (Editor-in-Chief) and Tom Thompson (Graphics Editor), in conjunction with the United States Lighthouse Society, accomplished a masterful job compiling a treasure trove of historical and often humorous tidbits.  The book educates and delights the reader and leaves him/her hungry to discover more.”

You can read the rest of the review by clicking here.

Lighthouses of America, published in association with the U.S. Lighthouse Society, is a beautiful 176 page, hardcover book featuring stunning photographs of lighthouses across the country taken by Society photographers.

Click here for more information and to buy the book.

News

Obituary for J. Candace Clifford

An obituary for our dear friend J. Candace Clifford appeared in the September 14 edition of the Washington Post, and it can be viewed online by clicking here. All are invited to post their thoughts in the guest book.

As mentioned in the obituary, there will be a celebration of her life through tributes, a potluck reception, and dancing at Glen Echo Park (MD), Bumper Car Pavilion on Sunday, October 21, beginning at 11 a.m. Click here for directions to Glen Echo Park.

 

News

Plymouth “Gurnet” Lighthouse (MA) celebrating its 250th birthday in style

The present lighthouse at the end of the Gurnet Peninsula at the entrance to the harbor of Plymouth, Massachusetts, built in 1843, is the oldest free-standing wooden lighthouse in the United States. The original lighthouse on the site consisted of a keeper’s dwelling built in 1768 with two lights on its roof. It was the continent’s first “twin lights,” and in 1776 Hannah Thomas became the first female light keeper in the American colonies when her husband, keeper John Thomas, left to lead troops in the Revolutionary War.

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Plymouth Light Station retained two lights until 1924, when the northeast lighthouse tower was discontinued and torn down. This postcard view is from the early 1900s.

The light station celebrates its 250th anniversary later this month. Project Gurnet and Bug Lights Inc. is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1983 to preserve the lighthouse along with nearby Duxbury Pier (“Bug”) Lighthouse. The group will host the birthday party for the lighthouse from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Plymouth Yacht Club. Tickets are $50 per person and include hearty hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and more. There will be a cash bar. Nautical attire is encouraged.

Visit www.buglight.org to learn more and to buy tickets.

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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. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by 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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

News

Boston Light is 302 years old today

The first lighthouse on the North American continent, popularly known as Boston Light, was first lighted on this date in 1716. The original lighthouse tower on Little Brewster Island in Outer Boston Harbor, a 50-foot stone tower, was blown up by British troops as they evacuated the harbor in the spring of 1776.

It was rebuilt in 1783, and with some changes including a raise in height of 15 feet in 1859, the 1783 still stands today.

1729 mezzotint engraving by William Burgis

The lighthouse holds many distinctions. It’s the oldest light station on the continent; it had the first fog signal in the American colonies (a cannon in 1719); and today it has the only official lighthouse keeper still employed by the United States government. In 2003, Sally Snowman became the 70th person and the first woman to be keeper of Boston Light.

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June 2001 photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

You can read more here.

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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. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by 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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

News

Peninsula Point Lighthouse (MI) has received much needed repairs

Peninsula Point Lighthouse was established to mark a turning point near a hazardous shoal, helping vessels toward the docks of Escanaba and Gladstone on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It served as an aid to navigation from 1865 to its 1936 decommissioning and was subsequently abandoned. The attached keeper’s house burned down in 1959.

The lighthouse is located in Hiawatha National Forest. The USDA-Forest Service has had custodianship of the surrounding area since 1937. The Stonington Grange has played a role in the management of the lighthouse and grounds.

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Peninsula Point (also known as Point Peninsula) Light Station in 1883; National Archives photo 26-LG-52-87

This summer, HistoriCorps and the Great Lakes Conservation Corps carried out repairs to the lighthouse. Volunteers and staff repaired deteriorated bricks, removed blistering and flaking paint on the iron lantern, and repainted all affected areas. Funding came primarily from the Forest Service.

HistoriCorps, founded in 2009, provides volunteers of all skill levels with a hands-on experience preserving historic structures for public benefit across America. HistoriCorps Executive Director Townsend Anderson told the Daily Press of Escanaba, MI, “This exceptionally built lighthouse once played an essential role in the region’s economy. Today, it is an icon of that era, telling its story and helping us, and generations after us, to understand the cultural and historic significance of this place and its rich maritime history.”

You can read more here and here.