Lighthouse News of the Week

Kate Walker at Robbins Reef Lighthouse

Statue of Keeper Kate Walker to be constructed at the Staten Island Ferry landing

A statue honoring one of America’s most famous lighthouse keepers, Katherine “Kate” Walker, will be erected by New York City at the Staten Island Ferry Landing on Staten Island.

Born in Germany, Kate Walker immigrated to the United States just eight years before she took  on the job of keeping Robbins Reef Lighthouse in the Kill Van Kull, a shipping channel between Staten Island and Bayonne, New Jersey. Standing four foot ten and weighing about 100 pounds, Walker saved at least 50 lives during her nearly three decades at the lighthouse. She also made sure her son, Jacob, received an education by rowing him to shore each day on Staten Island. Jacob eventually succeeded his mother as keeper.

Robbins Reef Lighthouse (Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont)

The statue of Walker is one of four works honoring trailblazing women announced on Wednesday, as part of an effort to honor women who have helped shape New York City and to address the lack of female statues in public places. The City will also construct a statue of jazz legend Billie Holiday in Queens, civil rights leader Elizabeth Jennings Graham in Manhattan, and Dr. Helen Rodríguez Trías in the Bronx. These women were chosen through an open call that drew more than 2000 nominations.

The search for artists is expected to begin at the end of this year with the statues being installed by 2022.

Click here for more on this story

And also more here


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Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse (MO) to be reconstructed

The Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse is surrounded by 10 acres of parkland on Cardiff Hill in Hannibal, Missouri, near the banks of the Mississippi River. A tower was originally built on the site in 1935 to commemorate the centennial of the birth of Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, Hannibal’s favorite son. It was rebuilt after being heavily damaged by a windstorm in 1960. Although lighted, it serves little navigational value. The interior is not open to the public, but the area around it affords a panoramic view of Hannibal and the river.

Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse (Wikimedia Commons, photo by Jens Bludau)

Hannibal Parks and Recreation officials now say that the current lighthouse is beyond repair, and they are set to spend $135,000 for reconstruction. The work is set to take place this summer.

Click here for more on this story.

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Huron Harbor Lighthouse (OH) to be illuminated

Huron Harbor OH 2008 Mike & Carol McKinney
U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Mike & Carol McKinney

After two years of efforts, Huron, Ohio, city officials have received permission from the U.S. Coast Guard to illuminate the Huron Harbor Lighthouse with four LED lights at night.

According the Sandusky Register, the lighthouse will be illuminated beginning this spring, and it will glow with different colors for special occasions. “For instance, officials could project green and gold lights during St. Patrick’s Day; red, white and blue lights for the Fourth of July; or orange lights for Halloween.”

Click here for more on this story.


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Report commissioned for Eagle Bluff Lighthouse (WI) restoration and maintenance

A report has been commissioned by the Door County Historical Society that will set the stage for a plan to restore the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Museum to a historically correct condition. The report also will include a plan for long-term maintenance of the lighthouse and other structures on the site.

Eagle Bluff WI - Sandy Karnes

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse (U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Sandy Karnes)

“The restoration will take a long time,” Executive Director Bailey Koepsel said. “I’m sure it’s something that will have to be done in phases. But, that’s something the (Historic Structure Report) will tell us.”

Click here for more on this story.

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Upcoming Events

Weather Forecasting Seminar at National Lighthouse Museum, Staten Island, NY, March 28, 2019, 6:00 p.m.

The National Lighthouse Museum and the America’s Boating Club (US Power Squadron, Established 1914, Staten Island Club) have teamed up to present a Basic Weather and Forecasting seminar on March 28, 2019, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. This seminar could be a lifesaver for boaters and a valuable resource for weather enthusiasts.

Click here for more info

Spring Fling for Lighthouse Preservation, Kittery Lions Club (Kittery, Maine), Saturday, April 6, 2019, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Join Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses for a fun event that will include live music and dance, a raffle and silent auction, food, and more! Admission is free but donations are welcomed. At the Kittery Lions Club at 117 State Road (Route 1) in Kittery, Maine.

Click here for more info

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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

Kaptain's Kolumn · News

The Kaptain’s Kolumn #11

Keeper George L. Lyon of Egg Rock Lighthouse, Massachusetts. From “Lightkeeper” magazine.

Ahoy, Captain Joshua Card here, down at Portsmouth Harbor Light in my home town of New Castle, New Hampshire. Winter’s been hanging on tight but spring is just around the corner, so they tell me. Today I’d like to tell you about an interesting fellow who kept the old Egg Rock Lighthouse down the coast off Nahant, Massachusetts: George L. Lyon.

Nineteenth century illustration of a sea serpent passing Egg Rock. Collection of Jeremy D’Entremont

The three-acre rocky island known as Egg Rock, almost a mile off Nahant, resembles a whitish-gray whale rising up about 80 feet out of the ocean. It got its name because of the large number of gulls’ nests there. The original lighthouse on the island was established in 1856 largely to help the local fishermen in Nahant and Swampscott; the station was rebuilt in 1897 with a square brick tower attached to the keeper’s house.

Postcard of the 1897 Egg Rock Lighthouse. Collection of Jeremy D’Entremont

George L. Lyon, who grew up in nearby Lynn and was previously an assistant at Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse, became the keeper at Egg Rock in 1889.  A large and athletic man, Lyon loved the sea and was on a lifesaving crew on Lake Erie by the age of 21.

The artist and writer Charles A. Lawrence of Lynn visited Egg Rock in 1891. He described Lyon: “Bronzed and blue-shirted, his yellow beard suggested the Norseman of old. I would not have been surprised to see him raise a drinking horn from somewhere and shout, ‘SKOAL!'”

Lawrence wrote about a tour of the light station with Lyon and his mother, who was then nearly 90. They also met the station’s housekeeper, Ada Foster, who was 15 at the time of their visit. During a tour of the lighthouse, the keeper jokingly told Lawrence, “Lots of people ask us what makes the light red, and we tell ’em it’s the red oil. Some of ’em don’t get it, and they say, ‘Oh, that’s it. I never knew.’” (The light was actually made red by the placement of a red glass chimney around the lamp.)

This painting, called Saved!, by the English artist Sir Edwin Henry Landseer depicted Milo, a dog belonging to George Taylor, a previous keeper of Egg Rock Lighthouse. Milo was credited with several rescues around the island and gained wide fame. The model for the child in the painting was Keeper Taylor’s young son, Fred.

In the summer, there were countless visitors to Egg Rock. Lyon grew tired of people asking him if he longed for life on the mainland, and took to wearing a sign on his back that said, “No, thank you, I am not the least bit lonesome.” He was an avid reader, especially of scientific and technical books.

Keeper Lyon was a carpenter, boat builder, an expert marksman with a rifle, and an authority on firearms and explosives. He developed a well-equipped machine shop in the island’s boathouse. His mechanical aptitude enabled him to repair the dory engines of many local fishermen, and he invented a new type of crankshaft for boat engines that saved on gasoline. His crowning achievement at Egg Rock was the building of a landing stage on the island. With this arrangement, a boat would be hoisted out of the water onto a deck, then hoisted again into the boathouse. A powerful hand winch was used for both hoists.

Postcard showing the landing stage built by George Lyon. Collection of Jeremy D’Entremont

Lyon was responsible for countless rescues in the vicinity of Egg Rock during his 22 years there. Once, after the keeper saved a group of five men, they took up a collection and presented a not-so-generous reward of 85 cents to their savior.

Keeper Lyon had a Newfoundland dog with the strange name of “O-who.” O-who loved to fetch sticks thrown by the keeper into the waves, and he rode along and “assisted” in some of the rescues around the island. Charles Lawrence called O-who a “sailor at heart.”

Lyon and his housekeeper, Ada Foster, developed a friendship that grew into romance over the years. Charles Lawrence wrote that Ada blossomed from a slender girl and developed a “robust physique that enabled her to bear a hand at the winch in hoisting the boats, an accomplishment which in no wise detracted from her fine skills as a cook and entertainer.” After leaving Egg Rock in 1911, Lyon became keeper at Graves Lighthouse in Boston Harbor, then at Nobska Point at Woods Hole on Cape Cod. The keeper and Ada planned to marry, but Ada died before the marriage could take place, while Lyon was at Nobska Point.

The keeper’s house in the ocean in October 1922. (Lynn Historical Society)

The light on Egg Rock was converted to automatic operation in 1919 and the keeper’s house was sold at auction, with the stipulation that the buyer had to move it to the mainland. As the house was being moved down the slope toward a waiting barge, a cable snapped and the building careened into the ocean. For some time, remains of the dwelling washed up on local beaches. The brick lighthouse tower stood until 1927 when it was destroyed.







Lighthouse News of the Week

Bell Rock (1) - Stevenson
Illustration of Bell Rock Lighthouse in a gale, from the U.S. Lighthouse Society archives

Scotland’s Bell Rock Lighthouse operating again after interruption

Bell Rock Lighthouse was built between 1807 and 1810 off the Firth of Tay, in the North Sea off the east coast of Scotland, by the engineer Robert Stevenson. It is considered the world’s oldest sea-washed–or wave-swept, depending on your terminology–lighthouse in the world. The challenges faced and overcome in its construction have also led to its being dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World.

Recently, engineers at Scotland’s Northern Lighthouse Board were alerted to the fact that the light had gone dark after a generator had failed to charge the batteries at the lighthouse. Locals reported that the light hadn’t been seen for several days.

Repairs have been carried out, and the light is again operational. In the long term, there are plans to replace the diesel generator with a solar power system.

You can read more about this story here.

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St. Augustine Lighthouse (U.S. Lighthouse Society archives)

Night Fest at St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida on March 2


In an annual celebration of the bond between the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum and the Junior Service League of St. Augustine, the museum will host the annual Lighthouse Night Fest on Saturday, March 2, in conjunction with the JSL’s Lighthouse 5K & Fun Run at the St. Augustine Light Station. The museum will be open for free to all guests from 4 to 8 p.m. Children’s activities will be offered, and guests can tour shipwreck exhibits, the conservation lab, view the boat building, and walk the nature trail.

For more information, go to


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History/Snowshoe Hike around Grand Traverse Lighthouse (Michigan) on March 2

Grand Traverse MI 1858 drive TAT
Grand Traverse Lighthouse, photo by Tom Tag

Meet at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum Gift Shop on Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. for a history snowshoe hike around the campground and lighthouse area. This is a ranger-led hike by the Leelanau State Park staff.  Complimentary hot chocolate and snacks will be provided afterwards in the gift shop.


“There’s serenity in being in the park and seeing the natural untouched beauty — fresh snow, no footprints — all wild and natural,” said Stephanie Rosinski, Leelanau and Traverse City State Park interim supervisor.

Click here for more info

And also a story here

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Remembering Terry Pepper

5c7701745e919As reported here earlier this week, Terry Pepper passed away at his home in Brutus, Michigan, last Saturday. Terry was one of the leaders of lighthouse preservation and education in the United States and he will be greatly missed.

An obituary has been posted on the website of the Gaylord Community Funeral Home; click here to read it. 

From the obituary: A private ceremony will be held for family only but a public memorial is being planned by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.  Those who wish are asked to consider donations in his memory to the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, P.O. Box 219, Mackinaw City, MI  49701 or Hospice of the Straits, c/o McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation, 360 Connable Avenue, Suite 3, Petoskey, MI  49770.

Terry was the executive director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association for a decade, and they have posted a beautifully produced, moving video tribute to him. Click here to see it.

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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


Terry Pepper, friend to all who love lighthouses, 1948-2019

Terry Pepper

One of the leaders of the lighthouse community left us on Saturday, February 23, when Terry Pepper died of cancer at his home in Brutus, Michigan, at the age of 70.

Terry was involved with the lighthouses of the Great Lakes since the late 1980s. His website, Seeing the Light, is a wonderful, extensive resource on the lighthouses of the Great Lakes. He joined the board of directors of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association in 1999 and became the organization’s first executive director in 2007.

Announcing the news of his passing on Saturday on their Facebook page, the Michigan Lighthouse Alliance posted:

“Terry Pepper passed away quietly today with his beloved Mary by his side at home, just the way they wanted. He was such a great person whose love of lighthouses was only eclipsed by his love of lighthouse people. Well miss you Terry, thanks for lighting the way for so many of us.”

Tom Tag of the U.S. Lighthouse Society posted on the USLHS Facebook page:

“Yesterday the lighthouse community lost one of its leaders and a great man. Terry Pepper lost his battle with cancer and the lighthouse movement lost a leader and good friend.

I first met Terry in the late 1990s when he came to my home in Ohio to discuss lighthouses and to trade information. At that time Terry was only known for his Seeing the Light website. It was only a few years later that Terry began traveling from his home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA) in Mackinaw City, Michigan, every weekend. He made these trips week after week to volunteer his time and resources to help GLLKA in any way that he could.

Terry’s lighthouse knowledge was fantastic. He studied lighthouses, he wrote about lighthouses, he collected information about lighthouses, he gave speeches about lighthouses at various conferences and meetings. It was only a few years later that he became the Executive Director of GLLKA.

We, who are interested in lighthouses, will have a nearly impossible task to try to replace Terry’s knowledge, friendship, and management skills. He was Mr. Lighthouse for the Great Lakes and his passing leaves a major hole in our community.

Goodbye to our friend and fair sailing!”



Lighthouse News of the Week

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Grosse Ile North Channel Range Front Light, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Chad Kaiser

Grosse Ile Lighthouse (MI) gets funding for repairs after ice damage

On February 7, strong winds forced ice floes against Grosse Ile Lighthouse (also known as the Grosse Ile North Channel Front Range Light) on the Detroit River in Michigan, breaching its metal railings and causing damage. On February 20, the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program announced that the Township of Grosse Ile will receive a $40,000 grant to hire contractors to carry out extensive renovations at the lighthouse. The grant was part of $113,000 awarded by the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program from the sale of specialty license plates sold in Michigan.

A $40,000 grant was announced to hire a consultant to produce a Historic Structure Report (HSR) for the North Manitou Shoal Light to guide future rehabilitation in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Finally, the Keweenaw County Historical Society will use a $33,000 grant to hire contractors to replace or rehabilitate 12 double-hung wood windows, rehabilitate two original wood casement windows in the tower and build and install 13 new storm windows at the lighthouse on Lake Superior.

You can read more on this story here and here.

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One year after being paralyzed with rare disease, woman climbs 219 steps of St. Augustine Lighthouse (FL)

On February 19 (2/19), 2018, Malea Guiriba was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, or GBS. She became paralyzed in a matter of days. She was told she might never walk again.

Stairs at St. Augustine Lighthouse. Wikimedia Commons photo by S.W. Clyde.

Malea has been an activist who created created a program called Pie in the Sky that provides food to hundreds of elderly in St. Johns County, Florida.

You need to check out this article (be sure to watch the video) to see what this strong-willed woman did one year after her diagnosis. This may not be lighthouse news, exactly, but it’s the kind of positive news we can all use.

Click here for the story.

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Lighthouse Lecture at the Carrabelle History Museum (FL)

The Carrabelle History Museum (Florida) is hosting a free program about the Lighthouses of the Forgotten Coast, featuring the St. Marks Lighthouse and the Crooked River Lighthouse, this Saturday, Feb. 23 at C-Quarters Marina, 501 St. James Ave (Hwy 98), Carrabelle, FL. Seating for the program, from 10 a.m. to noon, is first come, first served, and is limited to the first 100 people. The Carrabelle History Museum will be joined by Ken Clineman, historic and environmental interpreter for St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, and Joan Matey, curator for Crooked River Lighthouse.

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Overnight accommodations at Haig Point Lighthouse, South Carolina

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Haig Point Lighthouse 1883 (U.S. Coast Guard)

South Carolina’s Haig Point Lighthouse (a.k.a. Haig Point Range Rear), on Daufuskie Island just south of Hilton Head, has a colorful legend that concerns a keeper’s daughter named Maggie. Maggie’s father, Patrick Comer, was the first keeper of the lighthouse in 1873 and his family lived at Haig Point for 18 years. Maggie fell in love with an engineer who was doing some work at the lighthouse, the story goes. Something unexpected occurred and the couple parted; he left and never returned, leaving her with a broken heart. Residents and visitors over the years have claimed they felt the presence of Maggie at the lighthouse.

The lighthouse is now available as a guesthouse with two bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and porch overlooking Calibogue Sound. It’s also a venue for weddings, special events, and private parties. Maybe you’ll even get to meet Maggie.

Click here for rates and availability and photos of the property

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U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast “Light Hearted” to premiere on April 22

The new U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted,” hosted by author Jeremy D’Entremont, will be full of interviews with people in the world of lighthouse preservation and education, along with special features and surprises. Each new episode will be posted here, and it will be available through iTunes and other venues. We will keep you posted!

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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

Kaptain's Kolumn · News

The Kaptain’s Kolumn #10

Early 1900s postcard of Fuller Rock Lighthouse, collection of Jeremy D’Entremont

Captain Joshua Card here, down at Portsmouth Harbor Light Station in New Castle, New Hampshire. We’re looking forward to a new paint job for the tower this spring. Thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you about a colorful character who was a contemporary of mine down in Rhode Island, John Mullen—better known as Captain Jack.

Captain Jack was hired in April 1886 to be the keeper of two small lights on the Providence River, Fuller Rock and Sassafras Point. These little structures barely qualified as lighthouses. They were twin hexagonal pyramids, only about 14 feet tall, with small cast-iron lanterns. They were both put into operation in 1872. Fuller Rock was in the middle of the main shipping channel to Providence, while Sassafras Point was about a mile north near the river’s western shore. The lights never had keepers’ houses; instead, the government hired local men who row to the lights to care for them.

A Providence Journal article by Wilfred Stone later described “Captain Jack” as a “character of the old school.” At social gatherings, he was a master of clog dancing, “keeping hop to the pick of the banjo when he was scores of years older than most dancers.”

The article described a harrowing accident that befell Captain Jack while he was a lighthouse keeper in the 1890s. It was brutally cold and windy on New Year’s Eve one year as Mullen sailed in his yawl from one light on the Providence River to the other. Luckily, he was dressed warmly in many layers. “It was tough pulling,” wrote Stone, “but his lights were burning at sunset as his orders called for.”

Early 1900s postcard of Sassafras Point Lighthouse, collection of Jeremy D’Entremont

On his way home after “lighting up,” Mullen’s small boat overturned near Kettle Point on the east side of the river and he found himself “struggling to gain a toehold on the bottom.” Fortunately, nearby resident Ed Grogan saw the keeper’s plight. Grogan launched his own boat and soon rescued the cold and soggy, but no doubt grateful, Captain Jack.

The day after his near-death experience, Mullen had a conversation with a devout female acquaintance. “Surely the Lord was with you when you were in the water,” said the woman. “He certainly was on my side,” replied Jack. When asked if he was thinking of the Lord throughout the experience, Mullen surprised the woman by answering in the negative. “Why, what else could you have been thinking of?” she asked. “How in blazes I was going to get ashore,” said the always-practical Captain Jack.

Sassafras Point Light was removed in 1912. Late in the morning of February 5, 1923, a crew aboard the lighthouse tender Pansy arrived to install new acetylene tanks at Fuller Rock. The men first removed the empty old tanks, and then installed six new ones, each about six feet long and weighing about 300 pounds.

After lunch, the men went back just to make sure everything was in proper order. Just as the crewmen were boarding the pier next to the light, there was a terrific explosion that could be heard a mile away. Five men were sent hurtling through the air onto the sharp rocks below. There were no fatalities, but the men’s injuries ranged from facial burns to broken legs. The lighthouse structure was completely destroyed by the fire that resulted from the blast.



Lighthouse News of the Week

California Lighthouse, Aruba. Courtesy of Monumentsfund Aruba.

Visit the California Lighthouse in Aruba and get your U.S. Lighthouse Society passport stamped!

California Lighthouse owes its name to a steamship that was wrecked in 1891 near the north coast of the Caribbean island of Aruba. The shipwreck was a primary reason for the building of the lighthouse between 1914 and 1916.

California Lighthouse during restoration (Creative Commons photo by Tokmanr)

The lighthouse was transferred to Monumentsfund Aruba in 2015, and a major restoration was carried out in 2015-16.

California Lighthouse is now an official member of the United States Lighthouse Society! You can now visit the lighthouse and receive a California Lighthouse stamp in your USLHS passport. Visitors will be ask for a one dollar contribution for a stamp. Donations will be used to help maintain the lighthouse.

Visitors get to climb to the top of the 180-foot tower for a spectacular view. Anne Witsenburg, director of Monumentsfund Aruba, tells us that more than two million people visit Aruba each year, and 75% of those visitors are American.


If you visit the lighthouse, just ask the Experitours guides at the lighthouse for your USLHS passport stamp!

For more information on California Lighthouse, click here.

For more information on the U.S. Lighthouse Society passport program, click here.

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New Tour Guides for Hunting Island Lighthouse

For the past two years, the Friends of Hunting Island have been hosting tours of the Hunting Island Lighthouse and light station at Hunting Island State Park in Beaufort, South Carolina.  The Friends of Hunting Island organization, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, was created by a group of Beaufort residents to support Hunting Island State Park and its lighthouse with its many activities.

Twice a month, Ted Panayotoff, U.S. Lighthouse Society member and Friends of Hunting Island Lighthouse director, hosts a 1.5-hour tour of the lighthouse tower and the several light station buildings.  “Keeper Ted,” upholding the Lighthouse Service tradition of welcoming visitors to the light station, hosts the tours in his reproduction lighthouse keeper’s dress uniform.

Due to the expanding interest in these guided tours, the Friends of Hunting Island are planning to expand the frequency of the tours by growing the pool of available tour guides. To that end, “Keeper Ted” has begun working with three new “recruits” to familiarize them with the history of the lighthouse. This is the second lighthouse on the island and it was moved in 1889 due to beach erosion.  Along with the lighthouse, there are related exhibits in the existing light station buildings.

IMG_4542In the photo at left, the lighthouse history is being discussed at the base of the tower.  The 1873 date refers to its construction at its original location, 1 1/4 miles north of its present site, a location that is now claimed by the Atlantic Ocean.  

A tour up the tower (the only lighthouse in South Carolina regularly available to climb) stops at the eight landings, giving visitors an opportunity to see the exhibits there.  The watch room gallery is the highlight of the climb affording the visitor a panoramic view for miles up and down the coast. The watch room and lantern are not usually open to visitors as Hunting Island Light is an active private aid to navigation using a VLB-44 beacon light.  

The photo at the right shows the prospective tour guides and “Keeper Ted”  gathered on the light IMG_4556station grounds with the tower, the oil house and the station’s fresh water cistern pump house in the background.  Sadly, the wonderful three family keeper’s dwelling, described on the sign they are reading, was lost due to a fire several years after the lighthouse was decommissioned in 1933.  

Still intact, however, are two nearby storage buildings that have been restored and contain exhibits related to the lighthouse.  Below, one of the exhibits in the storage building whose theme is “life at the light station” is being described to the new tour guides.  They are learning about the work life of the keepers at the station; on the other side of this building is an exhibit on the home life of the families at the station.  These exhibits include a station medical chest and a traveling library box. Both were very important at this remote (especially at the time) light station.


Photos courtesy of Ted Panayotoff.

Click here for more details

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Split Rock (MN) Lighthouse manager Lee Radzak to retire

Lee Radzak (U.S. Lighthouse Society)

Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse, perched on a rocky, rugged bluff high above Lake Superior, is one of the most iconic lighthouses in the United States. For the past 36 years, the resident site manager at Split Rock has been Lee Radzak. When he took the job in 1982, he and his wife thought they’d give it three years to see how they liked it. Obviously, it worked out pretty well.


Under Radzak’s direction a number of preservation projects have been completed, and he has been recognized with several awards. In 2016 he was given the Ross Holland Award by the American Lighthouse Council for his achievements in lighthouse preservation.

When asked what memories will stay with him the most, Radzak said, “”Just the lake. I could write a book about the storms, the early mornings and evenings and nights.”

Lee Radzak has been a tremendous asset to Split Rock Lighthouse and a great friend to the lighthouse community at large, and we wish him and his wife, Jane, all the best in retirement.

You can read more about this story here.

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Lighthouse supply ship converted into hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland

A 1963 lighthouse supply ship, the Fingal — bought in 2014 by Royal Yacht Enterprises — has been converted into a luxurious floating hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. All the guest rooms are named for Scottish lighthouses, and the restaurant serves local seafood.

Count us in.

Click here for more information.

Official website for the Fingal

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Cool Jazz at the National Lighthouse Museum, NY
Celebrate Mardi Gras Light Moments with Cool Jazz at the National Lighthouse Museum, 200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point, St. George, (adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry) on Saturday, March 2, 2019, 7-10 p.m.
Featuring the smooth, sultry and soulful voice of Donna Cumberbatch. Donna is influenced by such artists as Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Gloria Lynne, and Nancy Wilson, but exhibits her own unique and enchanting style. Tickets – $40. Delectable Edibles by Bayou Restaurant.
For Info/Reservations: Phone: 718-390-0040
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Hibbard Casselberry, Jr.  1923-2019

Hibbard Casselberry, Jr., 96, a man who was well known to Florida lighthouse aficionados and preservationists, died February 5, 2019, at John Knox Village, Pompano Beach, Florida. “Hib” was born on January 2, 1923, in Chicago, Illinois.

At the age of 72, he retired from the City of Fort Lauderdale Architectural Department, and then devoted the rest of his life to historic preservation with an emphasis on lighthouses. He was a founding member and past president of the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society, a founding board member of the Florida Keys Reef Lights Foundation, and an original member of the Florida Lighthouse Association. He was honored in 2012 by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution with their Historic Preservation Medal in recognition of his work in historic preservation.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Martha, as well as their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Christ United Methodist Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL (, or the Hillsboro Lighthouse Preservation Society (

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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