Affiliates · Awards · News

Anne Webster-Wallace Receives Holland Award

The American Lighthouse Council, now an affiliate of the United States Lighthouse Society, marked National Lighthouse Day this year by presenting the nation’s top lighthouse preservation honor to Anne Webster-Wallace of Maine.

Mike presents Holland award to Anne
Mike Vogel presents the Holland Award to Anne Webster-Wallace on National Lighthouse Day

Anne was the force behind the 1996 Maine Lights Program, the prototype lighthouse transfer program that served four years later as a template for the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act and lighthouse transfers to preservation groups nationwide. When she became director of that program for the Island Institute, she already had a decade of experience in preserving the offshore Sequin Island Lighthouse near her home in Georgetown, Maine.  In 1986, Anne Webster started her involvement with lighthouse preservation by fighting to save a hometown lighthouse. She went on to make invaluable contributions to the national lighthouse movement, including developing the lighthouse transfer program that became the inspiration and template for the transfer of historic light stations to stewardship groups nationwide.

Anne also served on the National Lighthouse Museum Steering Committee and as an officer of the American Lighthouse Council. She played a pivotal role in lighthouse preservation at seminal moments in its development as a state, regional and national movement, and helped immeasurably in shaping it into a strong and successful coalition of groups with a unified voice in the general preservation community.

To recognize her long service to the keeping of the lights and of their heritage, the American Lighthouse Council this year awarded her the H. Ross Holland Award, the community’s highest lifetime honor. The award was presented in Georgetown on August 7, National Lighthouse Day, by Council co-chair Mike Vogel.

The honor was the final Holland Award to be presented by the Council. The honor now will be administered by the grants and awards committee of the United States Lighthouse Society, and nominations may be sent to the Society.

Submitted by Mike Vogel, U.S. Lighthouse Society Board Secretary, August 9, 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 join 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.

Awards · News · Society Members

Ralph Eshelman Receives Ross Holland Award

Mike Vogel presents Ross Holland award to Ralph Eshelman 2017 JCC lores
Ralph Eshelman receives Ross Holland award from Mike Vogel, chair of the American Lighthouse Council, during the recent U.S. Lighthouse Society Board meeting.

Established by the American Lighthouse Council to recognize truly exceptional contributions by an individual or group, the Holland Award is the major national honor bestowed by the lighthouse preservation community. It is named for Francis Ross Holland, Jr., who received the initial Distinguished Service Award that was to henceforth carry his name.

Ralph Eshelman receives Holland award 2017 JCC lores
Ralph Eshelman with Ross Holland award.

Dr. Eshelman was presented the Holland Award during a recent U.S. Lighthouse Society Board meeting. Mike Vogel, chair of the American Lighthouse Council, read the following citation:

Ralph Eshelman got involved in lighthouse preservation in 1975 when, a year after he was appointed the first director of the Calvert Marine Museum, he led the team that moved Maryland’s 1883 Drum Point Lighthouse ashore for an accurate and meticulous three-year restoration and interpretation effort. He has been deeply involved in the movement ever since, making exceptional contributions to a lighthouse community that has benefitted deeply from his expertise, advice and leadership.

A geologist, paleontologist, polar tour and expedition guide, lecturer and the author of five books on the War of 1812 in the Chesapeake Theater, Ralph has served as a trustee of the Maryland Historical Trust and in 1996 wrote that organization’s Lighthouse Preservation and Interpretation Plan. He also authored a context theme study and National Register nomination for 17 light stations in Maryland, and at the national level served as historian on several federal assessment teams that surveyed 31 historic lighthouses throughout the United States, co-authored the Maritime Heritage of the United States National Historic Landmark Theme Context Study for Lighthouses for the National Park Service, and prepared National Landmark nominations for three masonry lighthouses including Cape Hatteras.

Ralph was the historian for the team that wrote the Historic Lighthouse Preservation Handbook for the National Park Service and Coast Guard in 1997, and that year was one of three lighthouse leaders who formed the National Lighthouse Museum Steering Committee. He served as the committee’s president as it developed the national museum concept and also formed the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee, later renamed the American Lighthouse Council. He remained active in both of those organizations, serving as a vice president of the developing lighthouse museum.

A past president of the Council of American Maritime Museums and founding vice president of the National Maritime Preservation Task Force of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Ralph is an owner of a cultural resource management consultancy firm, a consultant to the National Park Service and the founding principal of a lighthouse preservation firm. A veteran member of the United States Lighthouse Society’s board of directors, he has played a leading role in the development of the Society’s Strategic Plan and grants program, and most recently has led the Society’s assessment of the Alcatraz Lighthouse in California as a step toward preservation and interpretation of that light in cooperation with state and federal agencies. His expertise, invaluable advice and outstanding leadership is recognized by this presentation of the H. Ross Holland Award, the lighthouse preservation movement’s highest lifetime honor.

Ralph Eshelman award at 2017 USLHS Board Mtg JCC lores
U.S. Lighthouse Society Board members Henry Gonzalez, Bill Merlin, Tom Tag, Ralph Eshelman, Mike Vogel, Wayne Wheeler, and Elinor DeWire during the award presentation on March 18, 2017.

Submitted by Candace Clifford with citation provided by Mike Vogel, March 21, 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.