Event · Lighthouse Construction · News · Society Members

Ponce Inlet Begins 130th Anniversary Celebration

On November 1, 1887, at about dusk, Mosquito Inlet Lighthouse Principal Keeper William R. Rowlinski climbed the 213 steps of the tall, red brick giant to its lantern room. Rowlinski proceeded to light the five-concentric-wick kerosene lamp to inaugurate the first night of service for what is now known as the Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse. The brilliant, fixed white light blazed forth from the Barbier & Fenestre first-order lens.

About two months before the light’s activation, a Notice to Mariners was issued from the U.S. Light-House Board formally announcing the new light’s presence on the coast atop the 175-foot tower. It took three years to complete the station on that previously dark, 100-mile stretch of coast of East Florida.
Construction drawing courtesy National Archives

In 1970, after more than 80 years of service, the U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned the station and formulated plans to demolish the structures and use the rubble as an artificial reef. A group of Ponce Inlet residents, alarmed by the potential loss of so much local and national history, formed the Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse Preservation Association, saved the tower and keepers’ residences from the wrecking ball, and has managed and operated the station as an attraction and museum ever since. Restoration continues to this day, and as a result, in 1998 the once dilapidated station was recognized as a National Historic Landmark, one of only 12 historic United States lighthouses to be so honored. Welcoming more than 175,000 visitors each year, the station is acknowledged as one of the best preserved and most representative light stations in the nation.

Ponce DeLeon Inlet, FL, July 2013. Photo by John Mann

Today, that beacon continues to shine as a silent sentinel helping mariners navigate the dangerous Florida coast. In honor of that first lighting, a year-long, 130th Anniversary Celebration, hosted by the Preservation Association, begins with a festive evening on Friday evening, November 10, 2017, at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum .

Submitted by Society Member John F. Mann, Lead Docent, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, August 10, 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.

Event · News

22nd Annual Victorian Christmas Open House at Heceta Lighthouse B&B

LIGHTKEEPERS' HOUSE XMAS SNOW 010417_010

Come one, come all to Heceta Head Lightstation’s Victorian Christmas Open House!

Doors will be open to the public from 4-7 pm December 9th & 10th and 16th & 17th.

Enjoy the majesty of the beautifully decorated Keeper’s House! Each evening local musicians will perform your holiday favorites while local sponsors provide warm drinks and cookies! Santa Claus will also be visiting each evening.

Free Shuttle service from Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint parking lot will be available. There is a $5 day use fee required for parking. Admission to Keepers House is free.

Heceta Lighthouse Gift Shop will be open and filled with special lighthouse gifts for your Christmas shopping!  The State Park will have the lighthouse open as well, so bring your flashlight…. and rain jacket, just in case.

For more information please call 866-547-3696 or visit https://www.hecetalighthouse.com/events#christmas.

Submitted by Misty Anderson, Inn Manager and Event Coordinator, Heceta Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast on November 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 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.

Event · News · Tours

Fall Lighthouse Festival

Due to the popularity of the Lighthouse Festival each June and the positive response to the two previous Fall Lighthouse Festivals, the Door County Maritime Museum, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, is again offering some of its most popular tours Columbus Day weekend. Reservations are now being taken for these fantastic lighthouse adventures that will take place October 7-8. To order tickets please call (920)743-5958.

DCMM_FallLighthouseFestFLYER_2017

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7

BOAT EXCURSIONS:

LAKESHORE LIGHTHOUSE CRUISE

Departs Baileys Harbor Municipal Dock at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 7.

Cost: $49.50 per person. Capacity: 22 per tour.

Only on the tours from Baileys Harbor will visitors have a waterside look at the Baileys Harbor Range Lights, the Old “Bird Cage” Lighthouse in Baileys Harbor and the majestic Cana Island Lighthouse. Additionally, many shipwrecks lie underneath the waters of this cruise; visitors may even see one from the boat.

PLUM ISLAND TOUR

Departs Gills Rock Dock at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 7.

Cost: $79 per person. Capacity: 14 per tour.

This 5-hour tour is a very rare offering as the US Fish and Wildlife Service must grant permission for the tour. The Friends of Plum and Pilot Island accompany visitors on the walking tours over the island landscape and up the stairs of the lights. The walking tour covers more than 2 miles round-trip and requires good footwear. Shorts are not recommended and there is no vending available on the island, but for the adventurer this rugged excursion is one to write home about. (FOPPI requires a signed waiver that will be sent to visitors at the time reservations are made and must be brought completely filled out to the dock.)

SAIL DOOR COUNTY SCHOONER CRUISE

Departs from Sister Bay Marina at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 7.

Cost: $65 per person. Capacity: 23 per tour.

Set sail into yesteryear on a 19th century tall ship to Peninsula State Park’s Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. Join the crew in hoisting the halyard or sit back and enjoy the trip on a 65-foot schooner, the Edith M. Becker, on a 2½-hour sailing adventure with views of the rocky shore, islands, caves and majestic bluffs. Hear the cannon sound as they strike sail at the end of the cruise. This trip is a bit longer and more focused on local lore than the typical schooner cruise.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8

LAND-BASED TOUR:

NATURALIST-NARRATED TOUR

Departs Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay at 9 a.m. on Sunday, October 8.

Cost: $77.50 per person. Capacity: 22 per tour.

Narration about the local history and natural environment of Door County and its lighthouses makes the time fly on this amazing five-hour tour which includes stops at the Sturgeon Bay Canal Station and North Pierhead, Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, the Ridges Range Lights and Cana Island Lighthouse. A freshly made box lunch will be enjoyed at picturesque Cana Island.

BOAT EXCURSION:

CHAMBERS ISLAND TOUR

Departs the Fish Creek dock aboard the Quo Vadis at 9 am and 11:30 am on Sunday, October 8.

Cost: $68 per person. Capacity: 50 per tour.

Lighthouse enthusiasts should take advantage of this rare opportunity to traverse the private lands of Chambers Island. Access to the lighthouse will require a 3-mile, round-trip, docent-led hike across the island from the marina featuring some interesting stops along the way. A lighthouse caretaker will meet the tours at the lighthouse where you will be able to soak up the amazing view and climb to the top of the lantern room platform. Good hiking shoes are recommended and participants should be in good enough shape to handle the hike.

Submitted by Mary E. Stephenson, Special Events Coordinator/Educational Specialist, Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society, August 30, 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.

 

Event · News · U.S. Coast Guard

Ponce Inlet Celebrates Partnership with Coast Guard

Jessica Guidroz Swearing In
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Ponce Inlet Station’s Aids to Navigation (ATN) Officer in Charge Jessica Guidroz’s re-enlistment ceremony was recently held at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse.

Continuing a long tradition of partnership between the USCG Ponce Inlet Station and the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Boatswains Mate Petty Officer First Class Jessica Guidroz reenlisted near the front steps of the Ponce DeLeon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, Ponce Inlet, Florida, at a 10:30 a.m. ceremony on August 24, 2017. The five-year re-enlistment and swearing-in event was conducted by CWO4/BOSN Mike Lemay of Jacksonville Station, and attended by members of Guidroz’s family, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Museum officials, and visitors to the museum that day. Guidroz was first named the station’s officer-in-charge in July 2016. Previous service saw her onboard the USCG Cutter Eagle which conducts summer-long Coast Guard Academy cadet-at-sea training.

The Ponce Inlet Coast Guard Station provides search and rescue, law enforcement, pollution control and maintenance of aids to navigation for an area which encompasses the Matanzas Inlet south to Haulover Canal. The Ponce Inlet Coast Guard Station was established in 1938 on the south side of the Ponce DeLeon Inlet.

The Ponce Inlet Coast Guard Station in 1966. National Archives photo

In 1939 the Lighthouse Service was merged with the U.S. Coast Guard. The Lighthouse Service personnel were given the choice of retirement or joining the Coast Guard with similar rank. Staff at the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse joined the Coast Guard, and former principal keeper Edward L. Meyer became officer in charge of the station. During World War II the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse principal keeper’s residence became a barracks for Coast Guardsmen, and the lighthouse station, with its 175-foot tower became a lookout post, training facility, and radio navigation beacon base. After the war, the station continued to be maintained by the Coast Guard until the Ponce De Leon Inlet Preservation Association began managing the property in 1972. In the intervening years, a long and fruitful partnership developed between the Lighthouse Museum and the Coast Guard facility, with co-celebrations of service continuing today.

low res 130 Anniversary flier

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum is planning another celebration on November 10, 2017, to commemorate the station’s 130th birthday. On November 1, 1887, Principal Keeper William R. Rowlinski climbed the 213 steps of the tall, red-brick giant to its lantern room. Rowlinski proceeded to light the five-concentric-wick kerosene lamp. The brilliant, fixed white light blazed forth from the Barbier & Fenestre first-order lens. About two months earlier, a Notice to Mariners was issued from the Lighthouse Board formally announcing the new light’s presence on the coast atop the 175-foot tower. It had taken three years to complete the station on the previously dark 100-mile stretch of coast of East Florida. The Notice also carried the Longitude and Latitude positions, bearings and distances of two other “prominent objects,” the “Cape Canaveral Light-House” at 41 nautical miles to the South, and the “St. Augustine Light-House,” some 52 nautical miles to the North.

In 1970, after more than 80 years of service, the U.S. Coast Guard decommissioned the light station and formulated plans to demolish the structures and use the rubble as an artificial reef. A group of Ponce Inlet residents, alarmed by the potential loss of so much local and national history, formed the Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse Preservation Association, saved the tower and keepers’ residences from the wrecking ball, and has managed and operated the station as an attraction and museum ever since. Restoration continues to this day, and as a result in 1998 the once dilapidated station was recognized as a National Historic Landmark, one of only twelve historic U.S. lighthouses to be so honored. Welcoming more than 175,000 visitors each year, the station is acknowledged as one of the best preserved and most representative light stations in the nation.

Excerpted from submissions by John F. Mann, Lead Docent, Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, August 10 and 24, 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.

Event · News

Wayne Wheeler To Speak at National Lighthouse Museum

wayne Wheller at Pigeon Point ca 1994
Wayne Wheeler at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, ca. 1994

Society President Wayne Wheeler will be presenting “Saving America’s Light Stations: A 30-Year Retrospective” as part of the National Lighthouse Museum‘s 7th Annual National Lighthouse & Lightship Recognition Weekend, Staten Island, NY,  August 4-6, 2017. Wayne’s talk will be on Saturday, August 5th.

Other events include:

Friday, August 4 ~ Light Keeper’s Gala. A champagne Museum Reception will precede a vessel leaving from Pier 1 adjacent to the Museum.  Harbor cruise, open bar, hors-d’oeuvres, dinner, dancing in the moonlight. For more information and reservations call (718) 390-0040.

Saturday, August 5 ~ Presentations, panel discussions. free tours and public events at Museum site. 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Sunday, August 6 ~ Signature Lighthouse Boat Tour leaves 11 am from Pier 11, Wall and South St., Manhattan. To register and more information – August 6th Signature Lighthouse Boat Tour

Submitted by Jean Papazian, Friend/Volunteer, National Lighthouse Museum, July 2, 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.

Event · News

Celebrating National Lighthouse Day

August 7 is designated as National Lighthouse Day to provide recognition for the important role which lighthouses played in the history of our country, and celebrate the values of safety, heroism, and American ingenuity that lighthouses represent. It is a day for communities and citizens groups around the country to rededicate themselves to the protection and restoration of these historic structures.

We have started a list of National Lighthouse Day events on our website. If you have one to add, please send details to candace@uslhs.org.

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Absecon Lighthouse, NJ. Photo courtesy of Absecon Lighthouse & Museum

For example, Absecon Lighthouse, New Jersey’s tallest, and the country’s third tallest Lighthouse, will be celebrating National Lighthouse Day on Monday, August 7th. Kids up to 12 years old are invited to climb the lighthouse for FREE (must be accompanied by an adult) from 10am to 5pm. But let’s not forget the grown-ups! Enjoy a Full Moonrise Climb & Wine Tasting, while enjoying jazz tunes by Atlantic City’s very own Eddie Morgan Band, from 5:30 to 8:30. Tickets are $20 to help preserve this important Atlantic City icon.

Dogs on leashes are always welcome in the garden and the museum. Bring a lawn chair and hang-out…watch the sun set while you sip some wine, listen to classic soul tunes, stroll our 21-bed community garden, 2-acre grounds, and take in the historic outdoor exhibits.

Absecon Lighthouse is a state-owned historic property administered by the non-profit Inlet Public/Private Association. Located at 31 So. Rhode Island Avenue in Atlantic City, the lighthouse is open to visitors every day July & August, 10am to 5pm, and Thursdays until 8pm – last climb is 1/2 hour before closing. This event has been sponsored in part by the NJ State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through a grant administered by the Atlantic County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs.

Absecon event submitted by Jean Muchanic, Executive Director, Absecon Lighthouse, July 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 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.

Event · News

Sanibel’s Lighthouse and Cottages Dressed for Independence Day

As a symbol of our community’s patriotism, the City of Sanibel Public Works staff placed red, white and blue bunting upon the Lighthouse and both Caretaker’s Cottages.

Courtesy City of Sanibel

For the first time in 132 years, the Sanibel Lighthouse has been decorated with Independence Day patriotic bunting. The Sanibel Island Lighthouse was built in 1884 and was one of the first lighthouses on Florida’s Gulf coast north of Key West and the Dry Tortugas. After having been under ownership of the Coast Guard, in 2004, the Sanibel Lighthouse was given to the City of Sanibel. The Lighthouse was last restored in 2013 and has been a recognized icon of Sanibel for many years.

The holiday decorations will remain on the Lighthouse and Cottages until July 7, 2017.

Submitted by City of Sanibel Manager’s Office, June 20, 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.