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.

News · Queries

Query on Oldest Keeper’s Dwelling

U.S. Lighthouse Society member Ted Panayotoff has been researching the lighthouses that have served the Oswego River where it enters Lake Ontario, in Oswego, New York. The current tower on Oswego West Pierhead was built in 1934. The first tower was built at Fort Ontario in 1822. The 1822 tower is long gone but its rubblestone keeper’s dwelling remains. Ted wonders whether this could be the oldest surviving keeper’s dwelling in the Great Lakes?

Old ext photo
According to Panayotoff, the old Oswego light keeper’s house has an interesting history as it reverted to the Army at Fort Ontario after the new lighthouse went into operation on the west side of the Oswego River in 1837. The original 1822 tower was torn down but the Army used the house for various things including the post hospital up through WW II. Photo courtesy of Ted Panayotoff
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For many years the old keeper’s dwelling served as the residence for the Fort’s Director until the present director’s family outgrew it (it only has 4 rooms and a kitchen). It is now occupied by a member of his staff. Photo courtesy of Ted Panayotoff

What is the oldest surviving keeper’s dwelling in the U.S.? Please reply to, or comment on, this post if you have a suggestion, or email Ted directly at <keepertedp@gmail.com>. We will post a summary of our findings at a later date.

Query from Ted Panayotoff, June 14, 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.

Affiliates · Conferences · Lifesaving Service · News

USLSSHA to Meet in San Francsico

Point Reyes LSS
Point Reyes Lifeboat Station, one of many stations to be visited during the upcoming meeting. 2017 photo by Candace Clifford

The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association (USLSSHA) just issued a release about their 2017 annual meeting. It will take place in and around San Francisco, September 14 – 16. More information can be found in the link to the release and on their website at http://uslife-savingservice.org/annual-conference/2017-annual-meeting/

Release submitted by the USLSSHA, June 16, 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.

Affiliates · Job Announcements · News

GLLKA Seeks Operations Manager

GLLKA LogoNon profit in Mackinaw City, Michigan, seeks operations manager. The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA) is dedicated to the preservation of Great Lakes lighthouses. Responsibilities include coordination of office staff, inspire volunteers, and fundraise. Retail and publishing experience a plus. Mid-40s salary. Resume to ric.mixter@gllka.com.

Submitted by Dianne Taeckens, June 8, 2017.

News · Research

Two Steps Every Researcher Should Take

Most of the lighthouse records are in the downtown D.C. National Archives with photos and drawings at the College Park, Maryland, facility. This is a useful article for planning your research trip. The Society has more tips on their website at http://uslhs.org/resources/finding_information/libraries_archives/national-archives

NARAtions

Every time I hear a story about a researcher spending money to travel to a National Archives facility only to find out the records they seek aren’t at that location, are unavailable for research, or that the reference staff are unable to assist the research in the short travel window they have available, I cringe. This is a very frustrating scenario, but it luckily it can be avoided by following these two easy steps:

Search the National Archives Catalog

Go to the National Archives Catalog and search for your research topic. If you’re having trouble finding relevant results, try narrowing your search with the refine options on the left side of the screen or by conducting an advanced search. Of course, if you have any questions about how to use the Catalog, please contact the National Archives Catalog staff.

Once you’ve found records that interest you and you…

View original post 334 more words

News · Preservation

Society Makes Final Assessment of Alcatraz Light Station

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The Assessment Team with their Coast Guard colleagues off Alcatraz Island.

The U.S. Lighthouse Society (USLHS) conducted its third assessment visit to Alcatraz Lighthouse on May 25, 2017. The team consisted of Society vice president Henry Gonzalez, chair of the Alcatraz Light Station Preservation Committee Ralph Eshelman, professional engineer Mat Daw, and historic preservation architect Tom McCracken.

USLHS members may recall that in 2015, the Society formed a partnership with the National Park Service and U.S. Coast Guard to conduct a historic structure report as a first step toward the preservation of Alcatraz Light Station. Funding for this work was provided by Lands’ End, Inc.

Left to right: Marcus Koenen, National Park Service; Federica Marchionni, former Executive Officer, Lands’ End, Inc.; Jeff Gales, Executive Director, United States Lighthouse Society, and Captain Nelson, United States Coast Guard; ceremony initiating the Alcatraz Light Station Preservation Project, October 5, 2015.

The historic structure report is nearly finished and will include recommendations for preservation treatment. The Society is working with the NPS and USCG to further our collaborative relationship and is poised to begin fundraising for the estimated two to three million dollars required to preserve and maintain the Alcatraz Light Station for generations to come. We will keep you posted on our progress.

When the Council of American Maritime Museums, of which USLHS is a member, decided to hold their annual meeting in San Francisco, it seemed only appropriate to take advantage of this opportunity to give a presentation titled “Partners in Preservation: Alcatraz Light Station.” The presentation on April 20, 2017, consisted of speakers from USLHS, NPS and USCG. Left to right: Ralph Eshelman (USLHS), Candace Clifford (USLHS), John Cantwell (NPS), Stephen Haller (NPS), Colleen Ryan (USCG), Wayne Wheeler, (USLHS), Tyrone Conner (USCG), Jason Hagin (NPS)

NOTE: The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Submitted by Ralph Eshelman, USLHS board member and chair of the Alcatraz Light Station Preservation Committee, June 1, 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.

News · Preservation

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Restoration Completed with Re-Lighting Celebration

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The lantern was repaired, cleaned, and painted as part of the recent restoration. Photo courtesy of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

With generous support from the community and a number of grants, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse restoration in Jupiter Inlet, Florida, was completed this week. The lighthouse will once again shine out to sea on Friday evening, June 2nd during a special Re-lighting Celebration thanking supporters who have donated to the preservation project. The tower will reopen for lighthouse climbs on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

With the light extinguished by special permission from the US Coast Guard, an experienced team of lighthouse preservationist began tackling the hard work of restoring the icon to top condition. The project began with protective encapsulating of the first-order Fresnel lens before 8 people put up the OSHA approved scaffolding system in 2 days to gain full access to the roof.

The team consisted of historic architect Ken Smith from Ken Smith Architects in Jacksonville, lens conservationist Joe Cocking from Lighthouse Lamp Shop, metalsmith expert Alex Klahm from Architectural Metal and Design and Anthony Houllis from Razorback LLC in Tarpon Springs. Their collective resumes of over 50 lighthouses includes notables such as Yaquina Head, OR; Ocracoke Island, NC; and Gasparilla Island (Boca Grande), FL.

The meticulous restoration process included a four-coat system that began with careful removal of paint and rust atop the tower. The lantern was striped to bare metal, and then repairs to the roof plates, seams and cupola were made. At $500 per gallon, the coats of long-lasting, high grade black paint and roof repairs are expected to last at least another 20 years or more with minor maintenance. Other repairs included painting the underside of the gallery deck and replacing the wedges, painting the exterior of the lighthouse just under the gallery, and applying a full exterior metal coating to the lens room deck, handrails, and gallery deck.

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Work underway beneath the gallery deck. Photo courtesy of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

Alex Klahm and Anthony Houllis explained that even after all their projects, they still get butterflies in their stomachs when they hook up their safety gear and get on top of the lighthouse tower roof. “We have to take our time and purposefully plant our feet in the right position to do the work,” explains Klahm. “Everyone is afraid of falling,” smiles Klahm, “but you focus on your work and not on the height.” Safety is always a top concern and the crew conducted continual safety meetings. “Anyone can stop something that they think is wrong–right away,” comments Klahm. Any issues or problems were addressed immediately by the crew.

Houllis contributed, “We care about lighthouses and do our best job to gain a reputation for top quality. We take pride in doing great work.” One of the things that the team thought was especially unique about Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is that it was built on a parabolic sand dune and not on flat land like many other Florida Lighthouses. “The guys who built the Lighthouse were like NASA–they were doing really hard things and the feeling of accomplishment really belonged to them. We just repair it,” says Klahm.

A special Re-Light the Light Celebration is planned for Friday night, June 2, 2017, at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum. The evening is by invitation only and being held on the Lighthouse Deck as a “thank you” to donors to the Lighthouse Restoration Fund. Re-Light the Light Celebration is supported by Oceana Coffee in Tequesta and The Fresh Market in Jupiter.

Regular climbing tours of the Lighthouse resume on Saturday, June 3rd and regular admission rates apply. Visitors will be able to view the new Keeper’s Workshop exhibit–Keeping the Light at Jupiter Inlet: Adventures in the Lives of Lighthouse Keepers.

The Loxahatchee River Historical Society, the nonprofit that operates the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, has been awarded grants and donations towards the $152,000 project. These include $40,000 from the Bureau of Land Management, $30,000 grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association, $25,400 from the Loxahatchee Guild, $22,000 from the Town of Jupiter $35,210 from individual donation and foundations.

The Historical Society appreciates support from the community for the continual maintenance of the 1860 Lighthouse. To help contribute to our mission, you can become a Lighthouse Member or donate securely online at www.jupiterlighthouse.org. For further information, contact Belle Forino, Development Director at 561-747-8380 x107.

Submitted by Kathleen Glover, Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, May 31, 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.