News · photography

Lighthouse Sunrise / Sunset Finalists

Congratulations to the finalists in the Sunrise / Sunset category for the ongoing U.S. Lighthouse Society Calendar Photo Contest!

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Eastern Point, MA, 2016, by Christine Pabst
BarnegatLH_NJ_2015_Ed_Hewitt
Barnegat, NJ, 2015, by Ed Hewitt
Rose Island RI by Debra Baldwin lores
Rose Island, RI, by Debra Baldwin
Cape_Mendocino_CA_2011_Jeannette_ONeal lores
Cape Mendocino, CA, 2011, by Jeanette O’Neal
Hillsboro_Inlet_FL 2013 by Ralph_Krugler (R) lores
Hillsboro Inlet, FL, 2013, (R) by Ralph Krugler

Thanks to all the photographers who submitted images!

U.S. Lighthouse Society photographers have until May 30th to submit images for the Technology category. Submission for the Detail or Abstract category starts May 15th. Goto https://uslhs.submittable.com/submit for more information.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, May 8, 2018

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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 candace@uslhs.org.

Event · News

Promoting National Lighthouse Day

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Tim Harrison, editor of Lighthouse Digest, holds a framed copy of Senate Resolution 507 declaring August 7, 2013, “National Lighthouse and Lighthouse Preservation Day”

The United States Lighthouse Society is a strong supporter of National Lighthouse Day (August 7), an annual commemoration of the anniversary of the federal lighthouse establishment. It is an opportunity to celebrate lighthouses and efforts to preserve both the structures and their history.

To this end, we would like to update our Events page to reflect any National Lighthouse Day celebrations around the country. Please send details of such events to candace@uslhs.org. Include a short description of the event and a link for more information.

Thanks for all you do to support and preserve lighthouses!

Submitted by Candace Clifford, May 6, 2018

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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 candace@uslhs.org.

Kaptain's Kolumn · Keepers · News

The Kaptain’s Kolumn #6

Captain Joshua K. Card here. Like many of my contemporary lighthouse keepers in the late 1800s and early 1900s, I was sometimes accused of being a pirate. I can assure you I was nothing of the sort, in spite of my salty appearance. But there was a keeper before me down in Massachusetts who couldn’t shake the reputation of being a pirate.

William S. Moore, a veteran of the War of 1812, was appointed as the first keeper of Bird Island Lighthouse down in Marion, a town in southeastern Massachusetts, when the light went into operation in 1819. The stark little island is less than two acres in size, and it was an ideal place for a lighthouse that would serve to guide mariners into Sippican Harbor and points north.

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Bird Island Lighthouse in 2011; photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Persistent local legend claims that Moore was a pirate who was banished to Bird Island as punishment. Some versions of the story claim that he was left without a boat, with supplies delivered periodically. Since his boat is mentioned frequently in correspondence, this is clearly untrue. In any case, properly functioning lighthouses were vital to safe navigation, and the authorities strove to hire responsible and reliable men. They did not hire accused pirates.

Some accounts claim that Moore murdered his wife—described as a “Boston society girl”—at the lighthouse and disappeared soon after. A rifle was found, supposedly in a secret hiding place along with a bag of tobacco, when the original keeper’s house on Bird Island was torn down in 1889. The gun was believed by some to be the murder weapon. Others have claimed that Moore prevented his ailing wife from seeking medical attention on the mainland, and that she died as a result.

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The plans for Bird Island Lighthouse (National Archives)

Although she is supposedly buried on the island, there is no sign of the grave of Moore’s wife today. With the gun, a note was found, signed by Moore. The note eventually came into the possession of Marion’s longtime town historian H. Edmund Tripp.  It read:

This bag contains tobacco, found among the clothes of my wife after her decease.  It [the tobacco] was furnished by certain individuals in and about Sippican. May the curses of the High Heaven rest upon the heads of those who destroyed the peace of my family and the health and happiness of a wife whom I Dearly Loved.

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Bird Island Lighthouse with its original “birdcage-style” lantern. (National Archives)

Letters from Moore to the local customs collector indicate that the keeper conducted experiments with the heating of whale oil to keep it from freezing in the winter months. He also worked on the development of “air boxes” to be stored on boats to help prevent sinking. Moore wrote that he wanted to remain at Bird Island so he could pursue his various experiments. He explained, “. . . as the keeping of a lighthouse is calculated to afford me more leisure than almost any other employment, I shall give it up with great regret.”

Another far-fetched part of the lore surrounding William Moore is that he disappeared, never to be seen again, shortly after his wife’s death was discovered.  In reality, records clearly show that Moore was assigned to the new Billingsgate Lighthouse near Wellfleet in 1822.  It isn’t clear if he was able to continue his experiments there.

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Bird Island Lighthouse was discontinued in 1933. It was a lucky thing that Keeper George Gustavus and his family left at that time, because the hurricane of September 21, 1938, swept away every building on Bird Island except the lighthouse tower. Sadly for the Gustavus family, they moved to Prudence Island Light Station in Rhode Island, and the keeper’s wife and son died in the hurricane. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The truth about Moore will probably never be completely separated from the fantastic legends concerning his life. But his wife really did die on the island, and there are those who say it has been haunted or cursed ever since. Legend has it that some later keepers were frightened by the ghost of a hunched-over old woman, rapping at the door during the night.

Submitted by Jeremy D’Entremont, May 4, 2018.

News · Passport Program

Have Passport, Will Travel

Florida Lighthouse Association member receives passport stamp at Egmont Key Lighthouse, Florida. 2017 photo by Candace Clifford

Are you a member of the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Club? If so, you recently received its most recent newsletter which includes updates on where new stamps are available and other useful information. There are now over 550 locations where you may get your passport stamped. These include not only lighthouses, but maritime museums, lighthouse vessels, and life-saving stations. (A full list of locations by state can be found online.)

If you already have a passport, consider getting one for a younger relative or friend. We need to encourage the younger generation’s appreciation of lighthouses! You can purchase a passport online or at the gift shop of any participating lighthouse.

Skip and Mary Lee Sherwood are also Society tour leaders.

When you have your passport stamped, don’t forget to leave a donation to support the site.

The Society is very fortunate to have super-charged volunteers Skip and Mary Lee Sherwood run this vibrant program. With their dedication and the help of volunteers around the country, this program has thrived and continues to grow.

Skip relies on the 16 volunteers listed below to maintain contact with over 500 locations and make sure the information about stamp availability is current. Skip cannot say enough good things about their dedication and service to the program. Several of them have taken on extra duties when volunteers had to bow out for health reasons. He’s pretty sure that the program would fall apart without the work of the volunteers.

Mid-Atlantic Region
Tedd Van Buskirk
Chris Laubach

New England Region
Wayne Cotterly
Scott Walbert
Bob Zimman
Anne Salatiello
Rick McDermott

Midwest Region
LaVon Marshall
Judy Grigg (Plus Oregon)
Sue Moffit  (Plus Louisiana & Texas)
Marge Czop
Dave Lindamood

South Region
Yvette Dills
April Lowe (Plus Washington)
Toni Collins

West Region
Marie Holley

Submitted by Candace Clifford, May 4, 2018

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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 candace@uslhs.org.

 

News · photography · Society Members

Deadline for SUNRISE / SUNSET submissions is April 30th

Pumpkin Island ME 2003 by William Hammond sun
Pumpkin Island ME by William Hammond — a SUNRISE / SUNSET finalist for the 2018 Calendar

Society photographers who have not already submitted SUNRISE / SUNSET images for the Lighthouse Calendar Contest must complete their entries by COB Monday. Goto https://uslhs.submittable.com/submit.

The deadline for the TECHNOLOGY category is May 30, 2018.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, April 27, 2018

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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 candace@uslhs.org.

Education · Event · News · Vessels

School children visit museum ship for “masked ball”

TIME/DATE:  Tuesday, April 24; Wednesday, April 25; Friday, April 27 from 10 AM to 1 PM

PLACE: Lighthouse Tender LILAC, Pier 25, N. Moore and West Streets

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Courtesy LILAC Preservation Project

New York, NY—The Time in Children’s Arts Initiative is bringing underprivileged children to the Lighthouse Tender LILAC this week.  After brief tours of the retired Coast Guard cutter, the children will pose with their handmade paper bag masks for photos on the ship. Inspired by the work of artist Saul Steinberg, the “masked ball” celebrates the opera Cendrillon, Massenet’s version of Cinderella, now in performance at the Metropolitan Opera.

Four classes are scheduled daily on the above dates. Each group will visit the ship  for 45 minutes. Arrival times are 10:00 AM, 10:45 AM, 11:30 AM and 12:15 PM with the last group to depart at 1:00 PM.

Time In Children’s Arts Initiative brings the city’s youngest, most at-risk public schoolchildren out of underserved classrooms and into the world of the living arts, every week of the school year, as part of their regular school day. Time In’s kids are immersed in a joyful combination of opera, literacy, the visual arts and museum visits. To learn more see timeinkids.org

LILAC is America’s only surviving steam-powered lighthouse tender. The US Coast Guard Cutter LILAC was built in 1933 and supplied lighthouses and maintained buoys until she was retired in 1972. This unique ship, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is open to the public as a free museum at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25 offering programs in the arts and maritime history. More information may be found at www.lilacpreservationproject.org.

Submitted by Mary Habstritt, Museum Director, Lilac Preservation Project

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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 candace@uslhs.org.