News · Preservation

Gasparilla Island Lighthouse brought back to life

‘The best view on the island’ shines after a $1.8 million restoration project.

As many of you know, Gasparilla Island, Florida, has two lighthouses. The original Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, established in 1890, is now a museum and educational facility. The second lighthouse, established as a rear range in 1927, has undergone a major restoration.

Thanks to Toni C. Collins, the Society’s Passport Ambassador for Florida West Coast-Alabama-Mississippi, for supplying the recent January 17, 2018, news article from the Venice Herald Tribune, describing the tremendous work and fundraising done by the Barrier Island Parks Society following two hurricanes.  She thinks these folks deserve some publicity for their efforts!

Link to article: Gasparilla Island Lighthouse brought back to life

Submitted January 28, 2018

 

Affiliates · News · Preservation

Anclote Key Lighthouse Reopens to Visitors

Anclote Key FL 2018 reopening Ted Cornell Ron Ecker Chris Belcher Dan Hogan (3)
Anclote Key Lighthouse, near Tarpon Springs, Florida, is reopened on January 27, 2018, with the help of Ted Cornell (Anclote Key State Park), Ron Ecker (FLA), Chris Belcher (FLA), and Dan Hogan (Friends of Anclote Key State Park and Lighthouse)

According to the Florida Lighthouse Association (FLA) website, “the Anclote Key Lighthouse has been closed to the public for about three years due to contaminated soil around the tower. With the help of a grant from FLA, the Friends of Anclote Key State Park and Lighthouse have installed a white picket fence along the walkway, thus allowing visitors get to the Lighthouse and climb the tower. 

The Anclote Key Lighthouse, a cast-iron structure, was fully funded by Congress in 1887, with assembly commencing in June of 1887 when the prefabricated tower arrived from the north. The light was lit for the first time on September 15, 1887 by keeper James Gardner. The lighthouse was automated by the Coast Guard in 1952, and since it was no longer manned, vandals did extensive damage; by 1984 the lighthouse was inoperative and discontinued by the Coast Guard.  In January 2003 a massive 1.5 million dollar restoration project began, culminating in a relighting ceremony on September 13, 2003.

Since the original 3rd order Fresnel lens was nowhere to be found, a modern rotating optic was placed in the lantern room; however, the rotating optic wasn’t bright enough or good enough.  So the restoration project took another step forward and commissioned Enberg Mold and Tools in Jacksonville to make a replica acrylic lens.  They met the challenge and in November 2004, a smaller replica 4th order lens was installed in the tower.  In addition, a permanent residence has been completed for the park ranger, who now resides on the island.   Anclote Key is truly a “shining example” of lighthouse restoration at its finest.”

 

The Florida Lighthouse Association visited and climbed Anclote Key Lighthouse as part of their winter meeting. Visit Friends of Anclote Key State Park & Lighthouse for more information on their preservation of the lighthouse.

The U.S. Lighthouse Society will be visiting Anclote Key as part of their Gulf Coast tour.

Photos by Candace Clifford; submitted January 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. 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.

News · Preservation

Shining a Light on Metalsmith Alex Klahm

Yaquina Head Lighthouse shrouded for restoration in 2005-06. Courtesy George Collins

Satisfied smiles faded and hearts sank when Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials in Oregon learned that their pride and joy, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse they’d taken over from the Coast Guard in 1996, needed lots and lots of Tender Loving Care..

The 93-foot-tall 1873 lighthouse was discovered in 2000 to need about a million dollars worth of repairs. BLM funds became available in 2005 to begin a seven-month-long top-to-bottom exterior restoration.

Key to the project was nationally-acclaimed metalsmith/designer craftsman Alex Klahm, applauded for his work since 1989 at many lighthouses on the East and Gulf Coasts.

Alex recreated at his home factory, 3,200 miles away in St. Petersburg, Florida, and later installed — with two helpers — dozens of cast iron and bronze pieces to replace rusted railings, cornices, posts, and brackets at the top of the lighthouse tower. The BLM presented Alex with a certificate of excellence for the exceptional work.

 Submitted by Society Member George Collins, October 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.

News · Preservation · Society Members

Restoration of Halfway Rock Lighthouse Tower Completed

 

Halfway Rock Light Station is located ten miles offshore in Casco Bay, Maine. Recent photo by Dave Wright.
Halfway Rock Lighthouse undergoing preservation work. Photo courtesy of Ford Reiche.

Ford Reiche earned the American Lighthouse Foundation’s Keeper of the Light award in May 2017. The award is “designed to honor those individuals and organizations in the national lighthouse community who have contributed in a significant manner to the preservation of America’s lighthouses and their rich heritage.”

The Society salutes Ford Reiche for not only preserving the lighthouse at Halfway Rock but for also documenting its rich history! Reiche is currently writing a book about the station using the material he has collected from the National Archives and other sources.

Reiche reported that the tower’s restoration has been completed and shared these photos illustrating recent events at the station:

This summer I entertained at Halfway Rock a former keeper who had last been there in 1961, when he been stationed there for a year. Ken Rouleau now lives in Derry, New Hampshire. I had an old photo (of Ken’s) of him standing in front of an RDF tower and the old bell tower in 1960.  This summer I took a new image of the same man standing in same exact spot 57 years later.  See the before and after shots below, plus another old USCG image of the whole facility, to help you get your bearings. Ken has lasted better than the RDF tower and the bell tower. . .

Reiche reported on another enjoyable outing to Halfway Rock (HWR) this summer when he took out retired Dr. Martha Friberg of Cape Elizabeth, Maine:

When Martha’s mother was a young woman she had gone to HWR with Martha’s grandfather in the 1940s. As a gift, the HWR keeper had given her his brass dustpan marked ‘USLHS.’ The woman always felt guilty about having gotten government property as a gift.  She died long ago, but her daughter, Martha, gave it back to me/HWR when she visited me this summer. [See photos below] of Martha and me, and two older pictures of Martha’s mother on her visit to HWR when she was given the dustpan in the 1940s.

Based on emails from Ford Reiche, September 27, 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.

Funding Sources · News · Preservation

Society Announces 2017 Preservation Grant Recipients

Emergency shoring of island lighthouses in Maine and Massachusetts, a new way into a lighthouse in New York, and a first step for the rescue of a lighthouse in Michigan will happen because of grants made by the United States Lighthouse Society in the third year of its Lighthouse Preservation Grants Program.

A total of $20,000 was awarded this year, drawing on the interest from a still-growing investment fund that the Society has committed to increase through the years so that more and larger preservation grants can be made.

Isle au Haut ME 1991 NPS HABS ME-212-4 copy
1991 photo of Point Robinson from Historic American Building Survey, ME-212

The largest single grant, of $8,500, will help a preservation group on Isle au Haut, Maine, replace badly corroded support beams that imperil the lantern of the Point Robinson (Isle au Haut) Lighthouse. Friends of the Isle au Haut Lighthouse will use the USLHS grant to install galvanized steel beams in place of two failing beams under the watch room and lantern floors. The project will relieve some of the structural stresses that have caused tower cracks, and will serve as the needed first step in a longer effort to restore the brick tower and its granite base.

A $7,000 grant will help the experienced Thacher Island Association keep the Cape Ann Light Station’s South Tower from suffering the same fate as the North Tower, which had granite pieces fall from its gallery deck last year due to rust-jacking between the iron rails and the tower stone. Stainless steel bands will be installed, as unobtrusively as possible, around the original stone bands circling the gallery and lantern decks. The full cost of the work will be $17,900, and longer-term plans call for replacing the anchor elements of the iron rails with stainless steel fittings to curtail the stone-fracturing problems.

Cape Ann MA 2005 Sept. 24th Mike & Carol McKinney copy
2005 photo of Thacher Island courtesy Mike and Ann McKinney

At Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Light in Michigan a new non-profit group that took ownership through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act will use a $3,500 USLHS grant to help fund a $12,000 condition assessment report, a needed first look at the problems of the light and a document essential to planning its restoration. The USLHS grants program considers such professional assessments an extremely important and solid investment in any lighthouse restoration project. The Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program will provide a 2-to-1 matching grant toward the Keweenaw Waterway Lighthouse Conservancy project.

Lower Entrance Light September 2016-80 copy
Keweenaw Waterway Lower Entrance Lighthouse. Photo by Nathan Miller

Finally, a $1,000 assist will go to the Huntington Harbor Lighthouse Preservation Society, as not only a small measure of financial help, but an expression of support for the Long Island group and its efforts. The lighthouse has an exterior railing system that needs a combination of restoration and replacement, but the USLHS grant will help with a needed watch-deck-level door replacement.

Lloyd Harbor NY 2009 George Doerner (1) copy
Huntington (Lloyd Harbor) Lighthouse. 2009 photo by George Doerner

The grant committee’s review of 30 first-round applications, and its detailed study of six selected finalists, were stark reminders both of the problems facing America’s lighthouses and the deep financial needs of the preservation groups trying to save them. While funds now are still too limited to meet all those needs, or even to fund every selected project at the full amount requested, the United States Lighthouse Society remains committed to using all the available money generated by fund investments to provide whatever help it can now – while striving still to build the fund through donations so more projects can be funded in the future.

Previous cycles saw $25,000 in competitive grants awarded last year, and $21,000 awarded in the 2015 launch of the program. Assistance was provided to lighthouse groups from Florida to Alaska, on all four coasts. In addition, the program worked closely with corporate partners Land’s End and Sea Pak to provide targeted assistance to mutually selected lighthouse projects; Sea Pak provided a $10,000 grant for the Morris Island Lighthouse last year, while Land’s End provided $10,000 to Alcatraz Lighthouse in 2015 and a significant commitment, starting last year, to support restoration of the Boston Lighthouse.

The United States Lighthouse Society’s program is the first formal and continuing aid program with an open application process funded within the lighthouse preservation community itself. At this point the program is open only to not-for-profit groups, with a maximum grant amount of $10,000. As the dedicated preservation fund grows, more grant money will be made available for future projects. Information on donating to the fund or applying for future grants may be found on the Society’s website.

Submitted by Mike Vogel, U.S. Lighthouse Society Board Member, August 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.

Funding Sources · News · Preservation

National Park Service awards more than $1.7 million in Maritime Heritage Grants

Block Island SE 2011 by JCC (8) copy
Block Island Southeast Lighthouse, RI, received a $105,000 grant for restoration of the tower’s cast iron components. Photo by Candace Clifford, 2011

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service announced today the apportionment of $1,752,073 for 27 maritime heritage grants to applicants in 13 states and the District of Columbia. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), the National Park Service awarded grants for projects that teach about and preserve sites and objects related to our nation’s maritime history.

“Protecting our nation’s maritime history is an important part of the National Park Service’s mission to share America’s story,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “These grants will support efforts to conserve important parts of our maritime history and educate students of all ages.”

The National Maritime Heritage Program Grant awards are made possible through a partnership between the two federal agencies, which both share a commitment to maritime heritage preservation and education. They are funded through recycling of vessels from the MARAD’s National Defense Reserve Fleet. The grant program supports a broad range of maritime education and preservation projects, without expending tax dollars, while ensuring that the vessels are dismantled in an environmentally sound manner.

The National Park Service will administer these projects as direct grants to State Historic Preservation Offices, who will disburse funds to applicants. The recipients of the National Maritime Heritage grants are below. For more information about the grants and the Maritime Heritage Program, please visit www.nps.gov/martime/grants.intro.htm.

National Maritime Heritage Program Grant Recipients
California

Aircraft Carrier Hornet Foundation Educational Programs Interpreting Naval and Maritime History Through STEM $15,000
Channel Islands Maritime Museum The Living Brotherhood of the Tomol: Chumash Paddlers’ Active Legacy $35,562
Friends of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum Creating an Interpretive Master Plan for the tugboat Angels Gate  $40,000
Maritime Museum Association of San Diego Preservation of the Steam Ferry Berkeley $200,000
University of Southern California Maritime Discoveries along the California Coast $49,968
Total $340,530

Connecticut

Mystic Seaport Museum From Clippers to Containers $46,659
Sound Waters Maritime History Sails on Long Island Sound $43,500
University of Connecticut Creating a Blue Heritage Trail for Southeast Connecticut $22,780
Total $112,939

District of Columbia

Naval Historical Foundation Naval Documents of the American Revolution Digitization Project $49,700
Total $49,700

Florida

Diving With a Purpose Maritime Archaeology Educational Field Program II $50,000
University of Florida The Florida Shellfish Trail Website and Signage $34,332
University of West Florida Historical Trust The Pensacola Maritime Mural Gallery  $26,630
Total $110,962

Iowa

Dubuque County Historical Society Lead-Based Paint Abatement of William M. Black $66,999
Total $66,999

Illinois

Museum of Science and Industry Chicago U-505 Submarine Preservation Accessibility Expansion Project $82,277
Total $82,277

Maine

Atlantic Challenge Foundation The Apprenticeshop: Maritime Skills Program $50,000
Maine Maritime Museum Educational Exhibit about the Fresnel Lens and the Lighthouse Lantern  $42,141
Total $92,141

Maryland

Living Classrooms US Coast Guard Taney Hull Preservation Project $152,389
Total $152,389

Massachusetts 

USS Constitution Museum USS Constitution in Context: Enhancing Visitor Experience Online and Onsite $50,000
Total $50,000

New York

South Street Seaport Museum 1930 Tug W.O. Decker: Preservation of Deck and Certificate of Inspection $200,000
Stephen B Luce Library Research Foundation Telling the Stories of Sailors’ Snug Harbor $50,000
Whaling Museum Society Digitizing and Disseminating Whaling Collection Online $49,557
Total  $299,557

Ohio

Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory Enhancing Awareness and Educational Opportunities for Historic Lake Erie Lighthouses $18,540
Total $18,540

Pennsylvania

Independence Seaport Museum Cruiser Olympia Hull Repairs and Assessment Surveys $107,689
Total  $107,689

Rhode Island

South East Lighthouse Foundation Southeast Lighthouse Tower Cast Iron Restoration, Block Island $105,000
Total $105,000

Virginia

The Mariners’ Museum Expanding Analysis Capabilities for USS Monitor Conservation and Interpretation $83,350
Watermens Museum Yorktown Shipwrecks Education Program $30,000
Nauticus Foundation Battleship Wisconsin Engineering Project: Life in the Engine Room $50,000
Total $163,350

Total = $1,752,073

Submitted by Tom Crosson, July 7, 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.

News · Preservation

Society Makes Final Assessment of Alcatraz Light Station

blog photo
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.