News · Research · Volunteer Opportunities

Want to Help Transcribe Yaquina Head Lighthouse Documents?

Yaquina Head Letter
Example of letter to be transcribed. National Archives, RG 26, Letterbook 311 (click on image to enlarge)

The Friends of Yaquina Lights (FOYL), Newport, Oregon, have discovered a great way to transcribe their historical documents from the National Archives. They are using volunteers to transcribe their collection of historic documents (keeper’s logs, correspondence, etc.) using an online site at fromthepage.com/YaquinaLights. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can volunteer! Accounts at fromthepage.com are free and easy to set up. Successful transcription of this large collection of fascinating (along with the more mundane) will make these historical documents available to the general public.

Submitted by Amy Cauthon, Friends of Yaquina Lights, foyl@yaquinalights.org, February 6, 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

Volunteer Caretakers Needed at Point Iroquois Lighthouse

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Point Iroquois Lighthouse is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service with the help of volunteers. Photo by Chad Kaiser, 2008

The Forest Service is soliciting volunteer lighthouse caretakers at the Point Iroquois Lighthouse just outside of Brimley, Michigan, located on Lake Superior.

The link to find out more is available through the volunteer.gov portal at https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=15375. Applications are due March 1, 2017.  The Forest Service is asking for a one-year commitment.  Volunteer caretakers will reside in the lighthouse.

Submitted by Kari Vanderheuel, East Zone Recreation Program Manager, Hiawatha National Forest, February 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 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.

 

Lighthouses in Art · News · Society Members

Mystery at Eilean Mor Lighthouse, Scotland

coffin-road
Coffin Road by Peter May

British author Peter May has written another thrilling murder mystery in which the Eilean Mor Lighthouse has a prominent role. The lighthouse is located on an island of the same name in the Flannan Isles off the west coast of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. In December of 1900 all three lightkeepers vanished without a trace. In the novel, titled Coffin Road, the main character in the novel regularly visits the island, supposedly writing a book.

For those who went on the lighthouse trip to the Outer Hebrides in 2015, trip leaders Chris and Janet Brookes introduced us to Peter May by giving everyone a copy of another murder mystery, The Blackhouse, so participants could get a sense of life in the Outer Hebrides.

Coffin Road was published in Great Britain in 2016 by Quercus, ISBN 978-1-78429-313-0.

Submitted by Dick Richardson, U.S. Lighthouse Society member, February 6, 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 · Society Members · Tours

Isle of Man Lighthouses

Douglas Head Lighthouse
Douglas Head Lighthouse, Isle of Man. Photo by Skip Sherwood

Last July Skip Sherwood led a U.S. Lighthouse Society tour through Wales and the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom. Skip wrote an article about this trip that was featured in the Northern Lighthouse Board‘s magazine The Journal (Christmas 2016).  The NLB has granted us permission to share it with you. Here is the article link: U.S. Lighthouse Society Tours: Isle of Man Lighthouses.

Skip Sherwood at Point Bonita Lighthouse, California
Skip Sherwood at Point Bonita Lighthouse, California

Skip has been volunteering for the U.S. Lighthouse Society since 2007. He and his wife, Mary Lee, have been responsible for developing and leading many lighthouse tours in addition to processing memberships and contributing to the ongoing development of the Society’s website and Passport Club. Skip oversees the Society’s increasingly popular Passport Program and its 19 regional volunteers. Through the program’s website and periodic newsletters, over 3,500 Club members are kept up to date on the availability of stamps at over 450 participating locations.

A big thank you to Skip and Mary Lee for all there wonderful work on behalf of the Society!

For more tour photos, visit http://uslhs.org/tours/photo-albums-new/wales-2016

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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 · Event · News

Egmont Key Alliance Hosts Florida Lighthouse Association

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Egmont Key Alliance President Richard Sanchez (dressed in a Confederate Army uniform) gives musket demonstration. Photos by Candace Clifford

Florida Lighthouse Association‘s winter meeting was hosted by the Egmont Key Alliance, January 28-29, 2017. Saturday’s formal meeting took place at Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit environmental educational group based in a modern facility whose design is based on a lighthouse. An active light on its roof enables passport members to receive a stamp.

I had the pleasure of giving a presentation on the records available for researching Florida’s lighthouses, followed by a delicious lunch. The business meeting included an update from Sharon Mackenzie, director of Boca Grande Lighthouse, on a new lighthouse design for the Florida license plate which generates funds for one of the association’s grant programs. Josh Liller, representative from Jupiter Inlet, reviewed work completed at various lighthouses under the grant programs. Then one of the association’s youngest members was honored (see below).

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Florida Lighthouse Association president Chris Belcher and U.S. Lighthouse Society Board member Ken Smith present a model of St. Marks Lighthouse to  six-year-old member, Sierra Farrell, who donated her birthday money to the Florida Lighthouse Association and St. Marks Lighthouse..

On Sunday the group boarded a boat for the one-mile crossing to Egmont Key. Two trips were necessary to accommodate the large group. (Click on photos below to read the captions.)

Submitted by Candace Clifford, January 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.

Keepers

Lighthouse Keeper Grave Marker Program

As a followup to an earlier post, “Grave Markers for Lighthouse Service Veterans,” Jack Graham provided the following message to lighthouse stewards:

“Hello Lighthouse friends,

First of all, thank you for the wonderful work you are doing to care for one of our American maritime treasures. I wish you the best in these endeavors.

My name is Jack Graham. I have been a volunteer docent at several lighthouses across the U.S. over the past decade, and like to think of myself as an amateur historian. I am not affiliated with any group, nor am I writing to ask for money nor to sell you anything. My purpose is the topic noted above.

grave-markerThis is a photograph of a BRONZE GRAVE MARKER, intended to be placed on the graves of any person who once served as a keeper at a U.S. lighthouse.  It is similar in size and purpose to the markers you may have seen on the graves of military veterans (Civil War, WW II etc).

The markers have been developed by Richard Ryder, a U.S. Navy vet and descendant of a veteran of the old U.S. Lifesaving Service. Similar markers have been developed for veterans of the Life Saving Service, and of the U.S. Coast Guard. More information can be obtained from Mr. Ryder at inquiries@uslifesavingmarker.com.  Lighthouse Digest magazine promotes this program unequivocally and is eager to publish stories and photos of marker placement ceremonies. Please send this information to editor@lighthousedigest.com.

Undoubtedly many men and/or women served as Keepers at your light station. In far too many cases, the details of their lives afterwards and where they are buried are simply unknown. But if you do know, or want to put in some effort to find out, wouldn’t it be a grand way to honor their memory, and another way to preserve the history of your station, to so mark their graves with one of these USLHS markers?

I urge you to consider this idea. Should your group be interested in so marking the known gravesite of a former Keeper, markers may be obtained at   www.uslifesavingmarker.com.

Thanks for your consideration. I hope you get involved.

Submitted by Jack Graham, December 13, 2016

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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 · Tours

Public Tours of Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Resumed in 2016

cape-canaveral-with-rainbow

cropped-cape-canaveral-nasaCape Canaveral, FL – January 2017 – SunWard Tours, an established provider of historical, educational and adventure excursions; along with the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation and the 45th Space Wing, are pleased with the first year’s response to the guided tours of the historic Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and the iconic launch sites on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Over the past year guests from all over Florida and the United States have expressed their delight with the fully narrated and guided tours and a glimpse of our maritime and space exploration history.

Public Access to the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse was halted in June of 2013 due to sequestration and the heightened security status required at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was only January 2016 that the Air Force, the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation and SunWard Tours were able to offer tours to the general public.

The tours begin from the Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral where guests board a comfortable, air conditioned bus with a SunWard/Lighthouse Foundation guide. The primary focus of the tour remains the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Following a one hour stop at the Lighthouse the bus continues past other historic sites on the Air Force station pausing at many iconic launch sites which will be pointed out and described by your guide.  Leaving the Air Force Station, the bus makes a brief stop at the Sands Missile History Center and then returns all guests to the Exploration Tower where they have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the tower’s exhibits, history and views.

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The cost of the tour is $27.00 per guest and reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Since the tour is on a secure Air Force Station, a detailed manifest is sent to the Air Force Security Office for review. They require that we submit the full legal name, date of birth and driver’s license number for each guest that is a US citizen. Non-US citizens must also provide their passport number, country of issue and expiration date, as well as their place of birth. For more information about tours to this iconic lighthouse, please call 321-543-3994. Reservations may be made online at www.CanaveralLighthouse.com.

Rocky Johnson, chair of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, is delighted at the response of residents and visitors over the past year. “The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and the 45th Space Wing are important pieces of Florida’s rich history and this tour is a way to share their respective roles in history with guests from all over the world.”

Sunward Tours is well known for escorting visitors to the Space Coast on adventure and educational tours. We offer guided tours to the Kennedy Space Center, local and Orlando attractions as well as many different nature based excursions. We are recognized by the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex as their single largest seller of guest passes and guided tours. We have also been recognized by local Chambers of Commerce as well as the Tourism Development Council for our commitment to our community and for providing outstanding service to guests on the Space Coast.

Submitted by Ron Thorstad, Sunward Tours, on January 17, 2017; phone – 321-453-3994; email: CanaveralLighthouse@gmail.com

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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.