News

Boston Light is 302 years old today

The first lighthouse on the North American continent, popularly known as Boston Light, was first lighted on this date in 1716. The original lighthouse tower on Little Brewster Island in Outer Boston Harbor, a 50-foot stone tower, was blown up by British troops as they evacuated the harbor in the spring of 1776.

It was rebuilt in 1783, and with some changes including a raise in height of 15 feet in 1859, the 1783 still stands today.

1729 mezzotint engraving by William Burgis

The lighthouse holds many distinctions. It’s the oldest light station on the continent; it had the first fog signal in the American colonies (a cannon in 1719); and today it has the only official lighthouse keeper still employed by the United States government. In 2003, Sally Snowman became the 70th person and the first woman to be keeper of Boston Light.

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June 2001 photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

You can read more here.

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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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

News

Peninsula Point Lighthouse (MI) has received much needed repairs

Peninsula Point Lighthouse was established to mark a turning point near a hazardous shoal, helping vessels toward the docks of Escanaba and Gladstone on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It served as an aid to navigation from 1865 to its 1936 decommissioning and was subsequently abandoned. The attached keeper’s house burned down in 1959.

The lighthouse is located in Hiawatha National Forest. The USDA-Forest Service has had custodianship of the surrounding area since 1937. The Stonington Grange has played a role in the management of the lighthouse and grounds.

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Peninsula Point (also known as Point Peninsula) Light Station in 1883; National Archives photo 26-LG-52-87

This summer, HistoriCorps and the Great Lakes Conservation Corps carried out repairs to the lighthouse. Volunteers and staff repaired deteriorated bricks, removed blistering and flaking paint on the iron lantern, and repainted all affected areas. Funding came primarily from the Forest Service.

HistoriCorps, founded in 2009, provides volunteers of all skill levels with a hands-on experience preserving historic structures for public benefit across America. HistoriCorps Executive Director Townsend Anderson told the Daily Press of Escanaba, MI, “This exceptionally built lighthouse once played an essential role in the region’s economy. Today, it is an icon of that era, telling its story and helping us, and generations after us, to understand the cultural and historic significance of this place and its rich maritime history.”

You can read more here and here.

 

News

“Garage Sale” at Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, Ohio, on Sept. 15

The Fairport Harbor Lighthouse & Marine Museum, founded in 1945 as the first Great Lakes lighthouse marine museum in the state of Ohio, is operated by the Fairport Harbor Historical Society. The museum houses navigational instruments, charts, pictures and paintings, a lighthouse lens, ship’s carpenter’s tools, models of lake ships, and much more.

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Fairport Harbor Light Station in 1885; National Archives image 26-LG-45-25.

The Fairport Harbor Lighthouse & Marine Museum’s annual fundraiser this year will take the shape of a garage sale on its grounds this Saturday, September 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will take place in and around the garage on the historic lighthouse/museum property. One of the historical society’s members, who prefers to remain anonymous, stepped up to donate lots of garage-sale stock for which he plans to donate all the revenue derived from its sale.

Some of the goods destined for the sale include vintage fishing equipment like steel rods and older tackle, vintage Avon products, Coleman lanterns, garden tools, bicycles, various antiques, and collectibles.

For more information about the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse & Marine Museum garage sale, call 440-354-4825 or read this article.

For general information and a calendar of other events, click here.

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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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

News

Bird’s eye view of Key West, Florida

Spectrum News 13 had a nice little story the other day about the fantastic view from the top of Key West Lighthouse. Having visited there in 1999, I can verify that the lighthouse is a perfect vantage point to survey a wonderful historic community. Old Town Key West boasts the largest historical district of wooden structures on the Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places.

The current lighthouse went into service in 1848, and the town basically grew up around its base. The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1969, and today it serves as a museum dedicated to Key West’s maritime heritage. Visitors are invited to walk up the 88 steps to the top and can explore the belongings, photographs, and words of the keepers and their families.

“The lighthouse gives you a really good idea of just how much the city has grown. It’s just a beautiful view,” said Fiona Mueller, Lighthouse Docent, in the Spectrum News 13 story.

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Key West Lighthouse in 1999. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Read more on the Spectrum News 13 website.

News

Tour Connecticut’s New London Ledge Lighthouse through September 30

New London Ledge Lighthouse, built in 1909, is one of the most unusual early twentieth century lighthouses built in the northeastern U.S.  It’s said it was built in its striking French Second Empire style to be in keeping with the elegance of the beautiful homes on shore in Groton and New London, on each side of the Thames River.

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1954 U.S. Coast Guard photo

The lighthouse is now owned by the New London Maritime Society, and the society is offering “fun-sized” six-person tours to the lighthouse through September 30. Trips meet at the Custom House Maritime Museum, 150 Bank Street, New London, CT, for a 10-minute orientation before going to the boat.

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September 2007 photo by Jeremy D’Entremont; New London Harbor Lighthouse in the background.

Landing at the lighthouse demands a little physical dexterity. “You don’t have to be a Ninja,” according to the society’s website, “but you will have to balance on the edge of a boat and step up to reach the platform.”

Click here to learn more and to buy tickets.

Click here for a story on the WTNH website.

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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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

News

Cape Cod National Seashore announces $1.2 million restoration at Highland Light Station

Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent Brian Carlstrom has announced that historic Highland Lighthouse in North Truro, Massachusetts, will undergo an extensive rehabilitation beginning in late fall 2018.

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Early 1900s postcard, from the collection of Jeremy D’Entremont.

After the lighthouse closes at the end of this season on October 21, it will remain closed through 2019. This will be the first major rehabilitation project at the lighthouse since the Coast Guard conveyed it to the National Park Service in 1998.

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During some 2001 repairs. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Recent deterioration of the lighthouse tower has been caused by excessive moisture caused by changes to the tower’s ventilation system. When the tower was moved back from the edge of an eroding bluff in 1996, air spaces between the masonry walls were filled with a rigid cement-like material to provide stability during the move. Non-breathable coatings added to the exterior also contributed to the deterioration of the masonry and corrosion of metal components.

Visit www.highlandlighthouse.org for tour hours and more information on visitation.

This information is from a story in Cape Cod Today.

 

 

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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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.

News

Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue – Book Signing at Owls Head Light, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Maine children’s author Angeli Perrow will be signing copies of her popular book, Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue, on Saturday, September 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the keeper’s house at Owls Head Lighthouse in Owls Head, Maine.

Angeli Perrow at Owls Head Light

In more than 190 years of history at Owls Head, “Spot” the dog maybe the light station’s most beloved story – an account that is both heroic and heartwarming.

Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue is about Spot, a remarkable spaniel who lived at Owls Head Light with the keeper’s family in the 1930s,” says Angeli Perrow. “He learned to ring the fog bell to greet passing boats and came to the rescue of the Matinicus mailboat one stormy winter night.”

Don’t miss the chance to talk with Angeli Perrow and purchase a signed copy of Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue. While on site, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to tour Owls Head Lighthouse, which will be open to visitors for Maine Open Lighthouse Day, as will the interpretive center and gift shop inside the keeper’s house at the light station.

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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 Jeremy at nelights@gmail.com.