Digest>Archives> June 2008

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


New Dungeness Cable Correction

In the March issue we mentioned in the Keeper's Korner that a new cable had been laid at Washington's New Dungeness Lighthouse. This is incorrect; the cable has not been replaced yet. They have, however, done a great deal of work on updating the electrical system at the station including the laying of new power lines connecting the buildings and a new high voltage transformer system. They have accomplished the work so far through generous donations and wonderful people volunteering their time, equipment and expertise. They are still raising funds for the final and most expensive part, the three-mile long undersea power cable, which still requires nearly $100,000. They now have everything in place for the switchover when that occurs. As they are in a Wildlife Refuge, timing is critical along with tides, weather, suppliers and most important, volunteers. They are still actively pursuing donations and grants for the cable. One source is by asking for donations of $5 per foot of the person's height. Donations can be sent to: New Dungeness Light Station Association, P.O. Box 1283, Sequim, WA 98382 or on-line at www.NewDungenessLighthouse.com.


The United States Lighthouse Society has moved from San Francisco, California to Washington State. The organization has moved their headquarters into the former keeper's house at Point No Point Lighthouse, which is just north of Seattle. Wow, that's quite a move, and reminds us of the move that Lighthouse Digest made last year. It seems that nowadays with the Internet, e-mail and next day deliveries, an organization can operate from just about anywhere. In the case with the U.S. Lighthouse Society, they will enjoy more square footage, which allow them room for expansion and growth, plus they know are actually located a lighthouse. Their new address is 9005 Point No Point Rd., Hansville, WA 98340. We congratulate them on their move and wish them the best of success.

Six-Foot Lights To Adorn Sandusky Ohio

Sandusky, Ohio's downtown area will be adorned this summer with six-foot tall artistically painted lighthouses, similar to what was done in Portland, Maine, a few years ago with the Lighthouses on Parade event. If you live in the Sandusky area, we'd love to have photos of the lighthouses sent to us.

Wood Island Life Saving Station To Be Demolished

According to local reports the old Wood Island Life Saving Station, sometimes referred to as Jerry's Point Life Saving Station, off the coast of Kittery, Maine and in clear view of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in Portsmouth, NH, will be demolished in favor of a replica to be built at the site. The town of Kittery, Maine was given the site in 1973 and since then they have been the one of the worst stewards of a historic site in the nation's history. Over the years many proposals have been offered to save the station, but Kittery officials instead sat by debating the issue while they watched the station deteriorate.

Mural To disappear

Plans call for a hand painted mural, 6 feet high and 20 feet long, of Wisconsin's Wind Point Lighthouse on a wall at

the Franciscan Marion Housing Center in Racine, Wisconsin to be painted over as part of renovations at the facility. The facility said it is old and needs to be replaced and suggested a photo of it be taken and framed, so that people can remember what it looked like, which has not pleased very many people. I continue to be amazed how quick some are to do away with the old in the name of progress. That's like going to a site where a lighthouse once stood and reading a kiosk telling you that a historic lighthouse once stood here. Shame on them.

The Five Islands Lighthouse Preservation Society wants to move the Five Islands Lighthouse in Five Islands Nova Scotia, Canada, to some public land to give the structure more visibility and public access. Since 1952 the lighthouse has been moved three times away from the eroding shoreline. About ten years ago it was moved to the Sand Point Campground. Because of this some refer to it as the Sand Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1914 and deactivated in 1993.

Florida Getting Lighthouse Plate

After years of hard work the Florida Lighthouse Association will finally be getting Florida lighthouse automobile license plate. Proceeds from the sale of the lighthouse license plates will go to the Florida Lighthouse Association to help with the preservation of the state’s 29 historic lighthouses.

Warden Head Restoration

A $60,000 restoration as the Warden Head Lighthouse in Ulladulla, Australia, is completed. Most of the work involved was repairing rust and painting the structure.

Louisiana Beacon In Danger

The Tchefuncte River Rear Range Lighthouse in Madisonville, Louisiana is in danger of collapse due to erosion that is threatening the 1868 tower. The keeper's house was saved by moving it twice in recent years with hopes to eventually move it back to the lighthouse. Although a local group is planning to do some restoration of the tower, they are now worried about the rapid disappearance of land around the tower. Erosion will soon isolate the lighthouse from shore. Original plans were to rebuild land around the lighthouse and plant Cypress trees that were logged out years ago. The trees were credited with preventing erosion, but now time is running out. For more information on the lighthouse refer to the February 2005 issue of Lighthouse Digest.

Port Washington Lights Up

Congratulations to the Wisconsin's Port Washington Historical Society who recently held a dedication ceremony to celebrate the installation of a 4th order Fresnel lens at the 1860 Port Washington Lighthouse. These folks have done an amazing job, first having a new lantern room installed and now the lens. They are to be commended for a job well done. The lighthouse is open to the public.

Awards In New Jersey

Congratulations are in order to the New Jersey Lighthouse Society and the New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge, which received the 2008 Governor's Award for Excellence in Tourism. The successful event was first created by the NJLHS a number of years ago. The annual Challenge draws thousands of lighthouse fans through eight southern New Jersey counties as they try to visit all 11 coastal lighthouses and this year two additional lenses in one weekend. This year's event will be held Oct. 18 and 19.

Race Point Open

Cape Cod's Race Point Lighthouse, where you can spend the night, will now be open for free tours and tower climbs the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month through September. The Cape Cod Chapter of the America Lighthouse Foundation restored the lighthouse, which is located near Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Voice Of The People Is Heard

After public protests, the Village Council on Grand Manan Island, Canada, has voted to rescind their previous vote to sell the keeper's house at its famous Swallowtail Lighthouse. More than 100 people met to try to come up with ways to save the house, which had previously been leased out as a bed and breakfast.

Cana Island To Open

For the first time in history Wisconsin's, Cana Island Lighthouse in Sturgeon Bay, will be open to climb the 89-foot tower and enjoy the stunning views. The lighthouse is scheduled to be open seven days a week. There will be a $4.00 fee to enter the grounds of the lighthouse and another $2.00 fee if you wish to climb the tower, which is managed by the Door County Maritime Museum. The museum has accomplished many great things since it was founded in 1969.

150 Years And Counting

Wisconsin's Pottawatomie Lighthouse on Washington Island Wisconsin celebrated its 150 Birthday on May 17 with a celebration that included a dinner, raffles, and door prizes. HAPPY BIRTHDAY POTTAWATOMIE.

A Youngster Celebrates

A youngster compared to Pottawatomie Lighthouse above, Hawaii's Kilauea Point Lighthouse located in the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, celebrated its 95th Birthday on May 3. The theme of the party was "Make a Dream Come True," to raise money for the restoration of the lighthouse. The lighthouse was open for rare tours and roving interpreters were on hand along with games, and children's contests. Congratulations!

Win An Original Art Work

A framed original work of art by Pointillism artist Randall Peterson, valued at $1,600.00 is being raffled off by Maine's Friends of Little River Lighthouse. The original artwork was donated by Peterson to the Friends of Little River to help the group raise money for the ongoing restoration of the lighthouse. The framed work of art, which depicts Little River Lighthouse Station in Cutler, Maine, will include a certificate of authenticity and the original pen used to make this exquisite work of art. Peterson and his wife will fly to Maine from their home in Minnesota to participate in the first ever Lights Across the Border, Lighthouse Challenge to be held on August 9. If all the raffle tickets are sold by then, Randy Peterson will draw the winning ticket at an evening dinner sponsored by Little River Lighthouse. Second prize in the raffle is a Harbour Lights replica of Little River Lighthouse and third prize is a Little River Lighthouse afghan.

Lighthouse Challenge Booklet Available

If you're not yet decided if you want to attend the first ever International Lights Across the Border Lighthouse Challenge to be held in "downeast" Maine this August 9 and want to learn more you can send $2.00 for the Challenge Booklet. Your $2.00 fee helps the three nonprofits sponsoring the event to defray the cost of printing and mailing. Send to Lights Across the Border, P.O. Box 671, East Machias, ME 04630.

Cape Lookout Looking For Descendants

North Carolina's Cape Lookout Lighthouse is attempting to locate descendants of the lighthouse keepers who served at the lighthouse for its upcoming 150th anniversary on November 1, 2009 and invite them to attend the celebration. This includes U.S. Lighthouse Service and Coast Guard. If you are one of them or know of those who are, contact Steve Lyons at the United States Coast Guard at 252-247-4525.

This story appeared in the June 2008 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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