Digest>Archives> March 2002

Funds Slow for Most Endangered Light

By Timothy Harrison


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Including Delaware’s Mispillion Lighthouse on our Doomsday List and naming it, as the Most Endangered Lighthouse in the United States does not necessarily mean that checks will fill up the mailbox at the American Lighthouse Foundation.

This is one of those lighthouses that seem to get “no respect” as Rodney Dangerfield always says. Why, we don’t know. But the fact remains that this lighthouse needs some help. Several months ago the American Lighthouse Foundation offered to match dollar for dollar the first $5000 in donations that were sent in. Yet less than $2000 arrived at the American Lighthouse Foundation.

Part of the problem is that the lighthouse, which was privately, owned, still remains in bankruptcy. A local attorney, Sam Burke, has been trying for months to purchase the lighthouse and he has expressed a positive interest in working with the Keepers of the Mispillion Lighthouse to restore the structure if he is able to secure ownership. In the meantime the group continues to try to raise money to be used when the day comes that they can use it to save the lighthouse.

The problem is time. The longer the lighthouse receives no stabilization, the more the chance that it could literally collapse or be vandalized. The immediate area next to the lighthouse is abandoned including a damaged marine and former restaurant.

Adding the structure to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986 did nothing to help save the lighthouse.

This story appeared in the March 2002 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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