Digest>Archives> May 2002

Keepers Korner

Tid-bits from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Hope for Hope Island

A new group has been formed in the area of South Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. The Huronia Lightstation Preservation Society (HLPS) was formed to help stop the deterioration on a number of light stations including Hope Island, Brebeuf Island, Western Island, Midland Ranges and Victoria Harbour. Their initial main focus is on the sad state at Hope Island. The group was formed after the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association brought over 50 of their members to the Hope Island Lighthouse who along with some locals helped stabilize the light and cap off the top prevent the elements from causing further damage. Apparently, this was the shot of adrenaline needed to get the group going. HLPS will be working closely with the First Nations who are negotiating ownership of the land from the Canadian Coast Guard. For more information you can visit their web site at ww.hlps.ca or write to Larry Wright, HLPS, Box 333, 20 King St., Cookstown, Ont., L0L IL0, Canada.

Come Celebrate 100 years at Alaskan lights

The Gastineau Channel Historical Society will be sponsoring their third annual Lighthouse Cruise and Keepers Lunch this June 1st in honor of the 100th anniversary of Alaska’s Sentinel Island Lighthouse and Five Finger Lighthouse. Although both lighthouses were actually first lit on March 1, 1902 Alaska’s weather causes the celebration to be held on June 1st. Tickets, which include lunch are $125.00 pp and include cruise to Sentinel Island, Eldred Rock and Point Retreat lighthouses, plus a stop at Vanderbilt Reef to honor those lost on the Princess Sophia. Includes lunch, live music, entertainment and lighthouse history. If you are interested in attending this historic one-day event contact Renee Hughes, Sentinel Island Lighthouse, 1001 Basin Rd, Juneau, Alaska 99801 Ph # 907-586-5338.

Red White and Blue

Beginning on the 29th of June and running until July 7th, Ohio’s Marblehead Lighthouse will once again be strung with red, white and blue lights. The twelve 100 foot strands will be secured at the base of the light and strung to the lower gallery. This will be the second year that the Marblehead Rotary Club is sponsoring this event. As a special treat fireworks and harbor illumination (including the lighthouse) will take place on the evening of July 4th.

NLM grant

The National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island New York has received a matching $25,000 grant from the Staten Island Bank and Trust Foundation to help support the design and creation of a permanent exhibit which includes an Orientation Exhibit, Tale of Keepers Exhibit, Sounds and Signals Exhibit and Navigational Aids exhibit. The museum has also acquired the lightship WLV-613 Nantucket which will be on permanent display at the museum. For more information contact National Lighthouse Museum, One Lighthouse Plaza, Staten Island, NY 10301.

Win a Cruise on the Great Lakes

The International Ship Masters Association, Port Huron Lodge is holding a raffle for a week long Great Lakes cruise, Sept. 16-23, for two on board the Christopher Columbus. The prize includes one night hotel accommodations in Port Huron, transfers from the hotel to the ship, all meals and entertainment on board, welcome and farewell parties, luggage handling on board, lectures etc; not included transportation to or from Port Huron, MI, shore excursions, valet services or personal purchases from the on board gift shop. Limited to U.S. and Canadian citizens. To purchase raffle tickets send your check with name, address and phone number to, ISMA Port Huron Lodge #2 Raffle, P. O. Box 611634, Port Huron, MI 48061-1634. Drawing will be held on 8/31/02 and winner will be notified by mail or phone. For more info about the ship visit www.GreatLakesCruising.com

More Room for Marblehead

A 10-acre, mostly wooded site is being added to the Marblehead (Ohio) Lighthouse State Park as the result of a $2.5 million purchased of adjacent lakefront property from retired local residents Louis and Lucille Kukay. That’s a lot of money to pay for 10 acres of land. Too bad it wasn’t donated for the public’s enjoyment. The Marblehead Lighthouse and its keeper’s house, built in 1880 are a big tourist draw for the state of Ohio. The site is being remodeled and upgraded for $500,000, which included an improved access drive and expanded parking lot. The improvements will be completed for this summer’s tourist season.

The only one in the world

A navigational beacon located on the U.S. Naval Academy seawall where the Severn River meets the waters of Spa Creek and the Annapolis City Harbor, the Triton Light is the only beacon in the world with a * * * * / * * * * * flash sequence. The light is named for the submarine USS TRITON (SSN-586). The structure contains a globe, which holds water from the 22 seas through which the TRITON sailed when, submerged; it circumnavigated the globe from February 15 to April 10, 1960.

Innkeeping with Murder is nominated

Innkeeping with Murder, A lighthouse Inn Mystery has been named an Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Mystery Novel. The book also made the IMBA National Bestseller list as well as being on various best seller lists across the country. The author, Tim Myers is about top release the second in mystery in the Lighthouse Inn Mystery series, Reservations for Murder. The book will be available for shipment from Lighthouse Depot this June.

Controversy at Tawas Point

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the new owner of the Tawas Point Lighthouse, wants to tear down a large house the Coast Guard moved to the Tawas Point Lighthouse site in 1922. They say that it blocks the view of the lighthouse from the land, plus they state that it would be too expensive to restore and maintain. NOW WAIT JUST A MINUTE! WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? The United States Coast Guard through the federal government gave them the site to maintain for the public’s enjoyment. And, as soon as they get ownership, they want to tear it down because it is too expensive to restore and maintain!!!!! This has got to be illegal. The Michigan DNR knew what it was getting, that’s why the government is giving up ownership of these properties, because they are too expensive. The idea is that a local community or non-profit can more easily raise the funds to restore and maintain them. This is worse that what happened in New Hampshire where the state claims they didn’t know that it was their responsibility to restore and maintain the Isles of Shoals Lighthouse that was given to them several years ago. Have the state officials in both of these states no idea what is going on and what is involved when they take ownership of historic properties? I’m so furious while typing this on my computer that the keyboard is smoking!!! I think the time has come to replace some of these state officials with real people, who think like real people and act like real people. I wonder if it will ever happen?

Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation

Lighthouse Digest is the perfect gift to give any time of the year. People seem to always think of Christmas and birthdays as gift giving times. But a subscription to Lighthouse Digest is also perfect for all those other occasions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation Day, Secretary’s Day, Grandparents’ Day, Bosses’ Day etc. Give them the world of lighthouses. A one-year subscription is only $28.00 and it’s a gift that they get month after month, all year long. Plus, you’ll be doing your share to draw more public attention to lighthouses and helping to save a vital part of our nation’s maritime heritage. For a subscription call 1-800-758-1444 or go on line at www.lighthousedigest.com.

Keepers Wanted

The folks at Thacher Island Lighthouse off the coast of Rockport, MA are looking for volunteers to train as summer keepers to welcome and greet tourists that find their way to the island. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer keeper contact the Thacher Island Town Committee, c/o Town of Rockport, 34 Broadway, Rockport, MA 01966 or visit the web site at www.thacherisland.org or email questions to info@thacherisland.org.

Top Ten Videos

A recent article in Downeast Magazine rated the top 10 videos about Maine and our good friend Jeff Dobbs at Jeff Dobbs Productions produced most. Among the top ten videos were Maine, America’s Coast, Air Maine, High on Maine, and Light Spirits. All of these videos contain lighthouse information with Light Spirits being all about lighthouses. All these videos are available from Lighthouse Depot by calling 1-800-758-1444.


Elizabeth A “Betty” Cornell, 70, passed away this past March. Born August 19, 1931 she was the daughter of Hertel and Doris Senay. In 1948 she married James D. McCullough. She was a keeper’s wife from 1958 to 1962 when the family was stationed on Burnt Island Lighthouse in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. She assisted in maintaining the light and fog signal. She last revisited the island in 1999 as part of a family reunion. In lieu of flowers her family requested memorial donations to the Burnt Island “Living” Lighthouse.

Lynn Jennette, 60, of Buxton, NC passed away at her home. Born in Butte, Montana she was the widow of the late Rany Jennette of Cape Lighthouse fame. She was a volunteer at North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and served as the chairwoman for the Hatteras Keepers Descendants Homecoming which drew hundreds of descendants from around the world to the lighthouse in May of 2001.


Karl Leite of Natal, Brazil collects lighthouse postcards from all over the world. If you would like to exchange postcards with him you can email him at kl@samnet.com.br

California’s Lighthouses only $9.95

Last year, we mentioned the special issue of Mains’l Haul devoted to California lighthouses. They were so overwhelmed with responses that they quickly sold out and had to return checks to people that had requested a copy. They have just reprinted that issue as a book, California Lighthouses, Standing Tall Through Time. Copies are now available for $9.50, which includes tax and shipping. If you’d like a copy send $9.95 to Mains’l Haul, 1492 Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

Brockman gets award

Chuck Brockman of Save Our South Channel Lights has received the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution Conservation Medal. The medal is a national honor, which was sponsored by the Piety Hill Chapter of the DAR. Save Our South Channel Lights has been in existence for 11 years and has saved one of the Michigan lights from collapse and are now preparing to build a second seawall and renovate the towers after receiving applied for grant money.

Door County Lighthouse Walk

Door County Wisconsin boasts 250 miles of shoreline and more lighthouses than any other county in the nation. Nine of those lighthouses will be involved in this year’s Lighthouse Walk on May 18 & 19. The Door County Museum presents two days of self-guided tours to five mainland lighthouses, plus boat tours by three island lighthouses. For more information call 920-743-5958 or go to www.dcmm.org and follow the link to the Lighthouse Tour.

This story appeared in the May 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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