Digest>Archives> May/Jun 2023

Keeper's Korner

Tidbits and Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


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New Owner in Duluth

Under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, ownership of the 1910 Duluth Harbor North Breakwater Lighthouse, in Duluth, Minnesota, has been transferred to RETHOS, a nonprofit historic preservation organization based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. (Lighthouse Digest archives photo by Ryan Rowe)

25 Years at Grand Traverse

Congratulations to Stef Staley on her 25th anniversary as the Executive Director of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum in Northport, Michigan. We’ve known Stef since her days here in Maine, and the museum couldn’t be in better hands. If you have never visited the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum, we would highly recommend it.

Little River Makes Yellow Pages

We were recently surprised to see the Little River Lighthouse in Cutler, Maine, appear on the cover of the brand new 2023 Yellow Pages for Washington County Maine. Yes, there still are phone books out there! We thought this was pretty slick!

West Quoddy in Flowers

Recently, Maureen Trenary, a long-time Lighthouse Digest subscriber from Minnesota, found out it was the 60th birthday of Kathleen Finnegan, the Managing Editor of Lighthouse Digest, and surprised her with a birthday floral arrangement that resembled West Quoddy Head Lighthouse in Lubec, Maine, complete with the correct number of stripes and even a beacon on the top that lighted. The arrangement was made by Expressions Floral and Gifts in Machias, Maine. All we could say is “WOW!” with a special thanks to Maureen Trenary.

Passing Showers

This 9” x 18” oil-on-panel painting, titled “Passing Showers,” of Maine’s Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse, was done by William R. Davis, who entered it into the Art Renewal Center’s 16th Annual ARC Salon where it won Honorable Mention. Congratulations! William Davis and his wife, Judith, are long-time subscribers to Lighthouse Digest.

Keeper’s Son Dies

David C. O’Hagan, Jr., 85, son of David C. O’Hagan who was the Coast Guard lighthouse keeper of the St. Simons Island Lighthouse in Georgia from 1945 to 1953 passed away March 9, 2023. David Jr. and his siblings spent much of their lives playing on the beach by the 104-foot-tall lighthouse that was built in 1872. David C. O’Hagan was the last official keeper of the St. Simons Lighthouse. Our condolences go out to his friends and family. (This historic image of St. Simons Island Lighthouse with the old cars, from the time when David C. O’Hagan was the last keeper, is a recently-acquired image that is now in archives of Lighthouse Digest)

Grand Haven to Open in 2024

The Grand Haven South Pierhead Outer Lighthouse, in Grand Haven, Michigan, is expected to open to the public in 2024 after a $200,000 restoration project is completed this summer. Part of the money is coming from a $60,000 Michigan Lighthouse Assistance grant. However, if plans work out, the public will get a sneak peek this August 7, 2023, on National Lighthouse Day. When the lighthouse does officially open up in 2024, it will include displays, artifacts, and a gift shop. Once opened to the public, the lighthouse is expected to be self-sustaining.

McGulpin Point Restoration

The McGulpin Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City, Michigan hired National Restoration, Inc. to do a nearly $100,000 restoration project at the 1869 lighthouse. The work included a number of projects, but was not limited to: the repairing and cleaning of the masonry and the painting of the interior walls. The lighthouse was discontinued in 1906 and sold into private ownership and its lantern was removed. It was replaced by the nearby Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. In 2008, the McGulpin Lighthouse was purchased by Emmet County to be opened as a historical tourist site. In 2009, a replica lantern was placed on the tower and the lighthouse was relighted on May 30, 2009. Admission to the lighthouse will remain at $3.00 per person. (Photo by Timothy Harrison)

Georgia Leader Dies

Keith Robert Noerenberg, 73, of Greensboro, Georgia, passed away this past January after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Due to his interest in photography, he and his wife Martha, visited over 400 lighthouses; and for two years he served as the president of the North Georgia Beacon Brigade. (Lighthouse Digest archives photo)

Avery Point Founding Member Dies

Irma Streeter, 75, a founding member of the Avery Point Lighthouse Society, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on March 11, 2023, at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital in New London, Connecticut. Her husband, James L. Streeter, whom she married on March 7, 1964, was also a founding member of the Avery Point Lighthouse Society that saved the deteriorating 1944 Avery Point Lighthouse in Groton, Connecticut, and relit the restored lighthouse on October 15, 2006. She and her husband could often be found attending various lighthouse events around New England. Our sincere condolences go out to her husband Jim, her family members, and wide circle of friends. She will be missed. (Lighthouse Digest archives photo)


On page 22 of our March/April 2023 edition, we incorrectly identified this post card image as the Frankfort North Pierhead Lighthouse before the move. This was incorrect. This post card is not the Frankfort North Pierhead Lighthouse that we all see today that was raised in height in 1932, and is also known as the Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse. This post card image is actually of the 1873 Frankfort South Pierhead Lighthouse, that in 1903, was equipped with a steam-powered foghorn, as shown in the copper trumpet that can be seen emerging from the tower on the lakeward face of the structure. This wooden tower was demolished in 1912.

Money for Rock of Ages

The Rock of Ages Lighthouse Preservation Society has been awarded a $46,000 grant from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program through the sale of the “Save Our Lights” automobile license plates. The money will be used for exterior repairs and painting of the 1908 Rock of Ages Lighthouse that is located out in the water, east of Isle Royale, in Lake Superior near Houghton, Michigan. Last season, 30 volunteers dedicated 1,253 hours of labor over seven weeks, working on various restoration projects at the lighthouse. (Photo by John Brueske)

Home Schoolers Visit

Twenty-one students and parents from the Outsiders Home School visited Florida’s 1868 Cape Canaveral Lighthouse this past March 30th. Congratulations to them. We need more of our young people to visit our nation’s lighthouses so they can learn how to be the next generation of stewards. The 1st order Fresnel lens, that was once in the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, is now on display at Florida’s Ponce de Leon Lighthouse. (Courtesy Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation)

Same Names

While on a tour with New England Lighthouse Lovers (NELL), of the lighthouses in Newburyport, Massachusetts, member Robert “Bob” Mills, and others in the group, stopped by for a tour of the Custom House Maritime Museum. It was here that Bob Mills was told by Jack Santos, of the museum, that he had the same name as the famous architect who built the Custom House and many other notable buildings. Needless to say, Bob was delighted to learn this interesting slice of history about his name. Bob Mills, of NELL, is shown here to the left with Jack Santos of the Custom House Maritime Museum.

Captain Patterson Dies in Plane Crash

Captain Andy Patterson, 66, of Cutler, Maine, was killed in a small plane crash on March 28, 2023, in a marshy area, near the Stone River, between James and Johns Islands in South Carolina. Recognized by many as Captain Andy, he was well known and highly respected for his seasonal tours to view the puffins at Canada’s Machias Seal Island, where there is still a staffed Canadian lighthouse. I first met Andy Patterson in April of 2000, when he took me and a small group of others out to the endangered Little River Lighthouse, located on a 15-acre island off the coast of Cutler, Maine. We were there to get an assessment of whether the lighthouse, which was on the Lighthouse Digest Doomsday List of Endangered Lighthouses, could be saved or not. Many thought, that because of its remote location that it would be too cost prohibitive to be saved. I did not. Soon the lighthouse came under the control of the American Lighthouse Foundation, which I was a cofounder and president of at the time. Over the next few years, until we had our own small boats, Capt. Andy volunteered many hours transporting volunteers and supplies to the island to help with the restoration. Then, in later years, even after the restoration of the lighthouse was completed, he used his boats to help transport school groups, boy scouts, wedding parties, church groups, and others out to the island. He never charged for any of those services. Andrew Patterson was extremely active in many different community events, probably more than so than any other one person. He was an instant friend to all who met him. Our since condolences go out to his wife, Renee, children, Anna and Linus, and his wide circle of friends. He will be missed.

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This story appeared in the May/Jun 2023 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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