Digest>Archives> April 2004

Keeper’s Korner

Tid-bits from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Cheboygan gets recognized

Michigan’s Cheboygan Crib Light in Cheboygan has been designated Historic Resources by the City of Cheboygan’s Historic Resources Commission under guidelines established by a city ordinance in 2002. The lighthouse once located out in the water was moved to shore in 1984 and has become a symbol of the city ever since.

Ghost book raises money for lighthouse

Jessica, Lady of the Lamp is the title of a new book by Kenneth Crompton. The book is a ghost story that centers around the Umpqua River Lighthouse. Although it is fiction, there are several connections to phenomenon in the actual lighthouse that can be seen by visitors, and references to the area in Oregon as it might have been in 1888. For six years, Ken and his wife Carol volunteered at the Umpqua River Lighthouse complex as lighthouse tour guide and receptionist. One dollar from each book sold is donated to the lighthouse. The book is available for $9.00 plus $1.00 shipping from Ken Crompton, 605 E. Papago Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281.

Range Light changes

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association is on its way to restoration and opening of the Cheboygan River Range Lighthouse, which will give it access to a waterway for lake tours. The lighthouse is not to be confused with the nearby Cheboygan Crib Light. The lighthouse will soon be owned by GLLKA under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act.


The Save the Light group raising money to save South Carolina’s Morris Island Light has raised enough money to begin the first phase of stabilization of the lighthouse that sits 1,600 feet off shore. Total restoration cost to save the lighthouse is estimated at $6 million.

New Lighthouse for Detroit

A new lighthouse is now at the St. Aubin Marina, which is part of Michigan’s first urban state park in Detroit, MI as part of the city’s $500-million downtown river front of linked parks.

Stein Collecting

If you’re a stein collector, especially lighthouse steins, the folks at Budweiser have a new lighthouse stein designed after Alcatraz Lighthouse. This is the fourth lighthouse stein they have released. The others were of Ponce DeLeon Lighthouse in Florida, Thomas Point Light in Maryland and Cape Hatteras Light in North Carolina. Price $150 per stein and can be ordered on line at www.BudShop.com

Proper Photo credits

In the last issue of Lighthouse Digest, we neglected to give photo credits in the story on Ohio’s Lorain Lighthouse. For those photos we’d like to thank Mickey Van Wagnen of the U.S. Coast Guard and Vanessa C. Volak of Lorain Port Authority.

CG station to Cleveland

The old Cleveland Coast Guard station, built in 1940 to resemble the sleek outlines of a ship, is now owned by the City of Cleveland. The Coast Guard abandoned the station in 1974, and it was sold to private owners in 1984. Although it had a brief stint as a bar and disco, the station has fallen into extreme disrepair over the years. Recent inspection has found a collapsed roof, missing windows and a flooded basement. The city hopes to obtain a $250,000 Save Our Treasures grant to restore the property. Made of poured cement it is considered an art décor masterpiece, especially with its rising tower that looks out over the water. Unfortunately, we do not have any photos of it in our files. If any of our readers can help us with photos, either current or historic we’d like to hear from you at P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630.

New name but same lighthouse

A little over a year ago the Plum Crazy Blue Gill Grill was heavily damaged by fire. The restaurant with its landmark lighthouse replica in Haslett, Michigan, is now open again with a shortened name having dropped the words Plum Crazy in favor of simply the Blue Gill Grill.

Lighthouse Conference to South Africa

Cape Town has won the bid to host the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation & Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) in March 2010. The conference, which will attract some 400 delegates from over 40 countries, will run over six days showcasing some of the latest aids to navigation development, as well as focus on related environmental issues and the preservation of historic lighthouses. The conference will also incorporate a three day Aids to Navigation Trade Exhibition. According to James Collocott manager of Lighthouse Services for the National Ports Authority of South Africa, this will be the first time, since the IALA was established in 1957, that a conference will be held in Africa.

Keeper dies

Harry W. Dowler, 71, a former lighthouse keeper at Boston Light and Graves Light, in MA has died. He served at both stations as Coast Guard keeper. Born and raised in Detroit, MI, he had a passion for art and art-related fields and some of his restored works are on display at the Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, MA.

Keeper’s daughter dies

Genevieve "Jenny" Purington Cirone died at her home in South Addison, Maine, on February 4 at the age of 91. Jenny’s father, John Purington, was keeper of Nash Island Lighthouse from 1916 until 1935. He had previously been keeper at Maine's Deer Island Thorofare Light, Egg Rock Light and Great Duck Island Light. Jenny started raising sheep on Nash Island when she was a girl, and kept sheep on Nash and nearby Big Nash Island for the rest of her life. She also lobstered up until recent years. Jenny was an inspiration to the Friends of Nash Island Light, the group that has worked to restore the lighthouse. They produced a video documentary called Jenny’s Island Life: The Story of Jenny Cirone and Nash Island Light. You can purchase the video by sending $24 ($25 for Maine residents for sales tax) to: Friends of Nash Island Light, RR 1, Box 490, Addison, ME 04606.

This story appeared in the April 2004 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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