Digest>Archives> September 2010

Keeper's Korner

News, Tidbits & Editorial Comments from the Tower

By Timothy Harrison


Fox Island Lighthouse

The Fox Island Lighthouse Association is working in conjunction with the State of Michigan to perform an Historic Structures Report (HSR).  The light station, about 17 miles offshore, has seven structures, including the original 1867 school-house style lighthouse plus a newer 132-foot light tower, which previously stood on Sapelo Island, GA from 1905 to 1933 when it was decommissioned and barged to South Fox Island to provide greater visibility.

Barnegat Light Book

David Biggy has published a new book, Barnegat Lighthouse Perspectives. The 80 page book, with its 100 color images, is primarily a photographic look at the lighthouse and surrounding scenery in every season. It is available for $9.99 from www.Amazon.com.

JoAnn Semones New Book

Hard Luck Coast, The Perilous Reefs of Point Montara, by JoAnn Semons, follows her successful Shipwreck, Scalawags and Scavengers, the Storied Waters of Pigeon Point. Tin her most recent book, Semones has focused her attention on the shipwrecks off Point Montara Lighthouse, just a few miles south of San Francisco. In the pages of this book you will learn the history of each of these shipwrecks and the lives of the people involved with them – from captain and crew to the ship owner and those in the salvage trades as well as the lighthouse keepers and the life savers. Its all here is one hard cover book. Hard Luck Coast, The Perilous Reefs of Point Montara is available through www.Amazon.com.

FLA President Parachutes for 80th

For his 80th birthday, Stan Farnham, president of the Florida Lighthouse Association parachuted from 10,500 feet. Wow, what an amazing feat. Stan had nearly 30 family members on hand to witness the event and seven family members followed him in jumping. The last time Stan parachuted was 57 years ago. He said his landing showed how rusty he is.

More Lighthouses Free to Good Owners

The General Services Administration has declared a number of additional lighthouses as excess property under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. This means that any federal, state or local governments can apply for ownership of them as well as any qualified nonprofit organization. They are Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal Pierhead Lighthouse, Wisconsin; Moose Peak Lighthouse, Maine; Great Beds Lighthouse, New Jersey; Cleveland Ledge Light, Massachusetts; Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse, Ohio; South Haven South Pierhead Lighthouse, Michigan, Middle Island Lighthouse, Michigan, Huntington Harbor Lighthouse, New York and the Frankfort North Breakwater Lighthouse in Michigan. Practically on the day the notice went out the City of South Haven, Michigan sent their letter of interest to the GSA for its lighthouse. It’s wonderful to see how quickly they acted. They are to be commended. Hopefully other communities as well as non profits will take the initiative to do the same. Unfortunately, more likely than not, there are always the naysayers in local government agencies and many nonprofits that will stop a lighthouse from getting a new qualified owner.

Coast Guard in San Diego Recalled in New Book

A new book from The Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing Company titled The Coast Guard in San Diego is packed with historical images and informative text that is a must have for anyone interested in Coast Guard history. The historic images of helicopters, airplanes, vessels of all kind, and amazing rescues dating back to 1935 are recorded history at its best. The book also details the career of one of the most colorful aviator figures in Coast Guard history, that of Commander Elmer F. Stone, who got his start in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service. The book is available at www.ArcadiaPublishing.com.

Umpqua River Light Invites You to a Special Event

The Friends of Umpqua Rover Lighthouse, in Winchester Bay, Oregon will be hosting a Lighthouse Symposium on September 24 and 24. The event will include presentations by James Woodward, nationally known lampist and lighthouse consultant; Don McMichael, a former Coast Guard Commander of the Umpqua River Coast Guard Station; Dave Pinyard, author of Lighthouses and Life Saving Stations of the Oregon Coast; and others. There will also be artists, collections of lighthouse photography and memorabilia, a photo contest and a catered banquet on Saturday night Sept. 25. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. For more information you can visit their web site at http://www.FriendsofUmpquaRiverLighthouse.weebly.com or write to them at 1020 Lighthouse Road, Winchester Bay, Oregon 97467.

President Climbs Maine Lighthouse

President Obama and the First Family climbed to the top of Maine’s Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse on their July visit to Mount Desert Island. This was the first time in history that a president of the United States climbed the historic lighthouse, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Acadia National Park region of Maine. The lighthouse is featured in the book, Lighthouses of Bar Harbor and the Acadia Region.

1000 Climbs and Counting

Congratulations to Jack Buege for having climbed Michigan’s Big Sable Lighthouse 1,000 times. Jack has been a volunteer at the lighthouse for the past eight years was awarded a special sticker and cake by the other volunteers. When he reached the top of the tower for 1,000th time and looked down raked in the gravel below was “JACK WOW 1000,” and the other volunteers were yelling and shaking noise makers..

Pigeon Point Funding?

A California Congressman has introduced a bill that would provide federal funding to help Save California’s Point Arena lighthouse that we reported about in the June issue of Lighthouse Digest. The funding request has passed the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee and now heads to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Rhode Island Lighthouse Plate

The Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse handed out more than 1,400 of the new Rhode Island Lighthouse License plate during one Saturday afternoon event. This is amazing! The plates sold for $41.50 and $20.00 from each plate goes toward the repainting of the lighthouse.

Win a Book for Home Decorating Photos

If you have been decorating or furnishing rooms in your home with a lighthouse theme, Lighthouse Digest is looking for photographs of those rooms for possible inclusion in a new book on Maine Lighthouses that is being published by Historic New England, the regional historical and preservation society based in Boston.

The book will be a visual history of Maine Lighthouses, with nine chapters by eight authors highlighting the many roles these beacons have served from navigational aids and art subjects to tourist attractions and roadside advertisements. One of the chapters is entitled “Beacons for Business” and will trace the use of the lighthouse as an advertising symbol and as the inspiration for the design of a vast array of collectibles and household products, ranging from tabletop models and dinnerware to lamps and curtains. If you have decorated any of your rooms primarily with objects and furnishings bearing the image or imitating the form of a lighthouse, we would love to see what that interior looks like, whether it’s your dining room, living room, study, kitchen, or bathroom.

Please send us your color photographs with your name and address on the back. Should any of your photos be chosen for the chapter, you will receive two free copies of the book when it is published in 2011.

All of the pictures will remain in the files of Lighthouse Digest and may well appear in future issues of the magazine or in the pages of the Lighthouse Depot catalog.

Send your photos to: Home Décor Photos, Lighthouse Digest,

P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630.

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This story appeared in the September 2010 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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