Digest>Archives> November 2010

Keepers Korner

By Timothy Harrison

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Rescuing Morris Island

This past summer workers spent six days a week, 13 hours per day working on the $2 million foundation to shore up South Carolina’s Morris Island Lighthouse. This project was a long time coming and shows how dedicated the folks at “Save The Light” have been in their perseverance. They understood a long time ago that preservation is a long drawn out process.

Washington Replica Planned

In an effort to help promote tourism in Blaine, Washington, some folks there want to see a replica of the long lost Semiahmoo Lighthouse built. The Semiahmoo Lighthouse Resurrection Society is leading the movement.

Bordon Flats Gets New Owner Again

The GSA has auctioned off Bordon Flats Lighthouse in Fall River, Massachusetts again. The government said that the previous winner of the auction, Michael Gabriel, defaulted, in spite of Gabriel’s claims that he did not, but, nonetheless the government auctioned off the lighthouse again. Gabriel claimed he was going to open a micro brewery in the lighthouse, but new owner Nick Korstead said he plans to keep the lighthouse for its intended purpose and eventually open it to the public.

Time Capsule Installed

A 25 year time capsule has been installed in the new replica of the lost Oak Orchard Lighthouse in Point Breeze, NY. Included in the capsule were business cards of local businesses, souvenirs, and toys supplied by school children.

FLA Honors Gaske

The Florida Lighthouse Association has honored Fred Gaske with its highest honor, the Thomas Taylor Award for Outstanding Service On Behalf of Lighthouse Preservation. Previous recipients were Gene Oakes 2005, Hib Castleberry 2006, Paul Bradley, Jr. 2007, Dennis Barnell 2008 and George Evans in 2009. Congratulations Fred!!

Bell Rock to Celebrate 200 Years

The community of Arbroath, Scotland will be hosting a year long celebration in 2011 honoring the 200th anniversary of Bell Rock Lighthouse. The lighthouse was considered one of the world’s greatest engineering feats of its time. To learn more about the celebration go to www.LighthouseDigest.net

Kagawong Painted

The 1894 Kagawong Lighthouse on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada received a recent surprise visit from a Canadian Coast Guard work crew that painted the lighthouse. Hopefully it’s a sign that other Manitoulin Island Lighthouses will also get some future help.

Ontario Beacon to Replicate Lost Light

Maritime enthusiast Bill Caesar is leading the charge to get public and private support to build what he hopes would be a close resemblance to one of the two lost Little Current Range Lights that once stood in Little Current, Ontario, Canada. Reportedly, both of the 1866 lighthouses had the old bird cage style lantern rooms, which Cesar wants to replicate. The folks who built the Michael’s Point Lighthouse (see the October 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest) have offered to lend a hand. Another individual has offered to donate a 16-inch reflector light, the right size to replicate the original, which he saved from a land fill 20 years ago. Caesar has received the agreement in principle from local officials. Lighthouse Digest is looking for photos of the original Little Current Lighthouses. If you can help, please write to us at P.O. Box 250, East Machias, ME 04630 or by e-mail at editor@LighthouseDigest.com.

Rocket Ship Lighthouse Replica Approved

Michigan’s Petoskey City Council has voted 4 to 1 in favor of the proposal by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keeper’s Association (GLLKA) to erect a replica of the old 1912-1924 Petoskey Breakwater Lighthouse in Quarry Park in Petoskey, Michigan. The lighthouse was one of a series of “Pagoda” style lighthouses that once stood on the Great Lakes. For more information please refer to the September, 2009 and the July, 2010 issues of Lighthouse Digest.) Congratulations to GLLKA for this initiative. Plans are now underway to raise the funds for this project.

Coin Toss to Choose Owner of ME Light

Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse, which can be seen in the waters by everyone visiting Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, has been sold by the government through an on-line auction. However, as the bidding war kept driving the price up, two of the most active bidders met and flipped a coin to determine which one of them would drop out of the bidding and which one would continue. The final price for the lighthouse was $190,000 by Dr. Jeffrey E. Florman. For a time, the lighthouse was licensed to the American Lighthouse Foundation, which, as well as any other qualified nonprofit, could have obtained the lighthouse for free under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. Interestingly, now that the lighthouse will be on the tax roles, the town manager of Cape Elizabeth said he doesn’t think the lighthouse is in their city limits. If that’s true the town of Cape Elizabeth will lose the $3,400 in taxes and some other government entity, perhaps the county, would benefit from the tax revenue from the now privately owned lighthouse. Dramatic photos of Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse and the keepers who served at the lighthouse can be found in the September 2010 edition of Lighthouse Digest magazine.

Ludlam Beach Lighthouse Destroyed

Efforts to save New Jersey’s former Ludlam Beach Lighthouse have failed and the structure was demolished by its owner. Although the structure no longer looked like a lighthouse and had been moved many years ago, many believed the 1800s structure could have been restored to its original appearance. Another slice of American lighthouse history is now gone forever.

Old Orchard Sold

After no qualified applicant stepped forward to obtain ownership for free of the Old Orchard Shoal Lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, the 1893 spark plug style lighthouse was put up for auction and sold for $40,000. The lighthouse, which was automated in 1955, sits in the waters of Lower New York Bay, Staten Island, NY.

Lighthouse Volunteers Honored

Gladys Myer Davis, along with her husband Earl, were recently honored by the Florida Associations of Museums for their lifetime of volunteerism work for various causes but most prominently for Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. Gladys was the last child born at the lighthouse where her father, Edward Meyer, originally served as an assistant keeper from 1921 to 1930. After later serving at other lighthouses her father was appointed head keeper at Ponce Inlet Lighthouse in 1937. Gladys has served on the board of directors of the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse Preservation

This story appeared in the November 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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