Digest>Archives> December 2008

Wickie’s Wisdom

Straitsmouth Light To Town

By Timothy Harrison


It appears that the town of Rockport, Massachusetts will become the new owner of the Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse after a unanimous vote by the town’s selectmen.

The vote to accept ownership of the lighthouse, under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, came under the condition of a partnership between the Thacher Island Town committee and the Thacher Island Association to help with the long term care of the tower. Unfortunately the dilapidated keeper’s house is not part of the deal, because it is owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, which obviously has no interest or desire to become involved in historic preservation.

You may recall that the Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse was the subject of our Wickie’s Wisdom column in this past September and we are delighted to see the initiative taken by people of Rockport to care for the historic lighthouse tower into the future.

This positive step forward is much different than that of the leaders of Old Saybrook, Connecticut who apparently could care less what happens to the Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse, which they do not want to take care of, even though it appears on a state license plate and is one of their state’s iconic symbols. To help you remember you can refer back to my Wickie’s Wisdom column in the August 2008 issue of Lighthouse Digest.

The people of the town of Rockport are to be commended and thanked by all of us for taking the initiative to obtain ownership of the Straitsmouth Island Lighthouse.

While the community of Old Saybrook acts like the “Grinch” who stole Christmas, the spirit of Christmas is alive in Rockport, Massachusetts. After seeing what their counterparts have done in Massachusetts, maybe the day will come when the “Grinches” in Old Saybrook can be welcomed back into the historic preservation and lighthouse community. Let’s hope so.

In the meantime may the spirit of the Christmas season enter your heart and those around you and remain with you throughout the New Year.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good Light.

This story appeared in the December 2008 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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