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Lighthouse News of the Week

Burnt Coat Harbor Light Station on Swans Island, Maine, in August 2018.
Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Restoration of Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse on Swans Island, Maine, underway

Restoration work on Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse began in April, thanks to the Friends of the Swans Island Lighthouse. Tito Masonry LLC of Portland is doing the work, which started in mid-April and is expected to cost about $172,000. The restoration of the masonry should take about three months.

You can learn more by clicking here

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Portland Head Lighthouse in 2014 by Rich Buckner (U.S. Lighthouse Society)

Maine’s Portland Head Light to charge for parking

Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth is the oldest (1791) lighthouse in Maine and the world’s most visited lighthouse, with more than 1.2 million visitors each year. Until now, there was no charge for parking, although tour buses and vans had to pay a fee, and visitors have had to pay a nominal charge to enter the museum in the former keeper’s house.

Starting this July, visitors will have to pay a $2 fee for parking near the lighthouse, which is located in Fort Williams Park, and there will be a two-hour minimum. Officials say the yearly maintenance fees in the park are about $530,000, and planned projects this year will cost $750,000. The parking fees will bring in an additional $300,000 in revenue.

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East Point Lighthouse named among most endangered sites in New Jersey

Preservation New Jersey released its 2019 ranking of the 10 most endangered historic sites in the state on the steps of the Statehouse in Trenton on Thursday. East Point Lighthouse stands out on the list as one of the only places under threat from natural forces. 

East Point Lighthouse
East Point Lighthouse, U.S. Lighthouse Society archives

Huge sandbags put around the perimeter of the structure have been a short-term solution. This summer, the state Department of Environmental Protection will stretch a 900-foot-long Geotube from a nearby boat ramp to a bulkhead outside the lighthouse.

Click here to read more

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Robert Eggers’ film The Lighthouse premieres in Cannes on Sunday

The highly anticipated horror film The Lighthouse, written and directed by Robert Eggers, premieres at the Cannes Film Festival in France this Sunday. The film stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as early 1900s Maine lighthouse keepers and is Eggers’ followup to his acclaimed 2015 film The Witch.

Willem Dafoe, left, and Robert Pattinson star in The Lighthouse. The film will make its world debut at the Directors Fortnight program in Cannes on Sunday. – File

The Lighthouse was shot on black and white 35mm film stock, using equipment from the 1920s and ’40s. It was shot around Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, chiefly near the lighthouse at Cape Forchu. A faux lighthouse was built for the filming.

The film has been described as a fantasy-horror story set in the world of seafaring myths.

You can read more here.

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Maine Lighthouse Museum to host nautical book sale on May 28

The Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland will host a giant sale of used nautical books on Saturday, May 25. The sale will run from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and there will be more than 200 books to choose from.

Click here for more information

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Rondout Lighthouse (NY) tours return Memorial Day weekend

Rondout Lighthouse is the last of three lighthouses marking the entrance to the Rondout Creek. It is one of only seven lighthouses remaining on the Hudson River.

Saturday, May 25 through Sunday, June 16, lighthouse tours will be offered aboard the pontoon boat Skillypot II, which can accommodate up to 6 passengers per tour. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children under 12 and include general admission to the Hudson River Maritime Museum.

Rondout Lighthouse, photo by Ralph Eshelman

Starting Saturday, June 22 (coinciding with the Maritime Festival), tours will be transported aboard the solar powered tour boat Solaris, which can accommodate up to 27 passengers per tour.

Click here for more information

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Point Betsie Lighthouse (MI) adding visitor improvements

The Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse will hire Fleis & VandenBrink to do engineering work on a project that makes it easier for people to get to the beach and to the historic structures located at the site. The project includes a boardwalk, sidewalks and beach access Mobi-mats for those who use wheelchairs. Also included is reconstruction of the Betsie Road end with the creation of a turnaround. This year about a half-mile of Betsie Road is getting shoulder work and being repaved, a project that is being done by Benzie County.

Point Betsie Lighthouse, USLHS photo by Candace Clifford

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New Bedford (MA) city council approves $250,000 for Butler Flats Lighthouse

New Bedford’s City Council voted to fund 17 Community Preservation Act projects last week, totaling $1.5 million. The funding includes $250,000 for the rehabilitation of Butler Flats Lighthouse, which is owned by a private individual.

Butler Flats Lighthouse in 2013; photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Click here for more on the story.

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Seguin Light Station (ME) getting a new generator

A helicopter will soon lift a $5500 generator to Maine’s Seguin Island, making up for the loss of the 2.5-mile underwater cable that supplied electricity to the island. The cable was recently severed by the Coast Guard because it was damaged. Public boat rides to the island will begin Memorial Day weekend as usual.

Early 1900s postcard of Seguin Light Station, USLHS archives

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“Light Hearted” podcast premieres on June 3

Be sure to watch (and listen) for the premiere edition of the new U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, Light Hearted, coming on Monday, June 3. The premiere edition will feature an interview with Sophie Blackall, children’s book author and illustrator. Her book Hello, Lighthouse won the Caldecott Medal as the most distinguished American picture book for children of 2018.

Future editions of the podcast, hosted by lighthouse author/historian Jeremy D’Entremont, will feature interviews with people from across the lighthouse world — directors of lighthouse-related organizations, historians and writers, former lighthouse keepers, and many more. Along with Jeremy there will be guest co-hosts including Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses operations manager Cindy Johnson and award-winning volunteer Michelle Jewell Shaw. Other features will be trivia questions (with prizes!) and segments about the history of lighthouses in the world.

“Light Hearted” will be available through the website and also through iTunes. Watch this space for further news.

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U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research. You can receive these posts via email if you click on the “SUBSCRIBE” button in the right-hand column. Please support this electronic newsletter by joining the U.S. Lighthouse Society if you are not already a member.

If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to Jeremy at jeremy@uslhs.org

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