If you have accessed the Digital Archives or the Lighthouse Enthusiasts Community sections on the Society’s website, you have Society volunteer Gary Riemenschneider to thank. The Society would like to take this opportunity to highlight Gary’s remarkable contributions!
Many years ago Gary created an application on his computer that allowed him to log lighthouse visits. Around 2010 he created the USLHS Lighthouse Enthusiasts Community website where all lighthouse enthusiasts can log and review their visits and passport stamps, download coordinates to all the viewable lighthouses in the U.S. and Canada, and much more.
Gary volunteered hundreds of hours to develop an incredible Light List resource for the Society website. The information in this section uses two formats. First, you can access graphical representations for sections of the United States where arcs are displayed that represent the characteristics of those lighthouses on the map, how lighthouses were activated or deactivated over time, and how their characteristics may have changed. Second, you can access historical light list information for either an entire state or a particular lighthouse.
Gary was inspired to create this splendid resource during a 2005 Society tour of Maine Lighthouses. While visiting the recently opened Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland, Maine, he saw a huge nautical chart painted on the floor showing the Maine coastline with the characteristic arcs of the lighthouses in that state. Gary thought to himself that he could replicate it on a computer! Little did he know then how much time he would devote to putting that website together! The first release of the Light Lists website occurred in 2007 with the Pacific Coast lights fully researched. Since then he has added the East Coast and Gulf Coast lighthouses. However, he still has the Great Lakes lighthouses to fully research — a daunting task!
Gary also created a couple of other sections within the USLHS website dealing with lighthouse photos and architectural drawings. He recently added a number of West Coast lighthouse drawings which the Society had scanned from the National Archives collection.
Gary currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, which is within fairly easy reach of many of the Great Lakes lighthouses. He got the lighthouse fever in 1999 with his then wife, Debbie Roark. They planned a trip to Acadia National Park and viewed the Nubble Lighthouse in Maine on the way. While there they saw a few more lighthouses, and they both became hooked. Although Debbie and Gary are no longer married, they continue to see many lighthouses in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Gary’s ultimate goal is to view all of the lighthouses in the United States and Canada, but he says “I still has a way to go. And, of course, I want to continue providing support for the USLHS website since I still have a love for developing software on a subject that greatly interests me.”
A huge Society thank you to Gary Riemenschneider for his incredible contributions to lighthouse research, education, and enjoyment. His exceptional generosity in sharing his time and computer talents have greatly benefitted those who love to visit and study lighthouses!
Submitted by Candace Clifford, October 23, 2017
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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. Please join 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 email@example.com.
Candace was the US Lighthouse Society historian from 2016 until she passed away in August 2018. For 30 years, her work involved lighthouse history. She worked with the National Park Service and the Council of American Maritime Museums. She was a noted author and was considered the most knowledgable person on lighthouse information at the National Archives. Books by Candace Clifford include: Women who Kept the Lights: a History of Thirty-eight Female Lighthouse Keepers , Mind the Light Katie, and Maine Lighthouses, Documentation of their Past.