Lighthouse News of the Week


Sophie Blackall Wins Caldecott Medal for “Hello Lighthouse”

This year’s winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for outstanding illustration of children’s books is Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall.

The New York Times Book Review said of Hello Lighthouse: “I will be surprised if a more exquisite picture book will be published this year…Children will be fascinated…” Kirkus Review praised the “precise, detailed illustrations,” rendered in Chinese ink and watercolor.

This is the second Caldecott for Sophie Blackall, who wrote and illustrated Hello Lighthouse. She won her first Caldecott Medal in 2016 for Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear.

On Twitter, Blackall cited the U.S. Lighthouse Society as an important resource in her research for Hello Lighthouse. When asked to expand on that, she responded: “I am indebted to the USLHS! It was such a fantastic resource when I was researching Hello Lighthouse. From my early investigations into history and architecture, to exploring the comprehensive list of lighthouses and the stories every single one contains, to following links and more links to a true treasure trove of information. My obsession began at your website and ended with this book.”

Thank you, Sophie, and best wishes for continued success!

Hello Lighthouse is available through Amazon, B&N, and other online booksellers.

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Special Louisiana license plates to help save lighthouse

The American Press has reported that purchases of Louisiana’s Sabine Pass Lighthouse license plates will help raise money to restore the structure. The plates say “Save the Sabine Pass Lighthouse” and feature an image of the tower on the Gulf Coast.

Sabine Pass Lighthouse (U.S. Coast Guard)

The most important needs are fixing cracks and banding the tower to help prevent water intrusion. The lighthouse is perhaps the oldest brick structure standing in Southwest Louisiana.

Plates are available at the Sulphur, Lake Charles, or Cameron DMV and through

Click here for more details.

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Four Florida reef lighthouses now available to new stewards

Under the guidelines of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, four Florida reef lighthouses are being made available to potential new stewards. The lighthouses are American Shoal, Carysfort Reef, Sombrero Key, and Alligator Reef.

Details may be found here.


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Relighting celebration for Gasparilla Island Lighthouse (Florida) on February 9

Collection of Jeremy D’Entremont


The Barrier Island Parks Society is hosting a celebration for the newly restored Gasparilla Island Lighthouse on Saturday, February 9, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. The celebration will include free climbs of the lighthouse, food and drinks, and live music. The lighthouse relighting will be at 6:20 p.m.

After a lengthy approval process involving six federal and state government agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers, the lighthouse has been formally designated a private aid to navigation. The new lens is a replica of the one that was installed in 1927 and will include an amber LED lamp.

The lighthouse is at 220 Gulf Blvd., Boca Grande, Florida. Call BIPS 941-964-0060 for more information.

Click here for an event flyer.

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Rondout Lighthouse in 2008. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

FEMA funds for Rondout Lighthouse (NY)

$401,736 for repairs at Rondout Lighthouse has become available. The funds had sat dormant for some years after damage from Superstorm Sandy.

The lighthouse, on the Hudson River at the entrance to Rondout Creek, is owned by the City of Kingston, New York.  Kristen Wilson, director of the city’s Office of Grants Management, said that the work to be done included repairs to the electrical system at the lighthouse.

Click here to read more details.

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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.

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