Lighthouse News of the Week

The front porch of the historic Pacetti House, showing the lantern of the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse through the trees at the right. Courtesy of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Association Acquires the historic Ponce Inlet Pacetti Hotel property

The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Preservation Association’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that it is under contract to purchase the Ponce Inlet, Florida, property known as the Pacetti House and Hotel, located across the street from the National Historic Landmark Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. The historic site is presently owned by the Ohio based Greenacres Foundation.

The history of the town’s oldest house and the lighthouse are inexorably interwoven. Bartola Pacetti, a descendant of some of the 1400 indentured servants brought to the Inlet area in the 1770s to settle and work a failed Indigo plantation along the Halifax River, returned to the north shore of the then Mosquito Inlet in1843 and sometime after built the beginnings of a home, legend says out of driftwood, where the present house and former hotel now stands. Over the years he expanded it and took in boarders. When the United States Lighthouse Bureau surveyed the area in 1883, the government purchased 10 acres of the Pacetti Spanish Land Grant for $400
in order to establish the light station. Pacetti and his wife used the money to added more hotel-boarding house rooms to their home facing the river. Among the first clients of their expanded hotel were, of course, the men constructing the lighthouse. Later hunters, fishermen and families came to Mosquito Inlet to escape the winter months in the North and Midwest. The home was eventually sold to members of the Cincinnati, Ohio Gamble family, of Procter and Gamble fame, for their private use. Gamble family members, Louis and Louise Nippert, established the not-for-profit educational Greenacres Foundation in 1988. Various educational-use proposals for the property, as had been done so successfully by the foundation in the Cincinnati area, were proposed. Some of those plans included stewardship by the lighthouse staff for historic interpretation because of the remarkable and natural bond.

The Pacetti Boarding House “addition” financed from the U.S. Lighthouse Bureau’s purchase of 10 acres of property for $400 for the construction of the Mosquito/Ponce Inlet Light Station.

“This incredible opportunity, a long-held vision of past and present members of the lighthouse board and the museum’s professional staff, to be able to restore, preserve and interpret the history of the Pacetti House, and to be able to extend and widen our museum’s mission to include the lighthouse station’s physical origins is a dream come true. The history of the Pacetti family and how they survived and prospered is so important. Their roots are among the earliest settlers of this area. This bond extends far beyond just the relationship of the house to the light station. Their home became one of the first ‘boarding house hotels” in this area.’ The boarders
who vacationed at the house included famous artists, writers and captains of industry. ‘What goes around, comes around’ is so happily true in this instance.’ History just doesn’t get any better than this,” said Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum Executive Director Ed Gunnlaugsson.

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Delaware’s Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse is threatened by erosion

Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, USLHS photo by J. Candace Clifford

The Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation provided a tour on August 2 to give the public a close-up view of the erosion that threatens 93-year-old Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse. The light’s last keeper, Bill Harris, shared his experience and representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers explained repairs that are needed.

Shifts in the current are causing the sea floor to shift and the boulders that support the lighthouse are falling away, Corps of Engineers operational manager Dan Kelly said. Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation President Red Mouliner said the changes observed over the past eight years are dramatic.

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Maryland Lighthouse Challenge, September 21 – 22, 2019

The rules for the 12th MD Lighthouse Challenge are simple!

1. Print out the Driving Instructions.
2. Visit the ten lighthouses and 1 lightship (Or any number of the lights you choose to visit).
3. Collect the specially-designed commemorative souvenir from each.
4. Complete the visits within the designated hours of 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days
5. Receive the “completion” souvenir at the last location if you have visited all the required lights.
6. Sign the Challenge Completion Sheet.


Read more here

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North Head Lighthouse (WA) open after repairs

North Head Lighthouse, near the mouth of the Columbia River in Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, Washington, reopened on August 22 after being closed all summer for repairs. The most recent closure was due to Phase 3 of restoration.

North Head Lighthouse in 2015, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Click here for more information.

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Fig Fest at National Lighthouse Museum (NY)

This year the September 15 annual gathering of local fig growers in the Staten Island region will meet at the National Lighthouse Museum. This event offers local fig growers and fig aficionados an opportunity to gather, display their figs, cuttings, and fig products, and to discuss growing and propagating fig plants with other like minded individuals.

Sunday, September 15, 2019 Time: 4 pm – 8 pm National Lighthouse Museum, 200 The Promenade At Lighthouse Point, St. George, Staten Island, NY

Read more here

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Montauk Lighthouse Featured on Proposed New York License Plate

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched a statewide survey that will allow state residents to vote for one of five proposed license plate designs. One design features a panorama of New York attractions, including Niagara falls, the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline and the iconic Montauk Lighthouse.

Click here to read more

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