Lighthouse News of the Week

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse (courtesy of John Potvin)

Repairs are underway on Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse (MD) but help is still needed

Thomas Point Shoal lighthouse was built in 1875 off Annapolis, Maryland. In 1999, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. “It is the last surviving screw-pile lighthouse in the world in its original location, still being used for navigational purposes,” said John Potvin, the lighthouse’s preservation foreman and member of the U.S. Lighthouse Society. “At one time, there were 40 of these screw-pile lighthouses on the Bay.”

Moving a replacement beam into place (courtesy of John Potvin)

Crucial work has begun involving the replacement of steel beams in the foundation. “There are a total of 24 of these [steel] beams, and we need to replace — ultimately — all of those beams,” said Potvin.  A GoFundMe campaign launched in the spring and a fundraising gala held earlier this month were a success, but Potvin said they still need to raise about $104,000, so the GoFundMe drive will continue.

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Point Reyes Lighthouse (CA) open again after major restoration

Point Reyes Lighthouse, 1961, from the U.S. Lighthouse Society Archives

Perched on a jagged promontory in one of the windiest, foggiest spots on the Pacific Coast, the 148-year-old Point Reyes Lighthouse had been exposed “to an incredibly harsh environment,” said Jennifer Stock, the National Parks Service’s acting chief of interpretation and resource education. “There was a lot of deterioration over time.” After 13 months and a $5.7 million renovation, the lighthouse reopened on November 8.

Despite the relative remoteness of the lighthouse and the 330-step descent to the tower (“the equivalent of a 30-story building,” a sign warns), the lighthouse attracts some 400,000 visitors a year.

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Loop road at Beavertail Light Station in jeopardy from erosion

The loop road around Beavertail Lighthouse, photographed several years ago (photo by Jeremy D’Entremont)

The access road that loops around Beavertail Lighthouse in Beavertail State Park in Jamestown, Rhode Island, is being compromised by erosion. The Chief of Parks at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, according to the Jamestown Press, said because of the crumbling in two spots of that loop in particular, it wants to be proactive before there’s any trouble.

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Pigeon Point hosts 147th anniversary celebration

California State Parks is hosting a 147th anniversary celebration of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse from 1 to 7 p.m. today. There will be a food truck and native plant sales along with a variety of other activities, from kids games to live music from the Lighthouse String Band and Open Heartstrings Americana. There’s also a book-signing with maritime author JoAnn Semones and, for good measure, a 1900s steam-powered printing press producing limited-edition anniversary prints. For those curious to see the inside of the tower, there are 30-minute guided tours available from 1 to 5 p.m. Visitors will be able to go inside the keeper’s office and up to the first floor.

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“Light Hearted” podcast episode 34 about Pigeon Point:

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Play “Piercing the Darkness” illustrates St. Augustine Lighthouse’s history

St. Augustine Lighthouse, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Playwright and actor Lee Weaver will present “Piercing The Darkness” at 1 p.m. Sunday at The Corazon Cinema and Cafe, 36 Granada St., St. Augustine, Florida. This production turns the light onto the St. Augustine Lighthouse and its history.

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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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