After 90 years, the ‘Flying Santa’ is still flying to lighthouses and Coast Guard stations
In 1929, Captain William Wincapaw wanted to honor the selfless sacrifice of lighthouse keepers and their families in his native Maine. The aviation pioneer decided to deliver Christmas gifts to some of the lighthouses that helped guide him as he flew around Penobscot Bay. On December 25, he loaded his float plane with packages of newspapers, coffee, candy, and other small luxuries and dropped them from his cockpit as he flew by the lighthouses.
Ninety years later, the tradition is still going strong thanks to the Friends of Flying Santa.
* * *
Orient Point Lighthouse (NY) transformed into artist’s studio
Over the past five years, sculptor Randy Polumbo has converted part of the interior of the Orient Point Lighthouse, between Orient Point and Plum Island, into an artist’s residency. This spring, the compact space will be open for artists, writers, composers, and whomever wants to be “lost at sea for a week or more,” Mr. Polumbo said. The lighthouse remains an active aid to navigation. “I love the idea of preserving this and adaptively reusing it … for the purpose of creative voyages and production,” he said.
* * *
New Year’s Eve party to celebrate Umpqua River Lighthouse’s (OR) 125th birthday
Umpqua River Lighthouse is about to turn 125, and county officials plan to celebrate that by throwing a New Year’s Eve celebration from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 31 at the lighthouse, 1020 Lighthouse Road in Winchester Bay, Oregon. The free event will feature live music, wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres as well as a gallery of photos.
* * *
Emergency repairs at Sabine Pass Lighthouse, Louisiana
The Sabine Pass Lighthouse, which was built in 1856, started its restoration process the day after Thanksgiving, with Cameron Preservation Alliance spearheading the efforts. The lighthouse was lit from 1857 to 1952, except for a short amount of time during the Civil War, before becoming abandoned, vandalized and forgotten.
* * *
* * * * * *
U.S. Lighthouse Society News is produced by the U.S. Lighthouse Society to support lighthouse preservation, history, education and research.
If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to Jeremy at Jeremy@uslhs.org
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org