Lighthouse News of the Week – Jan. 3, 2020

Big Sable Point Light Station; U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

High water levels on Lake Michigan impacting Big Sable Point Lighthouse (MI)

High water levels along Lake Michigan continue to impact beachfront property, and water has seeped into the basement of Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington. Peter Manting, director of the Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association, says a sump pump has been installed for now. “We’re working with the State of Michigan to come up with a good solution,” he says. One solution may be to place more rocks in front of the seawall, keeping the water further from the lighthouse.

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Tybee Island Lighthouse (GA) tower closed through March for renovations

The lighthouse tower at Tybee Island, Georgia, will be closed to the public from January 4 through March 2020 for a renovation project. Interior brickwork and ironwork is being worked on. The rest of the site will remain open.

Tybee Island Light Station, Georgia. USLHS photo by J. Candace Clifford.

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Newfoundland’s Cape Race Lighthouse lens is one of only a dozen left in the world

Only 33 hyper-radial Fresnel lenses — like the one at Cape Race — were ever built. Just a dozen are still in operation worldwide, and Newfoundland has the only one in Canada. “It’s 17 feet in diameter alone,” said Clifford Doran, one of the present-day light-keepers at Cape Race.

Photo of the lens created for Cape Race by Chance Brothers in England (U.S. Lighthouse Society archives)

The entire system weighs 20 tons, but because the lens sits on a mercury bath, it takes just a quarter-horsepower motor to revolve the lens around the single stationary bulb inside, Doran said.

CBC article about Cape Race

Article about hyper-radial lenses by Tom Tag

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Major construction project planned for spring at Saugerties Lighthouse (NY)

The year 2019 marked the 150th anniversary for the Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson River in New York. The Lighthouse Conservancy is planning a major project for this spring, when a dock will replaced by a new structure designed to withstand floods and ice.

Saugerties Lighthouse. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Piney Point Lighthouse (MD) museum pier reopens after partial collapse

The pier at Maryland’s Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park has been reopened, thanks to emergency funding received from the St. Mary’s County Commissioners and work done by the St. Mary’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation. The pier collapsed during the summer due to shoreline erosion. The erosion issue is under control temporarily with the placing of bio logs and plantings along the beach.

Piney Point Light Station, U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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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.

If you have items of interest to the lighthouse community and its supporters, please email them to Jeremy at

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