Episode 61 – This is the second part of the two-part interview with Dave and Lynn Waller, owners of Graves Lighthouse in outer Boston Harbor. Among the subjects discussed: the observation of wildlife near Graves Ledge, the experience of storms at such a dramatic location, and the many challenges of restoration in a place that’s often inaccessible — also the “Frankenlens” created by Dave Waller and friends — a first-order Fresnel lens made of spare panels from various Chance Brothers lenses.
Episode 62 – On March 3, 1821, Congress appropriated $10,500 for three lighthouses on the Maine coast, one of them on five-acre Burnt Island at the west side of the entrance to Boothbay Harbor, Maine. In 1998, Burnt Island Light Station was transferred to the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Elaine Jones, education director for the department since 1991, was named the director of the facility. It was Elaine’s vision to transform the island into an educational and recreational facility for Maine’s residents and its visitors. Also interviewed in this episode is Russ Katje, a U.S. Lighthouse Society Hall of Fame Lighthouse Passport Program stamp collector.
Episode 63 – Michigan’s White Shoal Lighthouse is twenty miles west of the Mackinac Bridge and Mackinaw City at the northeast end of Lake Michigan. The lighthouse was sold via online auction in 2016. The new owners, Brent Tompkins (interviewed in this episode) and Mike Lynch, founded the White Shoal Light Historical Preservation Society. The mission of the organization is to fully restore White Shoal Light to the mid-1950s era and make it accessible to the public. Tompkins and Lynch are both licensed contractors and they’re using their skills and training as they restore the lighthouse.
Special Edition – In an area of London known as the Docklands, where the River Lea meets the River Thames, is a part of the waterfront known as the Trinity Buoy Wharf. And on the wharf is London’s only lighthouse. The lighthouse at the Trinity Buoy Wharf was never used for navigation. It was used by Trinity House, the English lighthouse authority, for the training of prospective lighthouse keepers. The scientist Michael Faraday also carried out experiments there. Jem Finer’s ambient sound piece called Longplayer started playing in the lighthouse at the stroke of midnight just as the year 2000 began. It’s been playing ever since, and the intention is that won’t repeat until midnight on December 31, 2999. This interview with Jem Finer was conducted on May 22, 2020.
Episode 64 – Point Betsie Light Station is on the northeast side of Lake Michigan, north of the city of Frankfort. The lighthouse, built of cream city brick from Milwaukee, began service in 1858. In 2004, ownership of the property was transferred to Benzie County. Friends of Point Betsie Lighthouse has cared for the property under a partnership agreement. Visitors get to climb the tower for a view of the Lake Michigan shoreline. Chuck Clarke has been involved with the lighthouse since before the Friends group was founded.
Episode 65 – The North Carr Lightship is the last remaining light vessel in Scotland. After its retirement in 1975, the lightship was sold to the North East Fife District Council. In January 2002 it was moved to Victoria Dock in Dundee. In 2010, Taymara, a Dundee-based maritime charity, stepped in and took ownership. The work to stabilize the vessel is well underway. Sam McKillop is the Project Administrator and Engineering Lead for the lightship restoration. Also featured in this episode is a conversation with Dwight Berry of Maryland, a lighthouse enthusiast who discusses the lighthouses that can be visited in the vicinity of Baltimore.
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