Lighthouse News of the Week – May 15, 2020

Boston Light, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Boston Light available to new steward through the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act

The U.S. Coast Guard, in partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration, has initiated the process to transfer stewardship of Light Station Boston, commonly known as Boston Light, under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act (NHLPA).

The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 provides a mechanism for the disposal of federally-owned historic light stations that have been declared excess to the needs of the responsible agency.

Established in 1716, Boston Light, on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, is the oldest light station in the United States. Little Brewster Island is within the boundaries of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Today, Boston Light is the only light station in the United States with a keeper employed by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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Click here for a history of Boston Light

Podcast interview with Boston Light Keeper Sally Snowman pt 1

Podcast interview with Boston Light Keeper Sally Snowman pt 2

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National Park Service about to take over at Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse (ME)

Acadia National Park is about to take over the vacant Bass Harbor Head Light Station, one of the most popular attractions within Maine’s Acadia National Park. The station has been vacant since 2012 after the Coast Guard’s commander of the Southwest Harbor Station stopped using the keeper’s dwelling as a residence.

Bass Harbor Head Light Station, photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Bass Harbor Head Light Station is the fifth most visited attraction in the park. “It’s in an iconic location,” John T. Kelly, management assistant for Acadia National Park, said, noting that it represented the park on the “America the Beautiful” quarter issued in 2012.

The property will require about $200,000 to $250,000 in immediate work and more rehabilitation money in the future from Acadia, which already has about a $60 million maintenance backlog.

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Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival (WA) canceled due to COVID-19

The Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival Association has canceled this year’s festival in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time the festival has been canceled in 54 years. The celebration of music, food, family activities, and beer garden, is attended by as many as 60,000 people.

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A lighthouse to themselves: Split Rock (MN) site manager and family live the dream

The third-order Fresnel lens at Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse is usually lit only once per year to mark the anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in November. But new site manager Hayes Scriven and the Minnesota Historical Society lit it the evening of April 10 to represent a beacon of hope and togetherness as the world fights against COVID-19, live-streaming it to thousands of people watching on the internet.

Split Rock Light Station, USLHS photo

“Knowing how many people were going to be either affected by it or watching it put a lot of stress on me just because I wanted to make sure it was going to work … the whole state was watching,” Scriven said. “So I had a lot of pressure.”

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Hambrooks Bar Light (MD) scheduled for demolition

The Coast Guard has contracted with Tuskegee Contracting, LLC ,from Hampton, Virginia, to complete the removal of the Hambrooks Bar Light by June 16. The light, which is located in the Choptank River, was built in 1902 to aid navigation around a shallow area.

Although the article linked to below refers to the structure as a lighthouse, it is better described as a lighted aid to navigation and not a lighthouse.

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Information on Hambrooks Bar Light from the Chesapeake Chapter of USLHS

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From BBC Scotland: Keeping lighthouses working during the coronavirus lockdown

Mechanical technician Ross Russell works for the Northern Lighthouse Board. He is part of three-man team of specialists who have just returned from fixing an electrical fault on the Bell Rock lighthouse, 11 miles east of the Firth of Tay in the North Sea. The 32-year-old from Oban said, “I feel great about the work I’m doing out there because of the importance of keeping our shipping lanes open.”

Fuel and water being dropped by a helicopter onto the Bell Rock at the weekend with the Pharos in the background (BBC Scotland)

The team has currently stopped doing any routine maintenance and upkeep work, such as painting, and is instead focusing on the essential work required to keep the lights operating.

“Our working practices have changed dramatically, said Ross. “It has been difficult working under the social distancing rules.”

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