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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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 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.
“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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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.”
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.”
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