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Lighthouse News of the Week – July 3, 2020

Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse (NY) opening for tours

Visitors will be able to tour the West Pierhead Lighthouse each Friday and Saturday through July and August. The H. Lee White Maritime Museum will offer a ferry service across the Oswego Harbor to the Lighthouse each Friday and Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m., visitors will be whisked from the museum to the lighthouse via light watercraft. Prior registration is required.

Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse, New York. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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Cape Hatteras and Bodie Island lighthouses (NC) will not open for climbing this year, but Currituck Beach Lighthouse will

The National Park Service announced last week they will not be opening the Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras lighthouse for climbing this season, which normally runs through Columbus Day. But the group that owns and operates the Currituck Beach Light Station in Corolla says they will allow climbing when museums are allowed to reopen. The Currituck Beach Light Station celebrates its 145th anniversary of the first lighting of the brick tower this December, and has been undergoing a face-lift that began in the winter.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse, North Carolina. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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150-year-old fence at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (NC) revealed by waves

Sections of a 150-year-old brick fence that once surrounded the lighthouse at Cape Hatteras were exposed when waves carved a three-foot scarp (cliff) into the sand, the National Park Service says. The fence was finished in 1871 when the lighthouse was a year old.

Cape Hatteras Light Station, North Carolina, in 1919 (National Archives)

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Hurdles cleared for use of Jupiter (FL) Lighthouse barracks

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is moving ahead with two plans to use old Coast Guard buildings behind the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. The buildings in question are four 1962 Coast Guard barracks, each with about 2,300 square feet.

The Nature Conservancy and the Loxahatchee River District will need to finance the renovation of the buildings, which may have lead paint and asbestos problems. The bureau said it’s now asking the two organizations to fine-tune their proposals, address how they’ll renovate the structures and establish an operations plan.

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Rubicon Point Light on Lake Tahoe (CA) is endangered

It’s not exactly a lighthouse; in fact, it looks more like an outhouse. But it was built as an aid to navigation on a high cliff on Lake Tahoe in the early 1900s, and the Rubicon Point Light is now endangered by neglect and vandalism.

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Historical marker for Stingray Point Lighthouse (VA)

Along with 19 other newly approved Virginia historical highway markers celebrating African-American history, Gov. Ralph Northam announced last week that a historical “Stingray Point Contraband” highway marker will be installed.

Stingray Point Lighthouse, Virginia (U.S. Lighthouse Society archives)

The marker reads: “Six enslaved men, fearing impressment into Confederate service, sought refuge in the Stingray Point Lighthouse near here on 15 July 1861 and hailed the USS Mount Vernon. Similar escapes followed. The U.S. Secretary of the Navy, following the contraband theory established at Fort Monroe, authorized the employment of self-emancipated men and, in Sept. 1861, approved their enlistment in the U.S. Navy, nearly a year before black men could enlist in the U.S. Army.”

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Burnt Island Lighthouse (ME) under restoration en route to its 200th birthday

On March 3, 1821, the 16th Congress authorized the construction of the Burnt Island Lighthouse and two others along the coast of Maine. Burnt Island Lighthouse was established as the ninth station along the coast of Maine. After nearly two centuries of weathering the storms, the lighthouse tower is being restored by the J.B. Leslie Co. of South Berwick, a seasoned, lighthouse contractor with Burnt Island being the owner’s 22nd restoration project. Over the next couple of weeks, the crew will continue to remove mortar between the blocks to a depth of 1.5 inches and refill those joints with Portland cement and a finish coat of natural mortar.

Burnt Island Lighthouse, Maine, in 2016. USLHS photo by Scott Walbert.

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Ship Shoal Lighthouse (LA) to be moved to Berwick before the end of the year

The town of Berwick, Louisiana, took ownership of Ship Shoal Lighthouse in the 1990s, and the idea is to move it to Berwick where it will be restored and placed next to the Southwest Reef Lighthouse as part of Lighthouse Park near the U.S. 90 bridge. Ship Shoal Lighthouse is located about 55 miles off the Louisiana coast. Berwick Mayor Duval Arthur said he hopes to have the lighthouse in Berwick before the end of the year.

Ship Shoal Lighthouse, Louisiana. USLHS photo by Mike and Carol McKinney.

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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 Jeremy@uslhs.org

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