Lighthouse News of the Week – July 24, 2020

New fund ensures preservation of Round Island Lighthouse (MI)

The future of the Round Island Lighthouse, in the Straits of Mackinac, is bright thanks to a new fund set-up through the Mackinac Island Community Foundation. The fund has been established by the Round Island Lighthouse Preservation Society as a way to ensure the long-term preservation of the lighthouse.

Round Island Lighthouse, USLHS photo by Ralph Eshelman

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Orfordness Lighthouse lantern room removed as demolition continues (England)

Orfordness Lighthouse on England’s Suffolk coast is being demolished because the sea is eroding the beach on which it stands. The work began last week. The lantern, weighing nearly eight tons, has been moved to the ground using a crane. The Orfordness Lighthouse Trust plans to recreate the top third of the 1792 structure as a permanent tribute at a safe distance from the sea. The video below is from BBC News.

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Maine’s Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum turns 30 years old

In 1987, seven St. George residents sat down in the home of Irene Rizkalla’s home to discuss the rumors that the Marshall Point Lighthouse Keeper’s home was to be torn down and sold to a group with interest in constructing a hotel. Ultimately working with the St. George Historical Society, it was decided that a museum would be established on the first floor of the building. Today, the museum is one of the most visited sites on the mid-coast of Maine, setting a record of over 19,000 visitors in 2019.

The Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum is in the former keeper’s house.
Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Keeper’s house at Burnt Island (ME) under restoration

The crew of Marden Builders is restoring the 1857 dwelling at Burnt Island Light Station in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, to the 1950s era. Since 2008, the non-profit organization “Keepers of the Burnt Island Light” have offered living history tours through the lighthouse and dwelling. Dressed in period costume, they have educated thousands of schoolchildren, teachers, and the public about the life and times of this historic site. Their efforts have extended beyond educational programming to include a successful campaign that helps fund this restoration project.

Burnt Island Light Station in 2005. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Use the player below to hear an interview with Elaine Jones, education director for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, on the USLHS podcast “Light Hearted.”

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Pascagoula (MS) planning to build several new amenities at Lighthouse Park

The Pascagoula city council met Wednesday to discuss making improvement to Lighthouse Park. Some of those improvements include more fishing spots, exercising equipment, a new kayak launch, and golf cart parking. Construction on the new amenities at the park is expected to begin in 12 to 18 months. Lighthouse Park is already a popular outdoor spot for walkers and boaters, featuring a boat launch and fishing pier, as well as the Round Island Lighthouse at the foot of the bridge and a walking trail and playground under the bridge.

In September 1998, Round Island Lighthouse was toppled by Hurricane Georges. The lighthouse was rebuilt in 2014 at a new location, just south of U.S. Route 90 in Pascagoula.
U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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Peaks Island (ME) ceremony to honor lighthouse keepers

Five natives of Peaks Island in Casco Bay, Maine, who served as lighthouse keepers along the Maine coast in the 19th to 20th centuries will be honored in island ceremonies on Saturday, July 25. New graveside monuments will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. in Pond Grove Cemetery, Peaks Island. Ceremonies will center at the grave of Capt. Robert Thayer Sterling, the last civilian keeper of Portland Head Light (1946) and author of Lighthouses of the Maine Coast and the Men Who Keep Them. (1935)

Robert Thayer Sterling (American Lighthouse Foundation)

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Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse being repainted

Contractors have begun the process of repainting the Delaware Breakwater Light, located on the inner breakwater in Lewes Harbor. The lighthouse is owned by the State of Delaware and administered by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. The project, which is expected to be completed before summer’s end, includes removal of old paint and rust, and repainting the entire exterior of the structure above its concrete foundation. Paint colors will replicate the existing red-brown and black.

Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse, USLHS photo by Ralph Eshleman

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Maine Open Lighthouse Day has been canceled for this year

There will be no Maine Open Lighthouse Day in September 2020. Bob Trapani Jr., executive director of the American Lighthouse Foundation, one of the sponsors of Open Lighthouse Day, announced the decision on Friday, saying it was not an easy one, but was made to keep visitors and volunteers as safe as possible. The next Maine Open Lighthouse Day is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2021.

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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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