The Old Lighthouse Museum in Stonington, CT, is ready to reopen
The Old Lighthouse Museum in Stonington, Connecticut, has undergone a 1.3 million dollar update and will reopen to the public on August 28.
The Lighthouse, which was built in 1840, was the first lighthouse in the country to be converted into a museum. The Lighthouse Museum will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm.
To find out more click here.
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North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse (MI) restoration underway
A group dedicated to preserving Michigan’s North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse – just wrapped up a portion of their restoration project. They’ve made it about $500,000 into what will be a two million dollar project. The North Manitou Lightkeepers hope to completely restore the lighthouse.
For more information about North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse renovation, and the North Manitou Light Keepers, click here.
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Watch Hill Lighthouse (RI) will be transferred to a new owner
The U.S. Coast Guard wrote to the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission on August 12 to inform the commission it had determined that Watch Hill Lighthouse is “excess to the needs of the Coast Guard.” The lighthouse was posted for transfer to the federal General Services Administration in accordance with the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.
The National Park Service will provide applications to interested parties and review and evaluate the applications that are submitted. The Watch Hill Lighthouse Keepers Association, in a statement, expressed interest in helping to provide continued access to the property.
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Situation dire at Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse (DE)
Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation volunteers say major repairs are needed to the protective breakwater around the historic Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse. “The situation is dire,” said Board President Rick Ziegler. “Soon, we will have to make a decision about possibly not coming out here anymore, because we are not sure how stable the lighthouse is.”
The foundation owns the lighthouse and the Coast Guard maintains it; the Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining the breakwater. Army Corps of Engineers Harbor of Refuge Project Manager Dan Kelly said they know the reason scouring and underwater erosion around the base are occurring, but finding a solution that doesn’t cost tens of millions of dollars is another problem.
The Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation took over the lighthouse in 2004. Since then, volunteers have worked tirelessly to maintain the exterior of the lighthouse and restore the interior. This summer, volunteers have been painting inside and outside the lighthouse.
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Friends of Ned’s Point Lighthouse (MA) looks to restore landmark
For over 175 years, Ned’s Point Lighthouse in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, has guided sailors in Buzzards Bay and been a destination for people around the world. Now, it is in need of repairs. Four local people have founded the Friends of Ned’s Point Lighthouse as a way to raise funds to restore the lighthouse.
The purpose of the nonprofit is to fundraise and get donations for licensed contractors repairs the lighthouse under the guidance of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 63. The Friends of Ned’s Point Lighthouse is a separate entity from the local Flotilla.
The most important part of the project is removing the lead paint from the interior. But restorations will also involve repainting the gallery and the lighthouse’s interior, replacing the glass in the lantern room, among other tasks.
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Nantucket Lightship (LV-112) (MA) undergoing a major restoration
The Nantucket Lightship (LV-112) has been moved from East Boston to the Fitzgerald Shipyard in Chelsea. Crews will replace the 84-year-old steel frames and complete other maintenance work. Restoration is expected to cost over $1 million and take up to three months to complete.
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Fresnel lens at St. Catherine’s Lighthouse (England) to be removed
Plans have been submitted to replace the century-old lens and mercury bath rotating system at St Catherine’s Lighthouse with greener LED lights. The lighthouse is nrar Niton at the southernmost point of the Isle of Wight. The Corporation of Trinity House, which manages lighthouses for England, Wales, Gibraltar, and the Chanel Islands, has submitted the proposals to the Isle of Wight Council in its latest round of modernization.
The plan is to remove the existing lens, which was installed around 1904 according to Trinity House, the light pedestal, service stage railings and cleaning platform in the lantern room. Trinity House is planning to decommission all the remaining mercury baths in its lighthouses as the substance is potentially harmful to humans. There are plans to put the lens and other artifacts on public display.
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Lighthouse News of the Week 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
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