Lighthouse News of the Week – October 23, 2020

WWII-era bomb washes up near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, NC

Unexploded ordnance that washed up Thursday morning on the beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access parking area was detonated on Friday. Described as a 100-pound aerial bomb from around the time of World War II, officials say it has been buried deep inside the beach near the parking area.

Unexploded ordnance on the beach near Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina

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Mission Point Lighthouse (MI) turns 150 and gets new shutters

A big 150th birthday celebration for Michigan’s Mission Point Lighthouse was planned for this past summer. But as with so man things else this year, things didn’t go quite as planned. But much-needed upgrades and projects for the lighthouse continued. One of those projects was to install new shutters that are representative of the original shutters that date back to the 1800s. Other projects included the creation of new museum displays and the installation of a new white fence around the lighthouse.

Mission Point Lighthouse, USLHS photo by Tom Tag

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Mission Point Lighthouse website

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Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse (FL) being restored by Dry Tortugas National Park

After 144 years, the deteriorating Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse at Dry Tortugas National Park, also known as Garden Key Lighthouse, is getting a much-need rehabilitation expected to keep it standing for another century. This past Monday marked the start of a $4.5 million project to restore and preserve the lighthouse. The cast-iron lighthouse has been exposed to the elements and the effects of salty ocean air since its construction in 1876.

Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse, Florida. USLHS photo by Ralph Eshelman.

The iron has corroded, leading to significant deterioration in many areas, particularly around the base. The three-phase Preserve Tortugas Harbor Lighthouse Project is expected to take about a year and visitors will be able to watch the first phase over the coming month.

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Donor offers $250K for work on Round Island Lighthouse (MI)

A fundraising campaign by the Round Island Lighthouse Preservation Society got a big boost when an anonymous donor recently offered $250K. In order to get approval, a 20-day public input stretch is normally required before the state permit can be issued, society members say. “We don’t really have 20 days,” Matt McMullen, chairman of the preservation society, said. “We are trying to find a way to speed up this process.” Without more protective riprap to keep the waves at bay, McMullen and other society members are worried that next spring’s thaw will break up a winter’s worth of ice, and it will be driven by waves into the structure.

Round Island Lighthouse, Michigan. USLHS photo by Mike and Carol McKinney.

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“Step Up for the Light” fundraiser for Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse (FL)

From the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum in Florida: Annually in November, the Loxahatchee River Historical Society hosts its sell-out fundraiser “Rendezvous at the Light.” But out of caution due to COVID-19, the Historical Society developed “Step Up for the Light” as a way to keep the community engaged while continuing the celebration of the 160th anniversary of the lighthouse.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Florida. USLHS photo.

You can adopt one of the 105 lighthouse steps or make a donation for a “Keepers Kit,” while benefiting the illumination of our history.

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Lorain Lighthouse (OH) license plates

To commemorate being recognized as a jewel on Lake Erie, the Lorain Lighthouse is selling front license plates for vehicles. For the seventh consecutive year, Lorain Lighthouse supporters voted it “Jewel of the Port” in the Best of Lake Erie, according to the contest held by the Lake Erie Living magazine. “We are very appreciative of all those who voted,” a release said. “You can be one of the first in your neighborhood to be sporting the new Lorain Lighthouse license plate.”

Lorain Lighthouse, Ohio. USLHS photo by Mike and Carol McKinney.

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Columbia River Maritime Museum (OR) builds support to spruce up Lightship Columbia

The Columbia River Maritime Museum is assembling more than $1 million to overhaul the Lightship Columbia. The lightship, commissioned in 1951 and sold to the museum 40 years ago, is a National Historic Landmark that once guided ships into the mouth of the Columbia. The museum plans to tow the vessel to Diversified Marine’s shipyard in Portland, where it will be hauled out onto land, inspected and repaired.

Lightship Colombia. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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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 D’Entremont at

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