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Lighthouse News of the Week – December 11, 2020

Cape St. George Lighthouse (FL) to get needed repairs

The St. George Lighthouse Association has received a $24,000 grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association to assist in some much-needed repairs. The lighthouse has several broken glass panes and significant rust on its lantern, and the masonry tower also requires some cleaning and painting. The lighthouse will be closed for the month of January and potentially into the beginning of February to complete these repairs but the museum and gift shop will remain open.

Cape St. George Lighthouse, Florida. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

The total cost for the repairs is $94,000. The $24,000 grant comes from the Florida Lighthouse Association’s Gene Oakes License Plate Fund. This grant program is funded entirely by the Visit Our Lights license plate and used only for the preservation of Florida’s historic light stations.

Click here to learn more

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Cape Hatteras (NC) celebrates 150th birthday on December 16

On Dec. 16 at 4:45 p.m., Cape Hatteras National Seashore, in partnership with the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society and Outer Banks Forever, will celebrate the 150th anniversaries of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Dare County via special online video on the seashore’s Facebook page and Dare County’s CURRENTtv.

Antique postcard of Cape Hatteras Light Station, North Carolina
(U.S. Lighthouse Society archives)

The special 25-minute online video, shown on the 150th anniversary of the first lighting of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, will feature National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac; Dare County Chairman Bob Woodard; Captain Matt Baer, Sector North Carolina Commander, U.S. Coast Guard; historian Kevin Duffus; Bett Padgett from the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society; a living history presentation of inventor Augustin Fresnel; park rangers and community members; and a tribute from lighthouses across the country.

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Listen to an interview with Bett Padgett and John Havel of the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society on the USLHS podcast Light Hearted.

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Berwick (LA) Town Council moves to protect claim to Ship Shoal Lighthouse

On Tuesday, the Berwick (Louisiana) Town Council authorized Mayor Duval Arthur to execute a bill of sale that would protect Berwick’s claim to the lighthouse. Berwick has plans to move the structure from the coast to the town’s riverfront, where the Southwest Pass Lighthouse already stands. There would be no cost to the town for acquiring the lighthouse. But getting it to Berwick is another challenge.

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

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Online auction benefits Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse (CA) project

The Trinidad Civic Club is holding an online auction to benefit the Memorial Lighthouse Project which seeks to build a permanent site for the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse after coastal erosion forced the historic California landmark to be moved to a temporary home in 2018.

Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, California, in 2015. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The “Season of Gifting” Online Auction continues until Sunday, Dec. 13, at 7 pm. Go to www.trinidadcivicclub.org, then click the auction link on the homepage and register to bid. Winners will pick up items in Trinidad after receiving directions via email.

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Ireland’s Hook Lighthouse, the world’s oldest operating lighthouse, is reopening

The world’s oldest operational lighthouse is set to reopen to visitors this weekend. Only the outside areas of Hook Lighthouse will be accessible at weekends from this Saturday. Operators of the tourist attraction say tours of the building can’t take place during the pandemic.

Hook Lighthouse, Ireland. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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Coast Guard lights LED upgrade to Oak Island Lighthouse (NC)

The Coast Guard lit a first of its kind LED-based rotating beacon at Oak Island Lighthouse on Caswell Beach, North Carolina, on Monday. This upgrade is the Coast Guard’s first LED-based rotating beacon for an active aid to navigation and will provide a permanent, cost-effective, and energy-efficient solution for the lighthouse. Necessary renovations of the lighthouse to prepare for the new beacon began in October.

Oak Island Lighthouse and Coast Guard station, North Carolina.
U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Ralph Eshelman.

Click here to read more

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East Chop Lighthouse (MA) cleanup advances

A cleanup of lead paint in the soil around East Chop Lighthouse in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, appears closer to being realized. A proposal is “in review,” according to Petty Officer Amanda Wyrick, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard’s First District. The details of the proposal in consideration have not been disclosed. 

East Chop Lighthouse, Massachusetts. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Santa takes to the air again

The tradition of the Flying Santa was started by Maine pilot Bill Wincapaw on Christmas Day in 1929, when he dropped a few presents from his plane at lighthouses in a show of gratitude for the keepers and their families. The tradition continues today, thanks to the nonprofit Friends of Flying Santa. The organization strives to continue the annual helicopter flights as a gesture of gratitude to the men, women, and families of the United States Coast Guard who keep watch over our coastal waters. Thousands of hours are volunteered each year to ensure the success of the flights which now encompass more than 30 stops including 61 Coast Guard units from Maine to New York. The helicopter visits and gifts for the children are small tokens of appreciation for the outstanding work of the United States Coast Guard and their supportive families.

The Flying Santa arrives at Chatham Light Station, Massachusetts. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Click here to read about the history of the Flying Santa and much more

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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 Jeremy@uslhs.org

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