Lighthouse News of the Week – January 1, 2021

GoFundMe page for Heceta Head (OR) B&B

The light station at Heceta Head, about halfway up the Oregon coast, went into service on March 30, 1894, with a first-order Fresnel lens and a white flash visible 20 miles to sea. Soon after the Coast Guard took over in 1939, the principal keeper’s dwelling was demolished. The remaining assistant keepers’ duplex house was then turned over to the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service looked for ways to share its history with the public, and it was decided that turning it into a bed and breakfast inn would make this feasible. The Inn opened in 1995.

Heceta Head Light Station, Oregon. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Last year the Heceta Head Light Station turned 125, and the keeper’s house is celebrating its 25th year as a Bed & Breakfast and interpretive center. Between 2020 and 2021 the management of the B&B will have installed a new septic system and drain field and drilled a new well. The pandemic has hit hard, and the Keeper’s House in B&B has created a GoFundMe page. According to the page, “Not only have we exhausted the 200k we had in reserve for future restorations projects, but we have spent the budget for next year’s revenue with very few reservations to look forward to.”

Click here for the GoFundMe page

Use the player below to hear an interview with Misty Anderson, General Manager and Events Coordinator for the B&B.

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New documentary shines a light on lighthouse preservation

Filmmaker Rob Apse grew up familiar with lighthouses, having spent summers at a family home in Georgetown, Maine, but like so many people, he never thought really deeply about them. Then a few years ago, he was making a short documentary about the history of granite quarries on Cape Ann in Massachusetts and traveled to Graves Light in Boston Harbor, which was built of Cape Ann granite. He met the owner, Dave Waller, who bought it in 2013 for more than $900,000 from the federal government and has worked passionately to preserve and restore the 115-year-old historic landmark.

Rob Apse, right, and Ford Reiche, owner of Halfway Rock Lighthouse in Maine’s Casco Bay, on the left. Courtesy of Rob Apse.

Apse soon learned that lighthouses all over the country – including most of the 60-plus in Maine – are owned by individuals or nonprofit groups nowadays instead of the federal government. This revelation led him to his next film, “The Last Lightkeepers,” an hourlong documentary that shines a light on the people and groups in New England who maintain lighthouses.

Click here to read more

Click here to rent or buy “The Last Lightkeepers” on Amazon

Use the player below to hear an interview with Rob Apse on the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s podcast, “Light Hearted.”

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Long Beach (CA) Lions “Lighthouse For Sight” Shines 20 Years Later

It’s Long Beach’s light upon the hill, and it has become a popular subject for pictures, whether the photographer is a resident or a visitor. It is the Lions Lighthouse for Sight, and it sits on the hill at the point of Shoreline Park, giving its 65-foot height more of an impact.

Long Beach (CA) Lions “Lighthouse For Sight.” Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The Lions Lighthouse isn’t used as an official navigation aid — it’s too far inland for ships to see. But it is a beacon for the club’s ongoing efforts to help people with sight problems. And for the last 20 years, the Lions Lighthouse for Sight has shined through it all.

Click here to read more

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An SOS for our Great Lakes lighthouses and heritage

As winter descends on the Great Lakes, the oldest and most historic structures on its shores face a season of peril. Lighthouses were built to withstand brutal ice, waves and wind, but current near-record water levels on the lakes threaten the long-term survival of majestic and historically significant navigational aids. This winter poses a special high-water challenge to many Great Lakes lights. 

Big Sable Light Station in Michigan is threatened by high lake levels (U.S Lighthouse Society photo)

Click here to read more

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Phase IV of Cana Island Lighthouse (WI) restoration proceeding

With the first three phases of the Cana Island Lighthouse restoration completed, the Door County Board of Supervisors authorized the start of the fourth phase, contingent upon receiving sufficient funds from the Door County Maritime Museum, donations and grants. The fourth phase consists of three primary components involving the lighthouse and keeper’s house.

Cana Island Lighthouse, U.S. Lighthouse Society photo

Click here for more information

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The mystery lady in the Mukilteo Lighthouse (WA) isn’t spying on you

Michelle Wainstein is on the lookout for seals, sea lions, orcas and other whales so they won’t miss a meal. She has been dubbed “the lady in the lighthouse.”

Mukilteo Lighthouse, Washington. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Manson Construction, the marine contractor on the Washington State Ferries terminal project, is required to have monitors stand watch for sea mammals while crews do underwater pile driving, typically at least several days a month. The machine used in pile driving causes sound-waves and vibrations that can disrupt dinner for sea dwellers.

Click here to read more

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Public input sought on Maritime Washington National Heritage Area

In March 2019, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer stood alongside the Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport to tout the passage of the Maritime Washington National Heritage Act as “a powerful tool for promoting local tourism and economic development.” Now, a steering committee is reaching out to stakeholders, including the general public, to develop a management plan to implement the Act.

Grays Harbor Light Station, Washington. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The heritage area would consist of lighthouses, historic vessels and other landmarks located within one-quarter mile of the shoreline in 13 counties, including Grays Harbor, Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, San Juan, Island, King, Pierce, Thurston, Mason, Kitsap, Jefferson and Clallam.

Click here to read more

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What’s cooler than living in a lightkeeper’s house on the ocean in Maine?

An idyllic setting on a small island 5 miles from the mainland of Maine is now available for $1,975,000. “I forget how beautiful it is out there, especially on a blue sky day.

Isle au Haut Light Station, Maine. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

It’s one of the most beautiful properties I’ve ever seen in my life,” says the listing agent, Jamie O’Keefe. “What’s cooler than living in a lightkeeper’s house on the ocean in Maine?” Built in 1907, the quaint Victorian house on Lighthouse Road on Isle Au Haut, ME, was for the station’s lighthouse keeper.

Click here to read 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

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