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Lighthouse News of the Week – January 8, 2021

Waugoshance Lighthouse (MI) crumbling into Lake Michigan

The ruins of the 170-year-old lighthouse at Waugoshance warns mariners of a shoal area at the northern end of Lake Michigan. It’s considered one of the most hazardous areas near the Straits of Mackinac.

Waugoshance Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo

A nonprofit group that has worked to preserve the lighthouse has dissolved and made the heartbreaking announcement that Waugoshance Lighthouse will be crumbling into Lake Michigan sooner rather than later.

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Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPLKA) continues to raise funds to restore Big Sable Point Lighthouse (MI)

Plans to repair and restore the tower at Big Sable Point Lighthouse are on hold due to the pandemic, but the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPLKA) is still accepting donations to fund the work, and it could use those funds now more than ever. SPKLA originally planned to have the bidding process underway for a number of repairs to the lighthouse tower by September 2020.

Big Sable Point Light Station, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo

Because of the pandemic, the timeline has been pushed back. Now, the hope is bid the work out in September of this year, and begin the work in earnest sometime in spring 2022. Fundraising will continue, not only to fund the repairs, but also to pay for a Historical Structures Report to be conducted for the lighthouse. The report would help SPLKA identify and prioritize actions needed to preserve the structure.

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Souter Lighthouse (England) marks its 150th anniversary

Souter Lighthouse, a landmark familiar to residents and visitors on the northeast coast of England, will mark its 150th anniversary on Monday. The coastline between the River Wear and River Tyne was treacherous to shipping, with submerged rocks and constant smog from local industry, claiming up to twenty ships a year. Trinity House, the organization still responsible for lighthouses today, recognized that a new lighthouse was needed.

Souter Lighthouse, England. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

Kate Devlin, National Trust collections and house officer at Souter Lighthouse said: “We’re proud of the fact that Souter plays an important part in the history of lighthouses. It was designed by Sir James Douglass, who was engineer-in-chief to Trinity House, as the first lighthouse purpose-built to use an electric light.”

Souter remained an operational lighthouse until 1988. It was taken on by the National Trust and opened to visitors in 1990. Souter Lighthouse is currently closed. Check www.nationaltrust.org.uk/souter-lighthouse-and-the-leas for opening times.

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Also here

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Attend a film festival all alone at this remote Swedish lighthouse

Göteborg Film Festival is going digital and putting its entire festival online this year, and it has devised an initiative called The Isolated Cinema. The person chosen will stay on the remote Hamneskär island, which is home to the famous Pater Noster lighthouse. The tiny island is located off Marstrand on the Swedish west coast. It got its name because the extremely hazardous waters surrounding the island inspired seafarers to read the Lord’s Prayer – “Pater Noster” in Latin – when their ships approached the dangerous reefs.

Pater Noster Lighthouse, Sweden. Wikimedia Commons.

This is where the chosen person will stay, and while they will be left alone to watch the films, one one other person will be there for safety reasons. “For seven days you will spend your time alone on the island where you will be given full access to the entire film program at Göteborg Film Festival 2021,” say festival organizers. “You will get supplies for seven days and be transported by boat to and from the island. But once there, it’s just you. And the films. During your stay, you’ll be able to talk about your experience in a video diary that the outside world can follow.”

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Take a virtual tour of Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum (FL)

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Florida. Photo by Jeremy D’Enntremont.

Take a Virtual Tour of Florida’s Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and Museum! Click and drag inside the tour to look around in all directions. Click on the on-screen arrows to navigate your way around the light station’s historic keeper dwellings as well as many modern museum exhibits. And if you see the lighthouse keeper, just click on him to hear what he has to say.

In this tour you’ll be able to step inside the white picket fence and take a trip back to 1887 when this lighthouse was first activated. Make sure to climb the 213 steps to the top of Florida’s tallest lighthouse so you can enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Ponce Inlet, the Halifax River, and more!

Those wishing to learn more about the light station’s historic structures and current exhibits can do so by visiting the Explore the Museum page on this website.

Click here for the tour

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St. Ann’s Head Light Station in Wales is for sale for £995,000 (about $1.35 million)

A lighthouse perched on the edge of a cliff in Pembrokeshire has gone on the market for just under £1million. Converted into a home with eight bedrooms overlooking the Irish Sea and the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, it sits just 15 miles from the Welsh town of Haverfordwest.

The property is being offered for sale by estate agent Purple Bricks, which is advertising it for £995,000, about $1.35 in U.S. dollars.

Antique postcard of St. Ann’s Head Light Station (U.S. Lighthouse Society archives)
The restored lighthouse sits on the edge of the Pembrokeshire coast (SWNS)

Prospective buyers could use St Ann’s Head as a full time residence or as a rental property. A Purple Bricks spokesman said: “This is unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere, you don’t want to miss your chance to own this historic lighthouse.

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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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