Lighthouse News of the Week – January 15, 2021

$30M project will fortify eroding shores near Montauk Lighthouse (NY)

A $30.7 million state and federal project to fortify the shoreline near the Montauk Lighthouse will protect the historic structure for generations to come, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday. The work, expected to begin this spring, will also provide slope stabilization with terracing and vegetation above the upper crest of the coastal rock wall, which is known as a revetment.

Montauk Point Light Station, New York. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by J. Candace Clifford

The lighthouse, a national landmark commissioned by George Washington, sat 300 feet from the coast when it was built in 1796. Today, because of erosion, it is less than 100 feet from the ocean. The lighthouse is also undergoing a more than $1 million restoration of its exterior that, along with the revetment, will preserve it for another century.

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Sumburgh Head Lighthouse (Scotland) turns 200

Sumburgh Head Lighthouse, U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Thorsten Bierstedt

Sumburgh Head is located at the southern tip of the Shetland Mainland in northern Scotland.Sumburgh Head Lighthouse is celebrating its 200th anniversary today (Friday). Work started on the building in 1819, and the light was first lit in 1821. It was designed by Robert Stevenson, and it’s now part of a visitor attraction run by Shetland Amenity Trust following a £5.4 million refurbishment of the site. The light was fully automated in 1991 and a few years later the area – a fine viewpoint for birdlife, including puffins – was designated a nature reserve.

There are also overnight accommodations at the light station. All original features have been restored or replaced where possible, with the aim of recreating a traditional lighthouse keeper’s cottage, with additional touches of luxury added. 

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Zoom presentation on Point Conception Lighthouse (CA) on January 21

Ever since it was first lit on February 1, 1856, Point Conception Lighthouse has guarded the treacherous Pacific waters where the Santa Barbara Channel and Pacific Ocean meet on the western edge of Santa Barbara County.

The Point Conception lens at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Join the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum via Zoom on January 21, 2021 to hear Executive Director Greg Gorga talk about the unique importance of California’s Point Conception Lighthouse and the original 165-year-old first-order Fresnel Lens that now resides at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. The event is free but advance registration is required. Donations are welcome.

Click here for more information

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Today is the 164th birthday of Absecon Lighthouse (NJ)

Absecon Lighthouse, New Jersey’s tallest (171 feet) and the country’s third tallest masonry light, is celebrating the 164th anniversary of the lighting of the historic first-order Fresnel Lens, first lit on January 15, 1857. 

Absecon Light Station, U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Ralph Eshelman.

The anniversary event would normally attract a crowd with free cake and climbs, but this year everyone needs to stay safe. The management of the lighthouse is instead asking for the community’s support to preserve Atlantic City’s oldest historic structure. They’re asking for your kind donation of $1.64, $16.40, or $160.40 (or any amount you choose, of course!).

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200 years of Croatian lighthouses on exhibition

An exhibition entitled “More than light and salt – 200 years of Croatian lighthouses” opened this week at the Homeland Museum Biograd na Moru in Croatia. After its initial opening in 2018, the exhibition was organized in numerous museums along the Adriatic coast.

Savudrija Lighthouse, Croatia, U.S. Lighthouse Society photo

The exhibition touches on questions about how lighthouses’ construction changed the locations where they were built and how the lighthouses themselves changed through wars, modernization of technology, and man’s abandonment due to automation.

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Watch film featuring Whidbey Island (WA) for free through Jan. 16

Whidbey Island takes center stage in a haunting short film that is available to stream for free via Vimeo through Jan. 16. “The Hour After Westerly” is based on a short story by Robert M. Coates that was published by The New Yorker magazine in 1947. It’s about a traveling salesman who mysteriously loses an hour driving home one night, sees visions and meets a strange woman who acts like she knows him. He’s later mystified when the woman seemingly disappears.

Admiralty Head Lighthouse makes an appearance along with other local points of interest.

Click here to watch the film

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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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