Historic Michigan lighthouses awarded $126K in lighthouse preservation grants
Three historic Michigan lighthouses will receive repairs and restoration with the help of $126,667 in Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP) grants from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today. The Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program was established to assist in the preservation, rehabilitation, and protection of historic lighthouses in Michigan.
The Crisp Point Light Historical Society (received $60,000) will hire a contractor to make exterior renovations to this remote and secluded lighthouse located on the shore of Lake Superior, including removal of existing paint, replacement of deteriorating mortar, and brick, and applying appropriate coatings to the exterior. The North Manitou Light Keepers ($30,000) will hire a consultant to rehabilitate the watch deck of this offshore lighthouse known as “the Crib,” including removing non-historic steel plates, repairing holes and cracks in the deck, making improvements to drainage, sealing, and flashing of seams and joints, and resurfacing the entire watch deck. St. Clair County Parks and Recreation will hire a consultant to rehabilitate the watch and lantern rooms of Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, including repairs to the interior and exterior metalwork, painting, caulking, and installing new glass in window openings.
* * *
Vandals strike Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (NC) again
The National Park Service is investigating after rangers discovered letters and shapes carved into the bronze door of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse this week. The park service is asking the public’s help in catching those responsible, Cape Hatteras National Seashore said. The vandals used an object to carve into the lighthouse’s original bronze door. In June 2018, a man used a pocket knife to carve letters also in the beacon’s bronze door. In that case, the park service used a conserver to treat and repair the door.
* * *
Patara Lighthouse (Turkey) to be restored with original stones
Located in the 6,000-year-old ancient city of Patara, the Patara Lighthouse was built by the Roman Emperor Nero in 64 B.C. and completely destroyed in a tsunami in 1481. Some 2,500 stones that have been unearthed in excavations have been analyzed, and their original locations have been determined one by one using artificial intelligence technologies. The reconstruction of the lighthouse with about 80 percent of its original stones is considered a first in the world.
* * *
Oak Bluffs (Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts) Health board hardens stance on East Chop Lighthouse
Tuesday morning, the Oak Bluffs board of health delved into lead contamination at the East Chop Lighthouse, and came away mulling whether the town should conduct its own soil tests, and whether the town can force the U.S. Coast Guard to clean up any lead pollution that may be in the ground at Telegraph Hill Park. The board also expressed the desire to put up signs that indicate a lead danger is present in the vicinity of the lighthouse. The Coast Guard was unable to immediately provide responses to inquiries about East Chop.
* * *
Cape May Lighthouse (NJ) Offers Lighthouse Full Moon Climbs
Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) offers rare opportunities for nighttime climbs up the spiral steps to the watch gallery of the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse during select full moon dates each year. A full moon climb up the 199 steps is a special chance on clear nights to see the spectacular full moon in all its glory. Lighthouse Full Moon Climbs are offered from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Tuesday, April 27, Wednesday, May 26, Thursday, June 24, Friday, July 23 and Sunday, Aug. 22, with additional dates possible. Visit capemaymac.org for updates.
* * *
Work completed at Nobska Lighthouse (MA)
New England Construction Management firm Dellbrook|JKS has completed work at the Nobska Lighthouse alongside Friends of Nobska Light (FONL) and Catalyst Architecture/Interiors. The project was a two-phase restoration of the lightkeeper’s house to bring the structure into code compliance and a renovation of the existing space into a new visitor center and museum.
Phase one included façade renovations and building envelope improvements to the existing two-story wood framed building on rubble foundations. The work included hazardous materials abatement, structural framing and augmentation, new exterior windows, siding, trim, and roofing.
* * *
Virtual Museum Talk: Women Lighthouse Keepers
The Henry L. Ferguson Museum on Fishers Island, New York, is co-hosting Women Lighthouse Keepers, a virtual talk led by historian Mary Rasa, this Sunday, March 28th, at 2 p.m. In this program, Ms. Rasa takes a look at five remarkable women keepers. In fact, hundreds of American women have kept the lamps burning in lighthouses since 1776, when Hannah Thomas’s husband, the official keeper of Plymouth Light in Massachusetts, left to join the battle for American independence.
* * *
Fort Point Lighthouse (Nova Scotia, Canada) to be managed by Queens County Museum
At the March 23 Region of Queens Municipality’s Council meeting, a motion approved the management proposal from Queens County Museum for the seasonal operation of Fort Point Lighthouse for a three-year period, beginning in spring 2021. It has been a visitor attraction site for approximately 30 years.
The lighthouse which is the third oldest in Nova Scotia is steeped in history, it has stood at the mouth of the Mersey River since 1855, and was decommissioned in 1989. The Region of Queens Municipality opened it seasonally as an attraction, enabling the public to take in the attraction.
* * *
Lighthouse on Burlington Canal (Ontario, Canada) to be Saved
The beleaguered and beloved lighthouse at the entrance to Hamilton Harbour looks like it will be saved, restored and repositioned. The neglected lighthouse, once restored, could be a major feature of the new Fisherman’s Pier at the entrance to Hamilton Harbour.
* * *
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
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org