News

Lighthouse News of the Week – April 2, 2021

Cape Lookout Lighthouse (NC) closed for two years for repairs

Cape Lookout Lighthouse in North Carolina will be closed for two years while repairs are made to the iconic structure, the National Park Service announced Friday.  An inspection in February revealed serious safety concerns, including cracks in iron landing plates and separations between the iron stairs and masonry. As a result of the safety concerns, the lighthouse will not be open for climbing this season. 

Cape Lookout Lighthouse, North Carolina. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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Grant to address spalling at Crisp Point Lighthouse (MI)

A lighthouse group is trying to fix a problem before it becomes unmanageable. Crisp Point Lighthouse has been standing on the shore of Lake Superior since 1876, facing all the wind, the waves and the weather superior can throw at it. Now it needs help.

Crisp Point Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

What’s happening to the lighthouse is called spalling. “Because of that the water and the environmental mechanical and chemical erosion that occurs, those bricks are freezing and then when they thaw, they pop,” Heather M. Johnson of the Crisp Point Light Historical Society says. “And as that freezing and thawing cycle continues, they just keep popping and spalling and that basically means they’re deteriorating.” The Crisp Point Lighthouse Preservation Society wanted to get ahead of the problem, so they applied for and got a grant through Michigan’s Lighthouse Assistance program.

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Crisp Point Lighthouse Society

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Three Michigan lighthouses get funding boost for repairs, restoration

More than $126,000 in grant funding from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office have been awarded to the Crisp Point Light Historical Society (as described above), North Manitou Light Keepers, and St. Clair County Parks and Recreation. To qualify for the grant funding, applicants must have at least 50% of the grant amount in matching funds.

North Manitou Shoal Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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Effort to restore Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (NC) begins

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse looks great for its age. And the iconic attraction plays host to about 500,000 annual visitors while some 1,500 people climb the lighthouse daily between April and October. But at 150 years old, there’s some work that needs to be done. As a first step, a contractor is starting the task of removing the paint from the inside walls.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, North Carolina (National Park Service)

The interior work marks the beginning of a major restoration of the lighthouse that is expected to take at least a year. According to the National Park Service (NPS), the full project will include repairs on everything from deteriorated masonry to marble flooring to the lantern. Missing interior doors will also be restored and the interior and exterior of the structure will get a new coat of paint.

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Point Arena Lighthouse (CA) celebrates “150+1” with writing contest

Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, Inc., invites coastal denizens to participate in a very special “150th + 1 Anniversary” writing contest. Point Arena Light Station was officially established on September 30, 1869. Construction of the first Tower was completed in April 1870 and the light was first lit May 1, 1870. Because the COVID-19 pandemic caused the light station to cancel its planned 150th Anniversary celebratory events, the Lighthouse Keepers are planning a special celebration that will include the publication of winning and favorite entries into the Independent Coast Observer.

Point Arena Lighthouse, California. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

“(Point Arena Lighthouse Keepers, Inc)invites authors to submit their writings for consideration to be published,” stated a press release. “The submissions must have elements or features of the light station as their underlying theme. There are four categories, including poetry, short story, flash fiction and a “Dear Lighthouse” essay.

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Coast Guard advises public to stay away from Cayo Cardona Lighthouse (PR)

The Coast Guard, as a public safety measure, is advising the public to stay away and not enter the Cayo Cardona Lighthouse in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The facilities sustained significant damage as a result of the 2020 earthquake and seismic activity in Puerto Rico.

Cayo Cardona Lighthouse, Puerto Rico (U.S. Coast Guard)

“This lighthouse is structurally damaged and represents a danger to public safety,” said Capt. Gregory H. Magee, Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan. In the coming days and weeks the Coast Guard personnel will be sealing and locking all entry points to ensure that no unauthorized personnel can gain access to the facility. 

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“The Lamplighters” – a new novel by Emma Stonex

“This year and last, I’ve got to thinking how we have all become lighthouse keepers, in a way. Each confined to our tower, a few others to be on there with if we’re lucky, the glimmer of land in the distance a promise that things will start again. I love lighthouses because they symbolize all that is worth knowing in this life.” – author Emma Stonex.

Ashley Audrain of the New York Times on Emma Stonex’s new novel, The Lamplighters: “Transported me effortlessly…Haunting, harrowing and heartbreaking, this is a novel that will stay with you.”

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Click here for The Lamplighters on Amazon

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Low Point Lighthouse (Nova Scotia, Canada) at risk from soil erosion

A Cape Breton lighthouse is at risk from soil erosion on the banks of Sydney Harbor. Low Point lighthouse has been a shining beacon for mariners since 1936, but over the years its surrounding wooden boardwalk has been beaten to pieces by wind and waves. The lighthouse itself is inching close to the cliff edge as soil gives way.

Low Point Lighthouse, Nova Scotia. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

Lawrence MacSween with the Low Point Lighthouse Society said the group, which aims to preserve the lighthouse, is “desperate for help. We are at a point now where the structure is at risk of actually falling over the bank,”

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Cape Meares Lighthouse (OR) has been closed, but work continues

For the little lighthouse at the end of a trail in Tillamook County, the past year has been a quiet one. As with other Oregon State Parks and Wildlife Refuges, for much of the year the coronavirus necessitated closure of the entire park, although some trails were opened later in the summer.

Cape Meares Lighthouse, Oregon. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

The lighthouse was repainted on the exterior during the closure. In addition, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department constructed a host site at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. Finally, the Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse received funds through the Tillamook Lodging Tax Grants to build a smaller overflow parking lot near the restrooms on the south side of the main entryway road. 

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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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