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Lighthouse News of the Week – April 16, 2021

East Brother Island Lighthouse (CA) is in jeopardy

The still active East Brother Island Lighthouse, between San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, is Richmond’s oldest structure and has been operating for 147 years, since 1874. It’s also home to a truly unique non-profit bed and breakfast inn open to the public for overnighting and to day trippers for sightseeing and picnics. Last week, a 30-year-old, 2000-foot power cable, installed by the Coast Guard, failed.

East Brother Island Lighthouse, California. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

A permanent fix has a big price. Money is desperately needed so the island can re-open this summer and not fall into hopeless disrepair.  The light station has a Gofundme page.

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Mukilteo Lighthouse (WA) struck by thieves

Some quick thinking by a resident helped police nab three individuals suspected of breaking into the Mukilteo Lighthouse in the early morning of Monday, April 5.

Mukilteo Lighthouse, Washington. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont

The resident reported seeing two individuals breaking into the lighthouse, along with the sounds of glass breaking. Two suspects allegedly left in a pickup truck driven by another person.

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Cape Vincent hopes to do more with Tibbetts Point Lighthouse (NY)

The town of Cape Vincent, New York, is looking to do more with the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse. In the next month or so, the town is expected to submit an application to the National Park Service to reclassify the lighthouse as historical surplus property. The town is hoping, with fewer restrictions on how the property can be used, to be able to generate the money necessary to properly maintain the 194-year-old lighthouse and ancillary buildings.

Tibbetts Point Light Station, New York. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Ralph Eshelman.

Michael Cougler, president of the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse Historical Society, said the facility needs about $250,000 to $300,000 worth of maintenance. “That’s just to bring it up to minimal standards,” he said. There’s peeling paint inside, the windows should be redone soon, and the siding needs to be replaced with higher-quality materials. On nearly 200-year-old walls, repainting involves more than a pail of Sherwin Williams and some $5 brushes — all repairs have to be done with historically accurate formulations of paint, plaster and brick.

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Lighthouses plan to pursue restoration plans (MI)

Despite financial challenges, lighthouse boosters are eager to move forward with restoration plans this year. Among those with plans to kick off restoration projects or fundraising efforts are the Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington, Marquette Harbor Lighthouse in Marquette and Muskegon South Pierhead Lighthouse and the Muskegon Breakwater Light in Muskegon.

Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Chad Kaiser.

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Children’s book illustrates love for Nubble Lighthouse (ME) from near and far

Adoration from near and far for the Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine, has been illustrated in a new collaborative children’s book from Jody and Owen Clark. The author-illustrator father-son duo released The Nubble Lighthouse is Special to me because… on April 10, including nearly 40 stories about the lighthouse, from children ranging in age from 5 to 17.

Cape Neddick “Nubble” Lighthouse, Maine. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Jody’s son and collaborator, 15-year-old Owen Clark, designed the cover of the book and contributed his thoughts, along with another drawing, on the Nubble Lighthouse. “The Nubble is special to me because … it’s more than just a physical lighthouse. It guides more than just boats, it guides me … It’s like it holds some sort of divine mystical power. It’s wise in a sense. It’s always just there. Not only through the darkest storms and blizzards but through the hottest of summer days,” Owen wrote.

Copies can be purchased here

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Keepers of one of New Jersey’s oldest lighthouses (East Point) in dispute with Department of Environmental Protection over preservation, operation

A dispute over a proposed lease agreement between the state Department of Environmental Protection and a local historical society is keeping one of New Jersey’s oldest lighthouses closed to the public. The 172-year-old East Point Lighthouse and museum has been closed to visitors since early January after the society reached an impasse with the DEP over the renewal of an expired lease. The grounds surrounding the lighthouse remain open, according to a DEP spokesperson.

East Point Lighthouse
East Point Lighthouse, U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

Nancy Patterson, president of the society, told NJ Advance Media the organization decided to close the building and museum because it cannot agree to the proposed lease while the DEP continues to propose a site stabilization project that calls for the raising of the first floor which, she said, does not address beach erosion and flooding.

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Planning needed for Hunting Island Lighthouse (SC) due to rising sea levels

Hunting Island, South Carolina, home to Hunting Island Lighthouse, is a low-elevation barrier island with a dense, beautiful maritime forest covering ancient dunes throughout most of the island. The island also has one of the highest erosion rates on the East Coast. The greatest threat to future visitor use of Hunting Island is not shoreline change. It’s constant flooding and standing water.

Hunting Island Lighthouse, South Carolina.
U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Ralph Eshelman.

5,000-acre Hunting Island State Park is the most visited in the South Carolina State Park system, providing substantial annual revenue. A new vision is needed for how visitors will be able to experience the island, and a long-term management plan that examines all of the coming challenges.

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Lighthouses in India being developed for tourism

The Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has recently invited companies to make investments for the development of 65 lighthouses across India. The primary objective is to promote lighthouse-based tourism. The existing lighthouses and their surrounding areas will be developed into tourism destinations, maritime landmarks, and heritage precincts.

False Point Lighthouse, India. (Wikimedia Commons)

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A stay at the Pater Noster Lighthouse in Sweden is included in this year’s Oscar gift bag

For the Oscars 2021 on April 25, Sweden’s remote lighthouse island of Pater Noster will be in the spotlight. While just four actors and one director will bring home the gold in the top individual categories, all 24 Oscars nominees receive a gift bag including a stay at Pater Noster lighthouse-turned-hotel perched at the edge of the archipelago in one of Sweden’s most barren, windswept locations.

Pater Noster Lighthouse, Sweden. Photo by Erik Nissen Johansen.

Now only time will tell if Glenn Close, Anthony Hopkins, Viola Davis, Gary Oldman or any of the other Hollywood stars will be as brave and book a stay at this lighthouse on a desolate island in the North Sea. Pater Noster Lighthouse will be featured in two episodes of the USLHS podcast Light Hearted on April 25 and 28.

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Survey of Hudson-Athens Lighthouse (NY) foundation uncovers shipwreck

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse on the Hudson River in New York is built on wooden pilings that were driven into the river bottom in 1872. After 150 years underwater, some of the pilings may have been damaged by the elements and natural decay. The Hudson Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society (HALPS) has been working to conduct an evaluation of these pilings and surrounding river bottom so that they can begin planning stabilization work.

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, New York. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

An initial evaluation has been completed, and the survey also uncovered a mysterious structure to the southwest of the lighthouse. This structure, which was found totally by accident, seems to be the remains of an unknown vessel that has been encased in the river bottom for well over a century.

Riprap stone continues to shift away away and expose more of the lighthouse’s wooden foundations. If this erosion remains unchecked there is a possibility the lighthouse may someday collapse into the river. HALPS is assessing the best course of action to stabilize and increase the longevity of the foundations.

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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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