Property tax battle continues over Graves Light (MA)
Dave Waller was shocked when he received a property tax bill from the town of Hull last year seeking to collect taxes on Graves Light, a lighthouse in outer Boston Harbor that he bought at federal auction in 2013. He got another surprise in the mail more recently, when the town tax collector sent him a letter saying that a “date of taking” would be announced soon.
Since Hull sent that first tax bill last year, Waller has been locked in a legal battle with the town to prove that the lighthouse is not part of Hull. The matter is currently in Land Court. But that didn’t stop the tax collector from sending out the notice about the “date of taking.”
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Lighthouse Restoration Begins on Plum Island (WI)
Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands (FOPPI) recently received a $200,000 grant from the David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund. The front range light on Plum Island will receive a new coat of paint and foundation repairs, and the watch and lantern rooms of the 65-foot-tall rear range light will undergo a makeover, including new paint and tempered glass to replace the cloudy Plexiglas windows.
FOPPI partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Plum Island is open to the public during daylight hours from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
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Reserve now for Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation sunset cruises
This summer, the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation will offer two sunset cruises for the public. The monies raised by ticket sales will support the ongoing restoration of the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse. Cruises travel up the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, through Roosevelt Inlet and into Delaware Bay to view both the Delaware Breakwater East End Light and the Harbor of Refuge Light, which mark the entrance to Delaware Bay and the National Harbor of Refuge. Photo opportunities include not only the lighthouses at sunset, but often pods of dolphins and other sea creatures.
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Hudson-Athens Lighthouse (NY) at risk of sinking
The Hudson-Athens Lighthouse has sat in the middle of the Hudson River for nearly 150 years but today the foundation upon which it was built is at risk. A team of volunteers has been working for years to try to save the historic structure, one of the few lighthouses in the Hudson River still standing.
“The lighthouse was constructed in 1872 and it sits on 200 wooden pilings that were jammed into the river bottom,” said Van Calhoun, chairman of the Foundation Renovation Committee, a standing committee of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society. “The big concrete blocks that the lighthouse appears to be sitting on solidly are actually sitting on a wooden frame.”
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Old Lighthouse Museum (Stonington, CT) reopening on May 15
The Stonington Historical Society has announced that its two museums, The Old Lighthouse Museum and the Captain Palmer House, will reopen for the season on May 15. The historical society completed a $1.3 million preservation and restoration project of the Old Lighthouse Museum last year. This season, the museum will feature new exhibitions that celebrate the town’s history while also highlighting stories that are often overlooked. Visitors will learn more about the history of the lighthouse and its keepers, the Battle of Stonington and prominent Stonington citizens.
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Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse (NH) 250th Anniversary art contest continues
Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses (FPHL), a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, is holding an art contest that’s running through May 31. It is open to children and adults in four different age categories. Everyone is invited to submit their two-dimensional artworks of any kind (excluding photographs). The categories are: Children grades K-5, Children grades 6-8, Children grades 9-12, and Adults.
Portsmouth Harbor Light Station in New Castle, New Hampshire, began service on June 8, 1771, as the first lighthouse north of Boston in the American colonies. This year Friends of Portsmouth Lighthouses is celebrating the 250th anniversary with multiple events.
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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
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