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Lighthouse News of the Week – June 18, 2021

Wanted: Buyer for Penfield Reef Lighthouse, Connecticut

The U.S. General Services Administration is again trying to auction off the Penfield Reef Lighthouse, built in 1874 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 51-foot-tall, octagonal structure and two-story, 1,568-square-foot keeper’s quarters mark the submerged reef that extends southeast from Fairfield Beach into Long Island Sound and is about a mile from the entrance to Bridgeport’s Black Rock Harbor. The auction will begin on June 21.

Penfield Reef Lighthouse, Connecticut. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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“People had cabin fever” — Business booming for Fall River, Massachusetts, lighthouse offering overnight stays

It’s not that Kevin Ferias doesn’t want your business. It’s just that it wouldn’t serve any purpose to try to book an overnight stay for the rest of 2021 in his privately owned lighthouse that sits midway between Fall River and New Bedford.

Borden Flats Light, Massachusetts. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Ferias, who bought the 1881 Borden Flats Light in 2018, says he’s booked solid for the rest of this year and has reservations lined up for more than half of 2022.

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Historians shed light on first African American lighthouse keeper for Cape Henry (VA): prominent abolitionist Willis Augustus Hodges

Willis Augustus Hodges isn’t a name found in most history books, but local historians argue it should be. If you visit the Cape Henry Lighthouse, you’ll see his photo in the lobby. Hodges was the first African American lighthouse keeper for Cape Henry. He was also a prominent abolitionist, a newspaper publisher, a minister, and even a spy.

Cape Henry Lighthouse, Virginia, built of stone in 1792 (right), was replaced in 1881 by a cast-iron tower (left). USLHS photo by Ralph Eshelman.

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Eagle Bluff Lighthouse has new lease with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

After about two years of negotiations, Door County’s Eagle Bluff lighthouse in Peninsula State Park has a new lease. The Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources signed a 15-year agreement. The lighthouse, built in 1868, is a popular tourist destination. Behind the scenes, it’s run through a partnership involving the DNR, Wisconsin Historical Society, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Eagle Buff Lighthouse, U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Sandy Karnes

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New York State program sprucing up Verona Beach Lighthouse

Verona Beach Lighthouse will soon be all aglow as the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation rolls out its Reimagine the Canals program. NYPA and the Canal Corporation are investing $300 million over five years to reimagine and revitalize the state’s iconic Canal system. Work on Verona Beach Lighthouse started just within the last week, officials said, with crews doing a gentle cleaning of the structure. 

Verona Beach Lighthouse, New York. USLHS photo by Mike and Carol McKinney

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New book by Lee Radzak chronicles life at Split Rock Lighthouse (MN)

Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

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East Brother Light Station (CA) will reopen, and it’s in need of innkeepers

Two months after an underwater power cable to the historic East Brother Light Station failed and cast doubt as to whether the site could ever resume its role as a bed-and-breakfast, it is ready to open again and hiring innkeepers. Successful candidates will be a two-person team or couple. At least one of them must have a Coast Guard commercial boat operator’s license.

East Brother Light Station, California. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

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Click here for the job description and application

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Lachine (Quebec, Canada) residents hope to give their lighthouse area a major revamp

Lachine’s picturesque lighthouse and pier could be getting a revamp courtesy of a $10 million city fund set aside specifically for implementing citizens’ ideas. The lighthouse serves as a “meeting space” for residents.

Lachine Lighthouse, Quebec. Wikimedia Commons photo by Jean Gagnon.

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Concert series makes a comeback to St. Simons Island Lighthouse (GA)

The annual Little Light Music concert series has returned this summer after a year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The concerts take place on the lawn beneath the lighthouse on St. Simons Island. Enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, the Little Light Music concert series has provided performances by the water for more than 20 years.

St. Simons Island Lighthouse, Georgia. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Mindy Margaritis.

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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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