Light Hearted

Light Hearted special edition – Van Calhoun, Bob Taylor, & Bill Palmer, Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, NY

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In the late 1860s, the hazard known as the Middle Ground Flats — opposite the City of Hudson, New York, in the Hudson River —made navigation in the busy shipping route treacherous. An appropriation of $35,000.00 was approved by Congress in 1872 to build the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse. The lighthouse went into service in late 1874. It was run by a resident keeper until it was automated in the 1950s. It still serves as an aid to navigation.

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, New York. Photo by Bob Taylor.

In 1982 a group of local citizens formed the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society. Since then, with the help of private donations, public grants, and legislative initiatives, the Preservation Society has undertaken the analysis and mitigation of structural, aesthetic, interpretive and public access issues that face the property. Recent efforts have mostly focused on shoring up the foundation of the structure.

Left to right: Joe Keneally, Van Calhoun, and Bill Palmer of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society

A grant from the Preservation League of New York State earlier this year is supporting an engineering study of the lighthouse. Another issue the organization has faced in recent years is the failure of the power cable that provided electricity for the lighthouse. Van Calhoun is chair of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society’s Foundation Renovation Committee. Bob Taylor is the historian for the Society, and Bill Palmer is a volunteer and boat captain.

Bob Taylor

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