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Lighthouse News of the Week – August 13, 2021

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse (MD) unveiled on National Lighthouse Day

It’s only fitting that on August 7, the day the nation celebrates its lighthouses, residents of Annapolis, Maryland, gathered to celebrate a big honor for their own beacon — the last-of-its-kind Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse. On National Lighthouse Day, Thomas Point’s limited-edition U.S. Postal Service stamp was unveiled.

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, Maryland. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo.

Thomas Point Light, a National Historic Landmark, surely deserves the recognition, but getting your own stamp is a competitive process.

Watch below:

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Historic marker highlights Deltaville lighthouse’s role in slavery escape (VA)

Before Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, that freed southern slaves, Stingray Point Lighthouse was used as a safe haven for emancipation of a few enslaved people from Virginia.

Stingray Point Lighthouse, Virginia. U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office.

The Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) in July erected a state historic road sign in Deltaville to recognize six African Americans who “self emancipated” in 1861 by hiding in the abandon Stingray Point Lighthouse.

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Block Island Southeast Lighthouse (RI) reopens its doors to the public after 28 years

Through storms, shipwrecks, foggy weather, eroding bluffs and massive renovations including moving the whole structure, the Southeast Lighthouse has remained a popular destination on Block Island, drawing thousands of visitors annually to tour the tower and the grounds.

Block Island Southeast Lighthouse, Rhode Island. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Restoration began on the outside of the building in 2003. The interior of the lighthouse remained closed after its 1993 move, however, with only the tower open for touring. The Southeast Lighthouse Foundation undertook restoration efforts on the interior of the lighthouse, completing the restoration of one half of the keeper’s duplex cottage, which is now open to the public for the first time in 28 years.

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Last lighthouse keeper’s daughter visits Cheboygan (MI)

Joyce Land Dilworth, now 87, slept in her childhood bedroom again when she came to visit Cheboygan’s Front Range Lighthouse at the end of July. Dilworth, daughter of Cheboygan’s last lighthouse keeper, Clarence Land, was 10 years old when her family first moved to the Front Range in 1944.

Cheboygan Front Range Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Mike and Carol McKinney

“I never imagined I’d be back in my childhood bedroom again,” she said. “It’s the same — only different.”

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Burnt Island Lighthouse (ME) to celebrate 200 years

This year, the Burnt Island lighthouse, Maine’s second-oldest lighthouse, is marking its 200th year. The nonprofit Keepers of Burnt Island Light, after four years of fundraising will hold a gala event on August 19 showcasing the lighthouse’s restoration, keeper’s dwelling and outbuildings.

Burnt Island Light Station, Maine. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Burnt Island Light is owned by the Maine Department of Marine Resources, which also maintains the five-acre Burnt Island as an educational and recreational facility for the public. The island is offshore from Boothbay Harbor and Southport.

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Grand Traverse Lighthouse (MI) Hosting Annual Lobster Fest

The 16th Annual Lobster Fest Fundraiser at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Northport will be held on Saturday, August 14 from 5–8 p.m. (in-person and takeout options).

Grand Traverse Lighthouse, Michigan. U.S. Lighthouse Society photo by Jack Graham.

Dinner options include fresh Maine lobster or filet mignon, plus boiled redskin potatoes, corn on the cob, rolls, coleslaw, a cherry dessert, coffee, lemonade, beer and wine. Two seatings are set for 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Takeout/curbside service is at 5:45 p.m. Tickets cost $75, and there are only 200 tickets available.

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Sheringham Point Lighthouse (BC, Canada) funding for upgrades

Sheringham Point Lighthouse, a key historical landmark in Shirley, is receiving funds from the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET)’s DIVERSIFY Capital and Innovation Program to improve its visitor experience and reach by adding historical elements, interpretive information and access improvements.

Sheringham Point Lighthouse, British Columbia. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Led by the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society (SPLPS), enhancements to the public use site will help transform a devolved National Heritage Lighthouse into a vibrant tourism asset. The year-round amenity, located in the area known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific”, has attracted 25,000 sightseers annually over the past three years. Increased use has highlighted the need and opportunity to capitalize on this more than century-old structure.

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Dover (NH) library to present virtual talk about New England lighthouses

Join Dover Public Library and historian Jeremy D’Entremont on Tuesday, August 24 at 6:30 p.m. for a virtual presentation on “New England Lighthouses and the People Who Kept Them.”

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, New Hampshire. Photo by Jeremy D’Entremont.

Everyone knows that there’s something about lighthouses that gives them broad appeal, but their vital role in history and culture is little appreciated. Early America was built on maritime economy, and lighthouses were part of the system that made that possible. Due to automation, traditional lighthouse keeping is a way of life that has faded into the past. D’Entremont tells the history of New England’s historic and picturesque lighthouses primarily focusing on the colorful and dramatic stories of lighthouse keepers and their families.

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